It is common to feel overwhelmed with emotions during your pregnancy, the initial excitement can sometimes lead to a sense of fear of the unknown around the impending birth of your baby. Whether the birth experience is a planned caesarean section or a natural labour, which could be with or without induction, and with or without various pain relief options – every experience is entirely different from the next. With so many different paths and choices along the way it is not surprising that many women feel so many mixed emotions.
Read all our labour and childbirth top tips below:
We believe the best way to prepare for childbirth is to empower yourself with knowledge! Learning about the amazing changes your body goes through in pregnancy and the incredible labour process that allows your baby to enter the world is a great first step. It is also helpful to learn about all of the options available to you as well as the detours you may face on the journey to meeting your baby for the first time – this means learning about some of the things that may not be part of your birth plan to ensure you still feel well informed if you do come across some unexpected road bumps along the way.
Talking about the delivery of your baby with your midwife, obstetrician and physiotherapist throughout your pregnancy is a great way to start preparing, and a number of women also speak to a psychologist if they feel overwhelmed or anxious about the birth or the pregnancy itself.
We highly recommend the podcast ‘Australian Birth Stories’ created by Sophie Walker, a mother of three with a passion for pregnancy and childbirth who has undertaken a Masters in Public Health majoring in International Women’s Health. This podcast interviews women from all over Australia about their pregnancy and childbirth experiences and is an excellent way to learn through other peoples experiences– whether that be public or private care, pain relief or natural, emergency or elective caesarean, and everything in between – it is a great way to become more informed.
Other great ways to prepare for childbirth include attending childbirth education courses – most women attend the course run at the hospital they plan to birth at. This is a great way to become familiar with the hospital itself and learn the basics around the labour and birth process. We recommend considering an additional birth education course, particularly if you plan for a vaginal birth. There are two main options for this in South Australia – ‘Hypnobirthing’ and ‘Calmbirth’ which both focus on empowering women through knowledge and informed decision making. Your physiotherapist can discuss further options including other local practitioners, and which method may suit you best.
There are also a number of books that teach active birth skills for labour, one written by a physiotherapist ‘Juju Sundin’s Birth Skills with Sarah Macleod’ has long been a favourite of many antenatal educators.
Your physiotherapist at myPhysioSA for her is a great source of information on all things pregnancy-related, as well as postnatal recovery classes, remember that knowledge is power and please ask away!
We also offer weekly Pregnancy Exercise classes which provide safe exercises during your pregnancy, advice and different education topics each week – as well as a chance to chat with other pregnant women.
by myPhysioSA for her Women’s Health Physiotherapist and Director Kate Phillips.
Kate consults at our O&G clinic in North Adelaide.