Hello there mama-to-be! I know you are super excited to welcome your wonderful baby into this world, however, I also know it comes with a mixture of emotions.
What should I expect? How will my labour go? Can I handle it?
Trust me, I had all the same questions during my pregnancy. And I’m here to tell you, you got this Mama!
When you think about it, if it was that bad, the human race would be extinct already. As a first time mom, did I have fears? Of course, I did. I feared the pain of labour. But, even more, I was strongly opposed to a C-section delivery — the idea terrified me.
I was nine days overdue when my contractions started and I was so happy to finally be in labour. I had decided to take the pain medications offered to me at the hospital, even though I had no idea what they were at the time, and that I was actually doing fine without them.
I also had an epidural because I didn’t know what to expect. I figured most of my friends had gotten one, so maybe I should too. Unfortunately, shortly after receiving one, things took a turn for the worse.
I had already laboured up until I was nine centimeters at this point, but, my baby’s heart rate was declining very fast. So, much to my dismay, my ultimate fear became reality and my sweet baby boy was born via emergency C-section.
After his birth, the realization that things didn’t go according to “plan” was very disappointing to me. It actually took me a while to shake it off. I had to just accept what happened and make a decision to do things differently if we were to have another child.
When I was blessed with my second, I decided to seek out a midwife and have our baby the natural way at the hospital.
No drugs and no interventions whatsoever.
I had an actual plan, and my midwife spent so much time preparing me for the birth.
I remember clearly when she asked me during one of our one hour long appointments, if I wanted my baby to receive the vitamin K shot and erythromycin eye ointment. I had no idea what that meant and if my first born had received any of it. I was so relieved to have gained so much knowledge and, although I felt ready, experiencing a completely natural birth for the first time was, to be honest, terribly painful.
After my second, I didn’t know if I could go through that pain again. Looking back, I knew my mindset was not in the right place during labour. I had let my fears of the pain take over.
Thankfully, I got to experience labour once again.
This time, I was determined to be in the right mental state.
My husband and I attended a hypnobirthing class and we also read the book “HypnoBirthing The Mongan Method.” HypnoBirthing founder, Marie Mongan, knows from her own four births that it is not necessary for childbirth to be a terribly painful experience. As a sort of gift for new moms, she shows women how the Mongan Method works and how parents can take control of the greatest and most important event of their lives.
Why do more than 40 percent of births now end in caesarean section, the highest percentage in history?
According to Marie, the answer is simple: because our culture teaches new moms to fear birth as a painful and unsettling experience.
Fear causes three physical reactions to the body:
- Tightening of the muscles
- Reduced blood flow to the birthing muscles
- The release of certain hormones
All these factors increase the pain and discomfort of childbirth.
This is not hocus-pocus — this is science.
Knowing this truly changed my mindset, which, ultimately resulted in the best birthing experience of my life. It was so calm, joyful and painless.
And yes, I did say painless!
My fourth and fifth babies came fast but were just as amazing.
So you may be wondering, what is this secret she's talking about? Are you ready for it?
The secret is simple, it’s knowledge.
Being a mom who’s experienced five completely different births, I surely know that labour is full of surprises. That’s why being informed is so important; information in itself is one of the most useful gifts for new moms. We spend so much time researching what kind of car to purchase, our vacation destinations, weekend plans, yet we don’t research all of our birthing options.
What I’m suggesting is to gather information so you feel empowered to make the right choices for yourself and your baby. Knowing what the basics are can make the experience a whole lot smoother.
I wish I would have known the side effects of those drugs I took when in labour for my first son, or what would happen in the event of a C-section.
There are so many questions you may not even know to ask, just like me. I have compiled a list of 40 questions you should seek answers to. This pregnancy gift from me to you is so you can feel empowered, and they will help guide your birthing experience. And ultimately, I want you to know, don’t let the “f” word (fear) take over.
Birth has been happening since the beginning of time. Us women are meant to have babies!