What makes a good birth


Let me let you into a secret.

Before I was pregnant, over eight years ago now, I knew nothing about birth. Nothing!

I had seen two fictional births on TV.  Both stereotypical: waters breaking, dashing to hospital, birthing on the back on a bed, chin to chest with a stressed dad and midwife loudly shouting 'Push!!’

Now I know that this scenario is just a version and that your birth doesn't have to look like that. In fact, despite what we see on shows like 'One Born Every Minute', there are a few simple steps which can contribute towards a much more relaxed and peaceful birth.

Environment:  Whether you are at home, in a birth centre or on a labour ward, your environment is key. Think about how mammals give birth: we are all mammals, by the way. Cats, dogs, elephants etc tend to give birth in a dark, warm, private environment and ultimately somewhere they feel safe. How can you create those conditions wherever you are?

Stay mobile:  Beds have become associated with birth (think back to the TV again). Research what active birth means. Stand, kneel, lean, bounce on a birthing ball, or even hang off the door frame (you get the idea).  The advantages include; creating 20-30% more space in the pelvis and the pressure of babes head send messages up to your brain to produce more of the lovely hormones you get during birth. Oh yes, and gravity.

Relax: Giving birth is a physical function like breathing or pumping the blood round your body. You already know how to do this, relaxation is important because fear and anxiety can stop or slow down a birth. Practice a bit of meditation, go to that pregnancy yoga class, practice visualisations. The more you practice during pregnancy the easier it is during birth.

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