Words by Sophie
Your birthing body is wonderful, you are growing a new human who will think, feel, learn and one day grow new humans of their own. We forget in amongst all the worries, medical checks and preparation how truly AMAZING this is! You are incredible, powerful, awesome and nature has given your body some fantastic tools. These are there to help you birth your baby calmly and gently and to carry on growing your baby outside of your body. Here are ten amazing facts about your birthing body.
1. Your nipples change colour!
This darkening of your areola happens slowly throughout your pregnancy and although seems pointless it is not. It is in preparation for when your baby is born and ready to feed. A new born baby sees in black and white and therefore the darker colour will act like a target for baby to see!
2. Your body grows a new muscle, the Fundus, for every baby you will ever birth!
This amazing muscle grows above baby at the top of your womb. This is in fact the true purpose of your contractions. Each contraction pushes cervical muscle up above baby and builds up this incredible muscle which when ready helps to eject your baby!
3. Your bones soften!
Your body releases the hormone Relaxin which allows your ligaments to relax and shift around more to create more room for baby to be born. This happens towards the end of pregnancy and is why you are told to be more careful when exerting yourself. Your body is getting ready to birth your baby and so is much more stretchy and mobile because of this increase in hormone.
4. You grow a brand new organ!
Your placenta is an amazing organ that is attached to the lining of your womb. It is that life force of your unborn baby. It provides a link between you and your baby as well as keeping your baby’s blood supply separate from your own blood supply to protect your new baby from infection. This link between you and your baby allows your body to carry out the bodily functions that your unborn baby can't perform for itself yet; supplying nutrition, filtering harmful substances, giving the baby oxygen and taking waste.
5. You produce more blood!
Your total volume of blood is 50% higher when you are pregnant and the amount of blood pumped around your body increases by 40%. This is also why you may have the ‘pregnancy glow’. The extra blood is sent to the muscles needed to grow and birth your baby; your uterus and organs like your kidneys this results in more oil being made by your oil glands and so results in the famous pregnancy glow.
6. Your sense of smell is stronger!
This could seem quite unfair when you are in the throes of sickness but actual is a survival mechanism. Your body is on the watch for possible toxins and things that could harm your baby. The heightened smell makes you far more sensitive to toxins and therefore you can protect your baby. Your body is a wonderful thing!
7. Your digestion slows down!
The hormone Progesterone is created in larger quantities in pregnancy and this causes your digestion to slow down so that your body can have more time to absorb the nutrients to pass as much as it can to your growing baby!
8.Your blood clots a lot faster!
Your blood will clot more effectively when you are pregnant which is another amazing survival mechanism. This is so you would not bleed too much when your placenta is delivered and if you were harmed at all while carrying your growing baby. Again your body showing how awesome it is!
9. Your nesting instincts kick in!
Many pregnant women experience this. The urge to clean, clear out or get the house decorated in the way you want is actually your body preparing to birth. Your instincts are helping you to create a safe space to birth your baby.
Humans are the only species who create nests to birth in and the leave it. This is a benefit of birthing your baby at home, you are in your safe space. However, if you are aware of this need to create a nest you can also work out ways of transferring this to a MLU or the hospital.
10. Your body will slow or halt labour until you are safe!
Your mind has a powerful effect on your body and this comes into play when you are birthing your baby. The same survival mechanism that urges us to create our nest can slow or halt labour if we feel we are in a dangerous or stressful situation.
We need to feel safe, unobserved and relaxed for our birthing muscles to work well to birth baby. This is the reason why a stressful drive to hospital can slow or stop labour. It is important to remember this as this can be mistaken for our body being unable to birth and when unnecessary intervention is then used. We can take each step of labour slowly and bear in mind that we need our birthing environment calm and quiet. Your birth preparation is key for this, along with practising relaxation techniques that can be used to help regain calm if it is lost.
Our Hypnobirthing courses teach you these relaxation techniques along with how your body works in labour. During the course, you and your birth partner will learn
- To birth confidently & without fear
- How to use hypnosis in birth (hint - it’s not as hippy dippy as you might think!)
- How to use relaxation & breathing techniques
- How your birthing body works
- To successfully breastfeed, plus much, much more
By knowing how your birthing body works, you can then work with your body to make sure you have the best birth for you. If you are interested in learning more, please visit our website www.kenthypnobirthing.com or email us firstname.lastname@example.org