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The Ultimate Birth Affirmations

The Ultimate Birth Affirmations

How to use Birth Affirmations in pregnancy?

Everyone has their sayings that they repeat in their head when they need a little pick me up. It might be a, “ Come on… You’ve got this!” before you stand in front of your team to do a presentation at work or “Stay calm, stay calm.” when you’re driving in the car and some douchebag has pulled out in front of you.

It’s commonly seen amongst sportsmen and women where they shout, “Come on! Come on!” when they are walking on pitch or warming up. We see it as psyching themselves up but they’re actually just telling themselves to come on. They’re telling themselves that they can do this and they have got this.

It’s the phrase that you remind yourself when you want to behave in a certain way. Now, often these phrases are so engrained in us that we now don’t even see it as an “affirmation” as that’s just SOOOOO hippy. They are phrases that are so engrained in us that t’s just something we say or do. And this kind of familiarity is what we want to achieve in pregnancy through birth affirmations.

In labour, during contractions, there will be times where they are so intense that you will feel like you can’t do it any longer. Now, if you have been practising your birth affirmations throughout pregnancy then it will be at this point where you might start repeating over in your head, “I can do anything for 60seconds, I can do anything for 60 seconds, I can do anything for 60seconds.” (FYI – 60 secs is about how long a contraction lasts). You will say it till you believe it to be true. This is easier to do if you have read them to yourself every day or couple of days in the build up to your labour. It will be even more helpful if your partner knows them too as these phrases can then be reminded to you when you need a pep talk in labour.

 If you want to learn more about birth affirmations and other techniques that you can use so that you can get through labour or your cesarean birth in the calmness way possible. Then check out TBTBC antenatal and hypnobirthing online course. Built by UK midwife, Beth to give you a tool box of techniques to be used in all birth situations…..

What can you start doing to prepare for birth.

What can you start doing to prepare for birth.

This is for you if you’re from 34 weeks. If that’s not quite you yet, then save this link or screen shot so you’ve got the info for in a few weeks/months time.

If this is you then these are some things that you can start doing that will improve your birth.

So, what can you do to start prepping for your birth?

With 20% of mothers in the UK having a labour that’s induced and between 10 & 25% of 1st time mothers having an instrumental birth across the UK, the possibilities of these scenarios happening are for you are very real. With this info you can do what you can to stack the odds in your favour to reduce this happening for you.

Here are a few things that now you’re 34 weeks or after, you can start doing to prepare for your birth.

1.Dates
a) the food kind
Did you know that eating 6 dates a day from 34 weeks can reduce your chances of intervention. There was research on 2 groups, one group ate the dates, the other group didn’t. The group that ate the dates were less likely to be induced, less likely to have a hormone drip in labour and also had a shorter labour time (specifically the pushing).
b) the romantic kind
Putting some regular time in for date night with you and your partner can seriously help you stay calm in labour. It reminds you of all the other things, rather than relying solely on drugs, that will keep you calm. Things like dim lights, music, essential oils, massage and a bath or shower are all things that should be utilised when you’re at home in early labour or having an induction on the ward at hospital. Practising this little date night routine weekly will mean that you are conditioning your body to associate all the above with calmness, making it more effective when early labour starts.

2. Raspberry Leaf Tea
Instead of frantically googling “Ways to naturally induce labour” when you’re a week over due and realising that you could have done things weeks ago to help yourself, buy some raspberry leaf tea now! Drinking a cup a day from 34 weeks has been associated with avoiding induction. With this one the research doesn’t actually support this theory. What it does support though is this… RLT tones your uterus, so women who drank the tea from 34 weeks had a shorter labour than those who didn’t drink it. It also assists in bringing your uterus back to its pre pregnancy size. Nb. RLT shouldn’t be drank if you are booked in for an elective cesarean, are having a VBAC or have a scar on your uterus from previous surgery.

3. Perineal Massage

Massaging your perineum (the bit between your vagina and your anus) has been shown to reduce the severity of your vaginal tear for first time mothers. Around 90% of first time mothers in the UK have a tear of some kind. To lessen this tear use some olive oil/coconut oil on your thumbs, insert them into your vagina about half an inch and massage down towards your perineum. The research doesn’t support that this makes any difference for second or more time Mums.

So what do you think? Are you going to put any of these techniques into practise or add these items to your next food shop.

