Quote from A Labour of Love II- empowering through knowledge to create the birth you want and desire
‘Many men today welcome the role of being the primary birth support to their wife or partner, throwing themselves enthusiastically into reading books and learning through attending childbirth educational classes to gain this knowledge and learn as much as they can about birth. However with this increase in participation comes a lot of pressure, responsibility and expectations and for some feel totally overwhelmed and under-qualified for the role. What a wonderful thing it is when a man can be completely honest with his wife and say “Honey I think we had better hire a doula, as I don’t feel I can provide you with what you are wanting from me with just my support’. This is when a (professional birth attendant) doula is hired.
If your partner is nervous about your imminent labour and birth experience reassure him he is not alone and that many men actually feel this way.
Here are some points to consider to assist both of you to feel more confident:
- Sit down and right up your labour wants and needs list together and discuss every aspect of your labour
- Define what you would like your partner to do for you during labour i.e massaging your lower back, giving you water, running the shower and bath etc
- Talk openly about how you are both feeling about your imminent journey
- If your partner is not feeling confident or you are feeling that you are not going to be supported in the best way possible discuss having another person there for you. If family is not an option a doula might be a good idea!
The PAIN associated with labour is:-
Purposeful Anticipated Intermittent Normal
Being in labour is the only time in your life when you will experience PAIN that has a POSITIVE INTENT with a POSITIVE OUTCOME well other than having your legs waxed or having IPL Brazilian session! Ouch!
Interesting concept isn’t it?
I love to use the PAIN acronym to explain just how the pain has a purpose, this way of thinking and referral to pain can very much change your attitude and thinking of what the contractions sensations and intensity are about. After all the attitude you have about pain will influence how much pain you have without a doubt.
‘If you don’t believe you will feel much pain in labour and know you are strong and ready for the intensity being bearable and doable – it will be’”
Optimal Foetal Positioning Makes a Labour of Difference!
Any of my aqua-specific class participants will tell you what a stickler I have become for getting women to acknowledge where their baby is positioned inside their body and just what they can do to from thirty weeks on to assist their baby into a favourable position for birth. This acknowledgement and push came after reading Understanding and Teaching Optimal Foetal Positioning by Jean Sutton and Pauline Scott who live and work in New Zealand. They suggest due to our Westernised/sedentary lifestyles, women are no longer leaning forward at all throughout their day due to not having to perform tasks and skills of manual labour around the house, like chopping wood or scrubbing the floors. The cause and effect being we are witnessing more and more babies being in a posterior position or OP (Occipito Posterior) as it is technically referred to, where the baby’s spine is to the mother’s spine and back of the pelvis.
Jean and Pauline, like myself, believe it is of utmost importance to get a baby into the optimal foetal position as early on in the pregnancy as thirty weeks, for this is when a baby is starting to rotate around and is settling into the pelvis in readiness to be born.
Having run aquatic and fitball pregnancy specific classes for many years, optimal foetal positioning was something I was always aware of and it was always at the back of my mind, however until I read Understanding and Teaching Optimal Foetal Positioning, I did not consciously tune into just how important optimal foetal positioning is in relation to birthing outcomes. That wake up call came to me about five years ago when I was noticing so many women coming to me with posterior positioned babies who would literally endure these long hard drawn out labours as their uterine muscles tried to either rotate their baby to the anterior position whilst in labour, or they birthed their baby in a posterior position.
It is for this very reason that I now encourage women to do some fundamental activities from thirty weeks through to the baby’s birth day once they know they have a baby head down. The three things I get women to do are what I call:
Tummy time (30 to 40 plus weeks)
Ball time (when head is down in pelvis any time from 30 weeks onwards)