Pregnancy can feel like it goes on forever. With the average labour time for first-time mums lasting about eight hours. Here at Bump & Mind Retreats, we see childbirth as a marathon; you wouldn’t run the course without training for it first! While it can seem intimidating at first, the right preparation and techniques can help your labour run as smooth as possible while giving your baby a safer delivery. Here is our founder, Tahnee Knowles’, 4 top tips to preparing for childbirth.

Put thought into your birth preferences

Did you know there are a variety of ways to give birth? There’s birthing pools, home births, elected c-sections and much more to explore. It’s important to research all of these methods and find the one that’s best for you. Discuss your chosen delivery method with your partner and midwife and make sure to add it into your birth plan. Making a birth plan is a great way of communicating all your concerns, choices and wishes quickly and effectively; especially when you move to active labour and are unable to have long discussions with your midwife. Remember though, birth is unpredictable. I always suggest to my clients to have a birth preferences list for each possible outcome. Lengthily? maybe, but it won’t only help prepare and educate you and your partner on all the different birth scenarios and choices it will also help your midwifes understand how to best support you in labour. We recommend using a visual brith planner like https://www.birthplanner.me/. Have a read of London Paleo Girl, Tessa’s latest blog. She discusses the importance of being flexible to allow yourself to keep positive even in the event of unpredictability.

Prepare your mind

When it comes to childbirth, you have probably heard all kinds of horror stories from friends and family – because that’s exactly what you need when you’re pregnant! Childbirth can be extremely tiresome and stressful so it may seem hard to imagine yourself coping well during the process. However, for every bad experience, there is a mum with a positive story to tell. In fact, many find it to be an empowering and joyful time. Try to focus on these stories and keep your hands firmly over your ears for the others. The more positive outlook you can have on childbirth, the better the experience will be. The wonderful Hannah of Yoga Girl London has dedicated a blog to positive birth stories – Check it out here .

Prepare your body

It’s not called labour for nothing! Childbirth often requires strength and stamina, so it’s vital to prepare your body for it. Antenatal exercises led by experienced professionals such as pregnancy yoga not only provide a great way to de-stress and ease motherhood worries, but it helps strengthen and stretch your body while offering some breathing techniques to help you stay calm and in control.

Practise relaxation techniques

The most important element of a positive birth is feeling relaxed. After all, if you’re agitated and stressed, your body will tense and make it harder for the baby to be birthed. While it’s natural to feel anxious because the experience is so new to you, pregnancy classes, like hypnobirthing, are essential to keeping you relaxed and happy throughout your childbirth experience. Hypnobirthing focuses on controlling your breathing, meditating and creating a positive mindset, in order to control the new sensations you will feel and ensure your baby copes better during the delivery.

If you’re looking for a way to prepare for birth the run up to your due date, why not try a pregnancy retreat? A pregnancy retreat provides much-needed relaxation for parents-to-be while preparing you for childbirth. At Bump & Mind’s hypnobirthing and wellness retreat, we provide mums-to-be and their birth partners with a Royal College of Midwives accredited hypnobirthing programme and antenatal fitness workshop to help you feel more prepared for childbirth.

For more information on Bump & Mind’s next pregnancy retreat in the Isle of Wight, click here or get in touch with us. We currently have a cancellation space available on our January retreat and 2 spaces left on our March retreat.

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