Each year women all over the country experience the joys, and (let’s face it) pains, of childbirth.If you’re feeling a bit anxious about giving birth, there are things you can do that may help. Many women have positive and empowering deliveries and while some put this down to medication, others say it's got a lot to do with state of mind and feeling prepared. We caught up with Aleanbh Cox a registered midwife & hypnobirthing specialist who shared her TOP 5 TIPS.
1. Birth preferences:
Research what you want and what you don't want. There is lots to think about and discuss with your partner - will you delay cord clamping, will you both have skin on skin, will you have pain relief?
Pain Relief Options - There are many different types of analgesia available during birth. Knowing beforehand what they are, when they can be given and what you may prefer, if any, will help you to feel more confident going into the birth.
2. Eating & Drinking during labour:
Best practice would be that a woman in spontaneous labour who is low risk should be able to/encouraged to eat/drink what she wants in labour. Your suitcase should include a 'small picnic' with isotonic drinks (like the Lucazade sport ones)
3. Empower yourself with information:
Attend a private Antenatal class and/or Hypnobirthing class to empower you with information and tools for the Big Day. You can virtually attend many of these classes- BirthFit comes highly recommended. Know your Hospital policy - due to COVID-19 hospital policies have changed, you can find updates here for Ireland, here for the UK
4. What do you want?
Think about what you want from your birth experience and make sure to discuss this with your partner. They may be your soulmate, but they can't read your mind.
5. Set the scene & surround yourself with positive people.
Think about how you can make the environment more comfortable and calming for yourself. Set the scene from home to the delivery room. A great tip is bringing and wearing sunglasses and a light scarf. When your in the hospital having contractions you may just want some shades so your not blinded by the bright lights and a scarf to pop over your head when you want your privacy.
Please note as of April 1st 2020
The HSPC and HSE have stated
'Women should be permitted and encouraged to have a birth partner present with them during labour and birth. Having a trusted birth partner present during labour is known to make a significant difference to the safety and well being of women in childbirth'