Your Labour Sounds -Are they helping or hindering?

Photo credit: Bloom Birth Photography

Photo credit: Bloom Birth Photography

Watch any film or TV show that features a birth and you are almost guaranteed a scene in which the birthing Mama is screaming at the top of her lungs... 

Unfortunately these scenes often feed into the perception that birth is scary; a terrifying medical event that is to be feared. In reality, birth is a life event that is wonderfully exciting! The sounds you choose to make in labour will often be a reflection of whether you perceive birth as something to be feared or something to embrace. And those sounds will either help or hinder the progress of your labour! Different sounds use different parts of your lungs, and tell your brain different messages. The bottom line is that in order for your body to release this beautiful baby, it needs to feel safe. So let's have a closer look at your options:

Literally 'screaming at the top of your lungs' 

  • High pitched sounds
  • Uses upper chest, shallow breathing
  • Activates your fight/flight system
  • Slows the progress of labour
  • Wastes energy

Uninhibited labour sounds

  • Low pitched, deep, 'moo' like sounds
  • Uses diaphragmatic breathing
  • Activates your calm and connection system
  • Speeds up the progress of labour
  • Conserves energy

The good news is that you have a choice. Even if you don't go into birth feeling fearless, choose to tell your brain otherwise! Activate your calm and connection system through long, deep, calming noises. Share this information with your partner or birth support so that they can help remind you if find you loose your way a little during labour. Practice low noises and diaphragmatic breathing before your baby's birth-day so you feel more comfortable using these skills on the day. And most importantly TRUST yourself. Deep, low sounds are the noises that most birthing mothers will make if they feel private, safe and unobserved during labour. So if you feel those sounds coming, dive deeper and trust your body knows exactly how to birth your baby. 

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3 Essential Things Every Birth Support Person Should Know

Photo credit: Bloom Birth Photography

Photo credit: Bloom Birth Photography

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Let’s be brutally honest. There are two types of birth support people. Ones that help, and ones that hinder. Unfortunately it’s not always easy to know whether the person Mama’s chosen to be with her during labour and birth is a help or a hinderer until labour starts! Just in case Mama’s got a closest hinderer on her team, here are 3 things she can share with her birth team ahead of time that will greatly enhance her labour and birth experience.

One: A support person’s belief in the Mama is CRUCIAL

No matter whether Mama is planning on having her hubby, Mum, bestie or someone else with her during baby’s arrival, what they think in their head and their heart deeply matters. This is because labour has little to do with the physical process and everything to do with the emotional and spiritual. If a birth team secretly doubts Mama’s ability to birth her baby, it’s more than likely that she just won’t. Can you imagine running a long distance race thinking how well you are doing, only to find well meaning friends and family at every km saying “You look tired, why don’t you just walk for a while?” “You won’t get a medal for finishing” etc. Discouraging huh?!
Support people, make sure you communicate your belief in Mama in every word, every touch, every look. When labour intensifies it can be as simple as saying “I truly believe in your ability to birth this baby”, or looking into her eyes with a calm, trusting smile.

Two: Silence

One of the roles of the birth team is to hold the space. So support people, make sure your phone is turned off and you are not constantly sending updates to people. If you feel something needs to be said, consider if it’s necessary, and with how few words you can say it. E.g. Instead of saying “Would you like a drink of water?” just hold up the cup and straw and say “Water?” Avoid the temptation to make small talk with the midwife, or chat amongst yourselves. There will be plenty of time to catch up after baby arrives. Quietness during labour helps to close off the analytical part of Mama’s brain, meaning her primal brain (the part of her that instinctively knows how to birth her baby) can be running at its full ability.

Three: Self Care

During labour a Mama’s sense of smell is heightened, much like during the first trimester nausea phase. A spray of smelly deodourant can feel overwhelming to a labouring Mama. She’ll be able to pick up anyone’s secret smoking habit. She’ll know if you had coffee 2hrs ago. So be thoughtful ahead of time. Whilst Mama will have a bag or a box packed full of her birth supplies, support people will need this too. At a bare minimum pack a toothbrush and toothpaste, water, and a change of top in case labour takes some time. I’d also encourage you to pack lots of healthy, energy giving snacks (to give you endurance), something to do e.g. a magazine (if Mama needs some alone time this will stop you looking like you are observing her), and to take a wee break every couple of hours during labour so you can keep giving Mama your best.

