Whether you’re going for a natural birth of having a C-section, it is important that you are relaxed in labour. If you’re relaxed, labour will progress faster and more positively and your baby will benefit hugely from a relaxing entrance into the world – working as a team with his or her mum. It is entirely logical.
Hypnobirthing works on the basis that you are a team throughout labour: you, your birth partner and your baby. In hypnobirthing classes you’re taught a range of coping techniques to enable you and your body to work in harmony meaning that labour is much more efficient and comfortable than it would be if you are fighting against it.
It’s your birth partner’s job to remind you of these relaxation techniques though! If you’re not feeling relaxed, you can blame them…
Here are some top tips for your birth partner:
RELAX YOUR JAW
Just like we mimic people when they are yawning- we tend to mimic obvious body language. Relaxing your jaw will remind the mum to relax her jaw which in turn helps to relax all the muscles around the pelvic area.
SURGES, NOT CONTRACTIONS
Don’t use the word contraction. There are a few words we ban during labour and this is one. Contraction makes you tense – the exact opposite to what you are trying to achieve in labour. Go with the word surge.
MAKE HER LAUGH
Its almost impossible to be tense when you are laughing. Save your best jokes for labour (failing that rely on Michael McIntyre)
OFFER A MASSAGE
Sorry! It’s not just feet up time for you. Start with light touch massage (a technique taught in hypnobirthing classes) and when the surges are stronger- a more deep pressured massage. Usually the base of the spine.
KEEP HER HYDRATED
Not drinking enough can significantly slow down labour. She should be drinking at least hourly and if she can’t face water think of any fluid she might like- coconut water with a straw!
ENCOURAGE HER TO PEE
Linked to the point above – a full bladder can slow down labour. Remind her to go to the loo. Most hypnobirth mums are in a deep state of relaxation so are often not aware of time passing. It’s your job to keep reminding her!
Bring up the baby names again. Take her mind of what is happening and keep her occupied with positive happy thoughts
REMIND HER TO REST
Hypnobirthing teaches a special technique to help a labouring mother (both through the first stage of labour and a different technique for the second stage). Whichever stage the labouring mum is at- always remind her to rest between surges. Go back to normal breathing between surges.
HAVE PLENTY OF FUEL READY
Labour should be treated like a marathon. Keep her fuelled. Think nutritious snacks. Even if she is feeling sick- its important not to run out of steam, especially in the final stages of labour. Advance plan the type of snacks she might like – especially as labour tends to be in the night when not many shops are open
GET OUT THE POM POMS
You’re the cheerleader. Sense her mood… there will be times when she won’t want you getting out your pom poms but when you feel she needs encouragement, tell her how well she’s doing. Each surge is bringing her closer to her baby. Once that surge is over- it is done!