5 practises you can do to prepare yourself for birth

Don’t be like me when I was pregnant with my first. Don’t pretend birth isn’t going to happen – prepare yourself for birth.

I know, birth can feel scary and overwhelming. But there comes a point when you realise that it IS going to happen. There really are only two ways about it. And take it from me, birth is so much better when you’re prepared for it.

These 5 practises are a great place to start. (Scroll to the end of this post if you’d prefer to watch the video.) If you’d like more information and classes to help you practise these skills check out my Online Yoga Circle

5 practises to prepare yourself for birth

Learn to breathe into the belly

Breathing into the belly is an important skill to take into birth. It helps to activate your rest and restore response and helps to manage stress. During birth fear=tension=pain. The more you can relax, the smoother and faster birth is likely to be. In all of my pregnancy yoga classes we practise breathing deeply into the belly.

Practise feeling discomfort

In our modern world we don’t have to feel discomfort very often. When it gets hot, we turn on the air-conditioning. When we feel uncomfortable we buy something to fix the problem. During labour your uterus is going to work really hard to push your baby out. If you’ve never felt discomfort, or practised what it feels like to experience it, you may find yourself getting scared and tensing up.

If you’ve ever been for a run, you have likely felt discomfort in your body from the muscles of your legs working really hard. Your uterus is doing a similar thing during labour. How you react to those sensations though is up to you.

You can practise how it feels to be uncomfortable in your body through holding different yoga poses. This allows us to notice what the mind says when we feel discomfort (does it freak out or can you remain calm) and also lets us practise using the breath to manage difficult sensations.

Get comfortable moving around in your pregnant body

As we head towards birth we become increasingly uncoordinated in our bodies. This limits our movement and means we are doing a lot less physically by the time baby is born.

Practising moving around in your pregnant body is an important way to prepare for birth, because it will help you to feel more inclined to move during labour. Moving around during labour is so important to ensure baby has enough space to move through the pelvis and also as a way to manage the pain of contractions.

Practise making noise

It might feel strange to practise this but making noise during labour can be a really great way to manage feelings of pain and fear. The type of noise that you make is important though. Low, deep, guttural sounds are helpful. The vibrations they create in the body are soothing and help you to focus on your breath. Avoid screaming as this creates tension in the body and is a waste of your precious energy.

We often practise this in a pregnancy yoga class through bee breath or just by making low deep humming sounds.

Practise dropping into relaxation

Birthing a baby is like a marathon. You need to preserve your energy for when you need it the most. In between contractions you’ll get a break from the pain and it is important to use this time to rest and regather your strength. Practise dropping into relaxation prior to birth so that you can drop quickly into a relaxed state once each contraction is over.

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