Being a kind and thoughtful birth support person helps Mama have a more positive birth experience!

WORLD CLASS ANTENATAL SESSIONS IN NEW ZEALAND

BloomBirthPhotography(36)

Attending a group antenatal class over many weeks is difficult for a lot of New Zealand parents to be. These classes are often not tailored to suit working parents to be with busy schedules, those who are expecting another baby, single mums, high profile New Zealanders, immigrants, or those with transport issues. That's why The Birthing Room Private Antenatal Sessions are tailored to offer more than your regular antenatal course.

We offer:

  • Individualised sessions that can be done in the comfort of your own home, at our North Canterbury base, or via Skype/Google Hangouts.
  • The opportunity to do Private Antenatal Sessions on your own, as a couple, or with your whānau (family). This means that whoever you are choosing to support you during your birth and afterwards can attend with you so you share the same knowledge.
  • The choice of topics ranging from conception to care of baby. Specific topics for your situation can also be chosen, such as multiple birth or pregnancy diabetes. This ensures you are only covering the topics which are relevant to you.

To find out more click here

To book your Private Antenatal Sessions with The Birthing Room contact us here

New Zealand Childbirth Educators Needed!

New Zealand Antenatal Classes

New Zealand Antenatal Classes

Empowered birth: Does this light a fire of passion in you? The Birthing Room is looking for new Childbirth Educators to join their team. Could this be you?? Whether you are already a CBE or midwife, or just someone who loves to see families have positive birth experiences, there is a pathway for you to come and join our awesome team!

The first step is to gain a BirthWorks International certification in Childbirth Education, or join their Accelerated Doula and Childbirth Educator programme. BirthWorks International will be holding their annual workshops in New Zealand in June 2016, both in the South and North Islands. This is a fantastic opportunity to up skill to a BirthWorks qualification or to begin a new career as a Childbirth Educator. These 3-4 day workshops are life transforming, both professionally and personally, and are a prerequisite to facilitating The Birthing Room Antenatal Classes. Both BirthWorks programmes are able to be started at any time, and are mostly a long distance packages, seeing you well on the way through your qualification before the workshops in June.

To find out more about becoming a BirthWorks Childbirth Educator check out BirthWorks International or Contact Us

New Childbirth Book!

Wow, this is amazing! Check out this preview chapter of "Bump: how to make, grow & birth a baby". With gorgeous illustrations, the book sings of Dr Sarah Buckley, which is no surprise when you see the references. Wonderful to see science in pictures. This cartoon chapter is way better, more accurate & more inspiring than most births you'd ever see on t.v! What do you think? The Flood of Love

The Birthing Room Doco & Discussion Evening

Do you believe every woman has the right to choose how, where & with whom she gives birth? Join The Birthing Room for an empowering evening where we’ll watch the doco “The Face of Birth” & discuss the rights of birthing women.

Cost: Donation
-All proceeds will go towards stopping the human trafficking of our fellow women & daughters -our sisterhood!
See this site for more information:
http://thecoloursisterhood.com/project/a-safe-road-home-0

Places are limited. To obtain a ticket email info@thebirthingroom.co.nz
Location: South-West Christchurch

Off to Auckland I go…

Was my privilege to attend Dr Sarah Buckley’s Undisturbed Birth Conference in Auckland on Friday. The key point: A birthing woman should feel “PRIVATE” “SAFE” AND “UNOBSERVED”. Fantastic to learn all about the role of the birth hormone cocktail and the impact these have on labour, birth & postpartum. Looking forward to incorporating this knowledge into The Birthing Room’s antenatal classes & workshops, so you are brought the latest evidence-based research. Was up from 3am until midnight, but hey, I think you are worth the effort! sarah buckley conference1

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Pregnant? Want to develop more trust & faith in your body’s ability to give birth?

The last registrations are available for the April BirthWorks Antenatal Workshop now! A condensed version of The Birthing Room BirthWorks Antenatal Course, tailored to suit your individual needs. Key topics include optimal foetal positioning, comfort measures in birth, informed decision making about medical intervention & obstetrical drugs, and much more!

Click here for more information: http://thebirthingroom.co.nz/events/2014-04-12/

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