Giving birth is, at its core, one of the most empowering things you can do as a womb-owner. Lots of people who have been through the experience report a pervading sense that they can “handle anything” after doing so. However, there is also, understandably, widespread anxiety and fear around the process of giving birth, especially for those expecting their first child who are unsure what to expect and are surrounded by fear mongering.
It’s an area that feels largely shrouded in mystery until you become pregnant and even then, with so many variables, it can be hard to really get a handle on how you might feel even as your birth date approaches.
“It’s quite normal for people to be anxious and scared about childbirth I mean, no wonder we spent most of our lives believing, that childbirth is a really scary thing to go through as we are told scary stories,” Emma Armstrong, aka The Naked Doula, an award-winning Birth Influencer, Qualified Hypnobirthing Coach and Educator, tells GLAMOUR UK.
“Our brains have been programmed with all this negativity,” she adds, but she’s a firm believer that the reality is very rarely reminiscent of the nerve-wracking scenes we are subjected to in fiction. With some work around changing your mindset and preparation for a confident, powerful experience, having an empowering birth is possible.
So, we think it’s time to reprogram our birth beliefs – with the help of the wonderful Emma – though before we do, it’s important to acknowledge that it is no failure if you feel you have not had an empowering birth experience before, or if you don’t in the future. We are all doing the best we can.
How to have an empowering birth
We are pushing our baby out completely wrong
“Most of the time we see women giving birth on their back with their legs wide open however this is not the best way to give birth. What the medical professionals fail to realise is this goes against biomechanics of the pelvis which means laying on your back and open your legs wide makes the space in the pelvic outlet smaller which gives the baby less room. When in fact, the best way to birth to your baby is to bring the knees in and the calves out this helps to open up the pelvic outlet making more space for the baby to descend leading to less intervention, less chances of tearing and an easier pushing stage of labour.”
Start on learning and re-learning
“This is where you want to spend your time, really learning about your body and birth, and what is actually happening when you’re having contractions. And I’m not talking about necessarily from your Midwife, actually from online sources which are evidence-based.”
Take the time to protect your energy
“How you feel about birth during your pregnancy can really have an impact on how your birth turns out. So, mute, delete and remove any negativity on your social feeds whether that be friends or family accounts and just things that don’t make you feel good and start filling it up with really happy go-to and positive messages which are going to help you feel good and confident about your impending birth. Read all the best birth stories, watch the videos, and immerse yourself in the world of birth.”
Learn the techniques
“A hypnobirthing course is great for this. There are so many techniques out there from breathing and to using the comb on acupressure points in labour, however, you have to find techniques that work well for you. Once we understand what we can do and what we can utilise during our labour, we feel confident about what we’re doing and how to manage what it feels like there is.