A lot of the birth prep focuses on normal birth, empowerment, being active, going with the flow, choosing a positive environment to labour in – and this is appropriate for many of us but what about the women and babies with medical needs, what about the women who are induced whose options may be limited?
If you are high risk, does that mean you have to have a medical/intervention-led birth?
I always aim to prepare you as best I can for whatever labour throws at you – even if it is just so you can rely on your breathing to stay calm and head off any panic.
If a homebirth or a birthing centre is not an option:
It can help to have some familiar items for your delivery suite. These could include:
- photograph from home
- familiar aromatherapy oil to help you relax
- birth ball
If you need to be on a bed
- it can be useful and comfortable to sit as upright as possible, so you aren’t leaning back – this can reduce the space in your pelvis which could cause your baby to move into an awkward position for birth and it can cause your contractions to be less effective.
- you can move about on the bed – onto all fours, lying on your left side, sitting with your legs over the side of the bed, leaning onto the back of the bed
If you are induced:
- you don’t need to stay on the bed so get off and move if that feels right for you.
- If your baby needs to be continually monitored, you may need to stay close to the bed but you can sit on a ball/chair, stand, move, lean as you need to to help your labour flow and to be as comfortable as possible.
If a birthing pool is not an option:
you may be able to use the bath or shower to ease your contractions and to help you relax
To help you stay calm and to help your labour flow:
It can help to:
- have a doula for more ongoing support and reassurance in pregnancy and in labour
- be comfortable – move about, rest and be as comfortable as you can be
- make use of gravity
- focus on your breathing so you have a positive distraction during your contraction
- use your breathing to keep you and your baby calm
- drink plenty of water and go to the loo frequently to keep your bladder empty
- ask questions when you need to so you can have as much control as possible
- take control and prepare well so your head can be in the right place – a positive mindset can make all the difference
Images are from the RCM Campaign for Normal Birth