If you want to know about ways to keep calm during your birth, ways that you can stack the odds in your favour to have a great birth and techniques that you can start practising now in your pregnancy to prep for birth, then you can get all the information from the convenience of your own home on your own time, by accessing the hypnobirthing and antenatal education online course for £34.
An online course put together by UK midwife, Beth offering both hypnobirthing and antenatal education, which has helped women across the globe feel confident and calm during their birth.

5 Reasons You Should Consider A Homebirth

5 Reasons You Should Consider A Homebirth

I get it… Homebirth isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But since the speculation of Meghan Markles plans for a home birth, it has come into the lime light. From the many magazine articles on this with people throwing around their views on Homebirth, it’s highlighted what we as a culture think about women and their capabilities about birth. That for birth, we need to be in close proximity of a doctor, you know “just in case.”

So let’s look at what the research says…

Before we look I need to highlight that this research compares the types of birth looking at where women PLANNED to give birth and then what actually happened in their births. (This is important to distinguish so people reading this don’t think, well DUH of course there’s going to be no cesareans at home 🙄)

Also we’re looking here at women with no “risk factors” so women who have no complications, totally straightforward etc. and that’s in ALL of these groups. All “low risk” women but all women who have had a baby before.

So, you’d think that comparing these women there would be the same amount of instrumental births or cesareans in each birth setting right? As surely, the amount of babies needed to be born with intervention are the same in each group.

Wrong!!!

Here are the stats…

Per 1000 births.

Women who had a Vaginal birth (without assistance)

Home- 984 vs Birth unit- 967 vs. Obstetric 927… That’s a 57 more vaginal births happened at home than in a consultant led unit,

Epidural

Home 28 vs. Obstetric unit 121… That means that 93 more women choose an epidural when it is readily available.

Episiotomy

Home 15 vs Obstetric unit 56… An extra 39 women had an episiotomy (a cut to the perineum used to help baby be born quicker when is thought baby is in distress)

Cesarean birth

Home 7 vs Obstetric unit 35 … Only 7 women were transferred in for a caesarean birth compared to 35 who were already on a consultant led unit. And remember, these women ARE NOT on a consultant led unit for any reason as we are comparing women with no other factors involved.

Instrumental birth

Home 9 vs Obstetric unit 38… 9 women would have transferred in to hospital for a instrumental birth compared to 38 who were birthing with Drs around.

So are you thinking… WOW it sounds more dangerous at home as surely those birth statistics should be fairly similar so all those babies would have missed out on being born quicker when in need. Well, if we look at the most important one to consider, what about the babies.

So when looking at serious medical problems for baby per 1000 births.

Home 3 vs Obstetric Unit 3 (for second or more time mothers)

So baby’s of mothers (who have birthed before) who are “low risk” are no safer during birth in a hospital than at home.

Even when compared to a birth unit, home always comes up trumps for less intervention. So looking at those stats.. look at all those unnecessary interventions that occurred purely from being in an area where there are obstetricians around.

This could be potentially for two reasons…

  1. You are more relaxed at home, your labour progresses more efficiently, you require less drugs because of this and baby gets optimum blood supply. This all happens because you are MORE RELAXED.
  2.  Hospital culture. Doctors are less familiar with “natural birth” as they are asked to come to births usually when things are deviating from the norm, which means they are more likely to advise that interventions happen when sometimes not totally necessary.

These findings have been published by NICE and there’s a really interesting table here that compares birth units too. There is also a table that compares all the stats but for first time mothers as remember all the stats above are for mothers who have given birth before.

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg190/resources/choosing-place-of-birth-resource-for-midwives-msword-248730877

So if there wasn’t quite 5 reasons above, here are 3 more bonus reasons to consider a home birth…

1. Home is a familiar environment. For some people home is where they would feel safest and more comfortable/relaxed, meaning that there oxytocin would be higher. Higher oxytocin means more effective contractions and higher endorphins (bodies own morphine)

2. You don’t have to stick to “hospital rules” you can light candles if you want to light candles, you can have the room exactly how you like, fill the pool with fairy lights etc. without having to lug your Mary Poppins bag into a hospital.

3. It means you don’t have to travel whilst having contractions, or sort out childcare, or worry about going into hospital to be advised to go back home if you live far away. Or worried about giving birth quickly on the journey. Your midwife comes to you, taking any logistic worries out of your hands.

