Taking the stress out of childbirth

Childbirth is widely perceived as one of the most feared experiences of a woman’s life, yet it sits nicely juxtaposed as one of the most amazing experiences of life. The thought of giving birth alone triggers fear and trepidation in even the bravest of souls. Yet the facts give much reassurance to the fearful: most women are healthy and have a straightforward pregnancy and labour, according to BUPA in the UK. About nine out of 10 women give birth vaginally to a single baby after 37 weeks of their pregnancy with the baby being born head first.

Perhaps two of the most feared aspects of childbirth are pain and not being in control. Being in a strange place, surrounded by strange people and strong painkillers may certainly not be your idea of organized stress-relief, especially at what rates as one of life’s most stressful moments.

Each woman copes differently with labour, both in approach and mindset. It could be that you have an idea about the pain relief you opt for before labour, but change your mind once it’s actually happening. A combination of hormonal changes and the sharing of others’ experiences may mean that your birthing method of choice fluctuates through your pregnancy. Unless complications arise, it is perfectly safe and natural to choose an alternative birthing method: one which puts you more at ease.

Here are some alternatives to hospital based childbirth…

Water birthing: If the serenity of warm water appeal to you, water birthing, or giving birth in a birthing pool, offers the chance for you to experience a gentle birth, according to Waterbirth org. If you are seeking a gentler, kinder, and yes, easier way to welcome babies into the world, this could be the birthing choice for you: for more information visit: http://www.waterbirth.org

HypnoBirthing ® : If you find anxiety and stress difficult to deal with, HypnoBirthing may be a good choice for you. Differing from common antenatal classes, HypnoBirthing® is taught in a relaxed environment, where you will learn about the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of birth. The benefits of hypnobirthing mean that you can manage your mental wellbeing as well as your physical. Find out more about hypnobirthing, visit: naturalhypnotherapy

The Bradley Method® Stressing the importance of Healthy Baby, Healthy Mother and Healthy Families and with a focus on wellbeing, the method taught via classes and families learn how to have natural births, utilising techniques which are simple and effective, based on information about how the human body works during labour. For more information visit: http://www.bradleybirth.com

Practising relaxation and breathing techniques can help in the run up to and also during labour. Explore Yoga and Transformational Breathing with the Breath Guru. If overcoming anxiety is a problem, try using acupressure bands, which are available in most good chemists.

Think holistically

Taking a holistic approach to childbirth helps to ensure that your mental, emotional and spiritual needs are fully met during the labour experience. Being fully informed and making the right choice from the natural alternatives available to you will help to ensure that the magical moment is as natural, and as special as nature intended.

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