Why staying calm during pregnancy
can improve your birth experience...
Being pregnant isn’t the only reason to put your feet up…
Let’s talk about the rollercoaster of emotions, aches, and discomforts that come along with pregnancy. Pregnancy affects us all in different ways but remember, your body is going through so many changes and so it is so important to make time to relax both physically and mentally.
Staying relaxed during pregnancy isn’t just a luxury; it’s a damn necessity. Your body and your baby will thank you for it. Plus, your brain is a total sucker for associating certain activities with relaxation which could help you during labour. Let us explain…
The Nitty-Gritty: Birth Hormones and Relaxation
When you’re relaxed, your body releases all the good stuff – oxytocin, endorphins, and melatonin. Here’s how they help:
- Oxytocin – The Love Hormone: This bad boy helps your uterus contract during labour and promotes bonding between you and your baby. It’s like your body’s built-in labour cheerleader but it is really shy so will only come out when it is feeling safe, loved, undisturbed and calm.
- Endorphins – The Happy Pills: Endorphins are your body’s natural painkillers. The production of this amazing hormone is increased when you release more oxytocin.
- Melatonin – The Sleepy Time Hormone: Melatonin is the body’s sleep hormone. It helps you catch some much-needed shut-eye during pregnancy and labour, so you’re well-rested and ready to rock. It also likes darkness, privacy and calm spaces.
There are many relaxation techniques which you can use during pregnancy. These should be practiced regularly and then when you do that same activity during labour, your brain will associate it with relaxing….and so the production of the birth hormones, is enhanced.
Relaxation Techniques for Pregnancy and Labour
- Deep Breathing: Take slow, deep breaths. Breathe in for a count of four, and exhale for eight. Picture yourself on a peaceful beach, waves gently lapping at the shore.
- Yoga and Meditation: Find your zen with some gentle yoga or meditation. It will stretch your body and calm your mind, plus your brain will start associating these activities with relaxation.
- Warm Baths: A warm bath can work wonders at relaxing the body. Add some soothing essential oils like lavender, and you’re in relaxation heaven.
- Positive Visualisation: Imagine a serene, peaceful birthing experience where you feel safe and happy. Practise this throughout pregnancy and then when labour hits, your brain will go, “Oh yeah, we’re cool with this.”
- Massage: Get your partner involved! A gentle massage can work wonders on those pregnancy aches and help you relax. It will also help you to build oxytocin receptors ready for labour.
- Music: Create a calming playlist or listen to hypnobirthing/meditation tracks. When labour comes, put them on and have your brain associate them with chill and relaxation and let the good vibes flow.
- Affirmations: Practice listening to affirmations every day. This will form new, positive pathways in your brain confirming that you can do it!
So, take a deep breath, and remember – relaxation is your secret weapon. You’ve got this! 💪🧘♀️🌟