Have 1 conversation about home birth with your midwife, if it’s not for you then at least you’ve had the option and made the choice. You never know, it may for you be a great decision.

I also want to add that I work with women who come into hospital to have their baby’s. So if you are booked to have your baby in a hospital, I want you to use this information to EMPOWER you.

1. I want you to make your hospital environment as homely as possible. I’ve done a whole blog on this.

2. Any advice that you are given by a midwife or a doctor, ask questions. Ask what are the risks, what are the benefits and what happens if you do nothing? This will help you determine what options are right for you. Midwives and Drs will also help you with this too. Everything in birth is a choice.

Anyone had a home birth before? I’d love to hear any tips that you have for anyone worried about the logistics of a home birth.

Making choices and how to lead these types of decision making conversations (such as where is best to birth your baby) with your health care team is something that we look at on the Hypnobirthing with Antenatal Ed. Online Course. As well as preparing you with techniques to avoid wanting an epidural (as you definitely can’t have one of these at home!). If you are booked in for a birth in a hospital then you can also learn ways to make your environment more homely and techniques to distinguish if interventions are truly necessary on the Hypnobirthing with Antenatal Ed. Online Course. 

What you can do to reduce vaginal tears in birth?

What you can do to reduce vaginal tears in birth?

Ok ok I get it.. it’s not the most nicest of subjects to talk about and I’m sure you’re all crossing your legs as you read this 😵. But rather than focusing on how horrid this may be or worse still sticking your head in the sand, start thinking about what YOU are going to do about it!!! Because there’s lots of things that have been shown to lessen the tear, and with around 90% of first time mums having a tear that needs sutures, the more you know the more you can do to help reduce them. Knowledge is power after all. One of the biggest fears expectant mamas have about birth is vaginal tears so I thought I’d do a post on a few things that can be done to lessen the tear (number 6. is one that you can do from 34weeks pregnant.)

1. A warm compress. Having a midwife support the area with a warm compress can reduce tears.

2. Position. Pushing on your left side, all fours or semi- recumbent have been shown to have the lesser tears. Although being semi recumbent isn’t always the best position for birth for other reasons.

3. Communication- Blow and don’t push when the midwife says. This is so baby’s head can be born SLOWLY. At a specific point when baby is just being born. Your baby will tell you to blow …. like you’re blowing out individual candles one after another, this is for after a minute, maybe even less, and will mean that baby’s head will be born nice and slow which definitely reduces tears.

4. Hands on approach. Having a midwife support your perineum again, especially with a warm compress. Your midwife will pop her hands, on baby’s head and on your perineum as baby is being born, this has been shown to reduce tears. You can write on your birth preferences if you’d like this, or not.

5. Did I mention…

S-L-O-W-L-Y

6. Perineal massage- Massaging the perineum with your thumbs (or getting your partner to do it) from 34 weeks with some olive oil has been shown to lessen any tears in first time mums by 10%. For second time Mums it hasn’t been shown to make a difference but tears are less likely to occur anyway in second time Mums compared to first.

These tips are all evidence based guidelines from the RCM or from a midwife, Julie Frolich, who made a care bundle which has been shown to reduce tears.

Now, If we’re talking about tears then we need to talk about recovery and healing.

1. Change your pads regularly to reduce infection. You want to keep the area dry.

2. Stay hydrated. It’s concentrated urine that may sting your stitches.

3. A high fibre diet will help with that first post natal poo. That’s dates, prunes, bran, fruit and veg.

4. Tea tree in the bath can aid healing. Other than that you can wash as normal but don’t use soap on the area. And pat dry.

5. Arnica tablets can help with bruising in that area regardless of if you have a tear. Have a look in your local health shop for arnica tablets to take during labour and post birth.

6. Putting your sanitary pads in the fridge before you put them on can also be soothing to the area.

So you see how knowing this information will benefit your birth, ‘knowledge is power’ always trumps ‘ignorance is bliss’ 💥🙌🏼

For other ways that you can stack the odds in your favour to get the birth you want, then take a look at The Bump to Baby Chapter’s Antenatal and Hypnobirthing Online course. It was created by midwife, Beth and is filled with videos, audios, checklists, live Q and As, and post natal lives (for weaning, sleep, reflux and colic) to help you get prepared for birth and help you through the early days with baby.