As a former labour and delivery nurse, doula and Lamaze childbirth educator, I’ve helped hundreds of women give birth. Whether I was there in person, supporting them through labour or teaching them positioning and coping strategies for childbirth, I've impacted a lot of births.
Have a Positive Birth.
You've heard all the advice, I'm sure: Make a birth plan. Don't bother making a birth plan.
Obviously there's nothing guaranteed when it comes to having a baby: anything that takes hours or days to unfold is subject to change. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't do everything possible to prepare!
Finding support, informing yourself and reading about other moms' experiences can all help you decide what kind of birth you want.
Read on to check out 12 ways you can have your best birth possible:
1 Read positive birth affirmations during your pregnancy and believe in your body’s ability to give birth.
You wouldn’t believe how powerful your thoughts actually are! If you tell your brain that you are strong and capable of giving birth, your body will actually start to believe it!
Not sure where to start? Insert your email below
and I'll send you my ten favourite positive birth affirmations for free!
2 Watch The Business of Being Born
It’s an eye-opening documentary about the state of childbirth. It follows a few women as their own births unfold in the hospital and at home. It was created by Ricki Lake.
3 Use visual imagery to envision your perfect birth.
Where are you? Who’s with you? What are you wearing? What music are you listening to? Imagery is used by athletes all the time before big events- you have to see yourself having the EXACT birth that you want.
Seriously. Write it down with very specific details. See yourself handling labour and birth, imagine how happy and excited your birth is going to make you. Close your eyes every single day and envision it. This is just another confidence booster that will convince you how capable your body is of giving birth.
4 Connect with other moms and check in with each other every week by phone, email or text.
If you have friends or family who've had a positive birth, check in with them weekly to chat about how you're feeling. Hearing words of encouragement can go a long way towards putting you in a positive mindset for childbirth.
If you're having troubles finding your village, join our online community and find moms to connect with in your area.
5 Attend a breastfeeding class while you’re pregnant.
Mama, if you’re planning to breastfeed you should take a class while you’re still pregnant. Look, it seems like breastfeeding should be the most natural thing in the world for a mom and baby, right? The truth is that it’s a learned art and starting off with as much information as possible is the quickest way to a successful breastfeeding relationship!
If you can't afford a class, grab my breastfeeding printables to make sure you get your breastfeeding journey started off properly. It covers how to latch your baby, how to hand express and proper breastmilk storage.
6 Learn about cervical dilation and positions in labour.
When I teach birth classes, I always include visual aids for people who need to see something to understand it. It's why I'm always innovating to make products for childbirth educators, too!
If you're interested in learning about stages of labour and positions to help you maintain cervical dilation check out my online mini-course:
It’s easy enough for a nurse to tell you that you’re dilating, but imagine the power you'll have when you learn what to do at each stage to make your birth progress easier!
7 Ask your mother or grandmother about her birth experience.
You may notice that she’ll be able to recall very specific details about the day you were born, so many years ago. That’s the power of birth.
It’s important for you to understand that you will remember specific details too. It’s important to protect your memories by feeling your absolute BEST on your birth day.
8 If you can, hire a doula for your birth.
It’s scientifically proven that moms who use doulas have shorter labours and reduce their chances of having: an epidural, vacuum, forceps or a caesarean!
So many women think they don't need a doula because they're having a caesarean or epidural or a midwife. Get the doula!
9 Learn About Pelvic Floor Dysfunction.
It's not normal to pee a little when you sneeze, even while your'e pregnant! See a pelvic floor physiotherapist before you have your baby so you can prepare your pelvic floor for birth.
10 Let labour begin on its own. Avoid induction if possible.
For the most part, inducing labour means other interventions are necessary (IV fluids, which limit your movement, for instance). The more interventions, the higher your risk of needing forceps, vacuum or a caesarean.
These are part of Lamaze's fundamentals for the safest possible birth. If you're interested in learning how to have an unmedicated hospital birth, click below and let me show you how:
11 Stay home until you’re in active labour.
This is a tough one, especially if it’s your first birth. But a general rule of thumb for active labour is contractions. The truth is, even if you’re planning on an epidural you can’t have one until you’re in active labour.
When your contractions are 3-5 minutes apart and lasting 60-70 seconds, you're considered to be in "active labour".
12 Take a childbirth class, no matter what kind of birth you're having.
Obviously I’m going to suggest this. After all, I’m a childbirth educator! But no matter what kind of birth you're having (vaginal, epidural or c-section) educating yourself about your options is the first step to having a positive birth experience. I believe so strongly in empowering your childbirth experience with education that I've created classes for all kinds of births.
Good luck, Mama. You deserve to have an incredible happy birth!