Once you are pregnant, birth is pretty inevitable – your baby is going to be born no matter what you read and what classes you take BUT it is well worth reading some good stuff and investing in some good antenatal classes to give you the knowledge and the skills to birth confidently and calmly. And it’s not just for the women – birth partners gain a lot from being equipped with good information and skills.
Birth is raw and powerful and the intensity of it can leave you feeling overwhelmed, scared and in pain. Midwives work hard to make a difference for labouring women but they can be stretched and you may be left on your own for periods of time – you need to know how to handle your contractions, to use your breathing and to use positions to stay as comfortable and as calm as possible because that is what is going to help you and your baby.
Reasons to invest in some good antenatal classes…
- They really do make a difference
- You will know more about how birth works and what gets in the way
- Small groups can give you a support network and new friendships when your baby is here
- To gain answers to your questions
- You will know how to use your breathing to stay calm, to work with your contractions and to be involved with any decisions
- You will feel more assertive, confident and able to birth your baby
- Your partner will know how to help and how to cope
- Easing anxiety and fears about birth and baby
- Practical information about life with your new baby – what to expect, ways to adjust and ways to settle your baby
- An antenatal teacher who is also willing to invest some time in you and helping you to have a positive birth experience
- Ongoing online/email support
- You are taking control
- You will feel better able to handle what labour throws at you
How to feel confident about giving birth…
- It helps to know what birth is all about – how else can you accept those contractions, which need to be strong and powerful?
- Get your head in the right place – you need to believe you can do it and you need knowledge, breathing skills and positive information to keep you going in labour
- Have a birth partner who also feels confident and prepared with knowledge and skills
- Deal with any fears and anxieties – chances are they can be eased if you talk them through and get answers to your questions
- Know how to relax your body and your breathing – this way you can head off any fear, anxiety or feelings of being overwhelmed. You can stop your body producing too much adrenaline, which isn’t helpful in labour and instead you can remain calmer and in control.