A-Z of self-help during childbirth

How to be more comfortable during the birth of your baby or babies? Here are 26 things to try… Your A-Z of self-help during childbirth. Have a look through the images, try out some of the things below at home and see how they make you feel. Pick and chose, write your own. Your body, your baby, your birth!

Here are some of my suggestions

  • Aromatherapy: A strong anchor, increases relaxation and comfort, reduces anxiety and supports the birth process.
  • Breathing Techniques: Focus on your out breath, deep breathing. Deep breathing = more oxygen for your baby. Soft, relaxed lips = soft relaxed pelvic floor.
  • Candles: and/or dimmed soft lighting in the room can increase the sense of privacy, comfort and safety.
  • Doula: Emotional and practical support. Information giving and signposting. Supporting informed-choice.
  • Endorphins: Your body’s feel good hormone and one of your body’s own coping mechanisms for discomfort or pain.
  • Fan: It is often very hot in a birthing room. A fan can provide you with some welcome air and cool. Why not add a drop of your favourite aromatherapy oil on it?
  • Gas & Air: 50% Oxygen and 50% Nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Quick acting, self-administered and popular during childbirth – at least in the UK
  • Hypnobirthing: Improves satisfaction with the birth experience. Whether you are planning a home or hospital birth, vaginal or caesarean birth, either way, hypnobirthing helps you stay in control. Focus on what you can control.
  • Imagination: Imagine your safe place, imagine your baby moving down the birth canal or being born by caesarean birth. Imagine you melt an ice cube with your breath….
  • Joke around: Jokes and a sense of humour are highly recommended during childbirth. After all, you cannot be tense of you’re laughing!
  • Knees in heels out: Opens and increases the space in your pelvis, making it easier for your baby to be born. On your knees, move knees together and your heels out. In a squat, keep knees parallel to your hips and feet/toes pointing forward.
  • Loo: Empty your bladder every 45 – 60 minutes to optimize available space for baby to be born.
  • Massage: Massage can help you relax. The double hip squeeze offering counter-pressure may help you be more comfortable during the birth.
  • Nourishment: Have some food and drink available. Keep hydrated and eat while you feel like it to keep your energy up.
  • Oxygen: The deeper and calmer you breathe, the more oxygen will be circulating to your baby but also to your uterus. The uterus is a muscle and works more effectively when well oxygenated.
  • Pause: Sometimes you need to pause for a moment. To reset your energy and re-focus yourself.
  • Questions: Question what you don’t understand. Question why your healthcare provider suggests xx and ask for more information and/or alternatives.
  • Relax: The more relaxed you are, the easier, quicker, more comfortable and more enjoyable your birth will be.
  • Shower: The gentle trickle or stronger stream of water over your belly can be soothing during childbirth.
  • Tens Machine: Provides an element of control, some distraction and helps to stimulate your body’s endorphins.
  • UFO: Upright, Forward and Open (pelvis) positions are beneficial for the birth process.
  • Vocalize: Make some noise. Deep belly or abdominal noises use your diaphragm. This can be beneficial for the birthing process, especially during the ‘pushing’ stage. You may sound a little bit like a cow… moooooo….
  • Waterbirth: Submerging your belly in water such as a birth pool is very soothing and a well-know form of pain management during labour and birth.
  • Kisses: Kisses, hugs, touch, being close to a loved one…. These things help your body to release oxytocin. Oxytocin is the hormone of love, labour and lactation. Beneficial for birth, breastfeeding and bonding!
  • You: Your body, your baby,, your choices, your birth! Make informed choices for you, your family, your birth and your journey into parenthood. This is about YOU!
  • Zzzzz Sleep: Doze off in between contractions. Even easier when you have an epidural…

See my @tinagibbsgb on instagram for more info on each of the suggestions.

If you would like to write your own, here is a free template (see the four designs below)!

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