We never saw an athlete attending a competition without getting ready both physically and mentally. Exercising during pregnancy doesn’t shorten the labour but it makes women tougher.
Nowadays, the possibilities are not limited to the prenatal classes offered by your clinic. Haptonomy, relaxation, pre-natal yoga, pre-natal singing, meditation, emotional preparation for birth, aquamom and a lot of other techniques exist to help mothers to prepare for giving birth.
Make a plan!
If you write a birth plan, you will feel safer when you arrive at the hospital. First, you won’t have to explain everything over and over to the medical staff that will be different by the hour. Also, you will have pondered the different possibilities of events that can occur and you will have less to think about. Let’s be serious, between two contractions, we don’t think that much. It is better to think in advance and discuss with your partner because in the end, he will be the spokesperson of your birth plan.
Music she says!
If pre-natal singing improves the breathing capacity while relaxing future moms, natal singing or playing soft ambient music can relax them during labour. Singing secures, relaxes and produces endorphins, the best natural pain reliever.
In hot water
When the contraction extravaganza begun, feeling wrapped in hot water is beneficial. How can you feel stressed when you are so nicely enveloped? It is a relaxing moment that eases labour. Showers – hot, of course! – have the same calming effects. It is said that cold feet block the pelvis and complicates labour. Keep warm socks in your suitcase!
To be relaxed and rested, some women treat themselves to nice professional massages during pregnancy. On the day you give birth, use daddy’s hands. He will be more than happy to feel useful. And Mister, observe your partner who may abruptly not want to be touched any longer. The Bonapace method suggests painless massages on sensitive spots to block the transmission of the pain signal to the brain. Interesting!
Enter your bubble, let go and don’t let anything disturb you (here, the dad must become your bodyguard and protect you from any outside stimulation). Visualise a circle that opens. Imagine a quiet place with people you love.
Shake your primitive self
According to Michel Odent, giving birth is an instinctive and cerebral act. During birth, the primitive brain – the one that humans share with animals – secretes the hormones responsible for the uterine contractions. However, the activity of the primitive brain can be disturbed if the neocortex – the brain of the language and the scientific approach, rational, logical – is stimulated. It is easily explained because the hormones that are necessary to give birth normally reduce the activity of this new brain. When you are giving birth, shake up your primitive brain and put your neocortex at rest. When the primitive brain gets activated, we often notice that the woman’s state of mind changes. It is a good sign! And remember that it is not a good time to try to remember a phone number, to turn on all the lights in the room (the light stimulates the sight, the most intellectual of all senses) or to count the minutes… it would stimulate the neocortex and inhibit the action of he primitive brain.