Maintaining calm in the labour ward

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Obviously not in any pain at all…

I’ve been watching more One Born Every Minute. I love YouTube! I’ve just started Season 3, and with each new episode I get weepier. Usually when the new Dad cries. Then I bawl. However, what I’ve been noticing with each story is the mindset of the women in labour.

Let me preface this with a great big “I KNOW”: regardless of how you think you’ll be when giving birth, you have no idea until you’re in it. I know. But I think the level of calm plays an enormous role, not only in the actual birth, but in the lead up and in the general demeanour of the room.

Watching these women, for some of them the fear just kicks in from the first contraction. Whether it’s the unknown, or just the level of pain, the women who are panicking at the start seem to be far more likely to be those who are having a rough time for the delivery. Now I’m not necessary talking about any of the specific trends: hypnobirhing, affirmations or any of that. The women who cope the best are the calm ones. They maintain focus, concentrate on their breathing, and have a great support person with them, whether it be their partner or family member. Some of the men are just fantastic. While the man in the delivery room is often described as feeling hopeless or disconnected, those who become their partner’s personal coach/cheer squad seem to be the ones who are right in the thick of it, and play a vital part in the mother’s wellbeing and ability to get through the pain.

I’m hoping that I am able to emulate the calm women I’ve watched, allow myself to follow my body’s messages and let my instinct take over, without getting too stressed about things being out of my control. Having a birth plan is obviously a good idea to describe the ideal scenario, but also being realistic about the fact that things may not go to plan is also important to remember. This all sounds quite preachy and all knowing, however I’m hoping I return to this post in 10 or so months to remind myself of my infinite wisdom (read: ideas gleaned from watching reality TV).

In the meantime, I’m going to watch more One Born, and adjust my level of hand-over-mouth and sinking under the covers according to the volume of their shrieks.

Jane xx

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