I feel so privileged to have a guest blog from Nissa (AKA The Hypnobirthing Midwife) today. Nissa is an amazing lady, a supporter of women and all round beaut of a person. She is the creator of the 'Onestrong Mother' pin and so worth following on Instagram and Facebook for amazing positive birth vibes. She also has exemplary emoji usage! Over to you Nissa!
The position that your baby is in when labour begins, can have a profound effect on your birth experience. You can hypnobirth til the cows come home, but if your baby is in a really tricky position, your birth could potentially be hours or even days longer! And no one needs that!!
Here are my top six tips for getting baby into a better position, for a more comfortable, and perhaps even a shorter birth.
- Keep active and exercising all through pregnancy. Of course I don't mean lifting weights or signing up for your first ever marathon. But regular exercise including yoga, pilates, swimming and walking, all encourage baby to lie at the front of your tummy. This position is called optimal fetal positioning.
- Become aware of the way that you sit and lie. Lounging back on the sofa, encourages baby to lie towards your back. And this 'back to back' position can increase the length of labour significantly, as most babies will turn to the front before descending, adding on those beastly extra hours (or days!). So if you are relaxing on the sofa it's better to lie on your side.
- Get one of those giant birth balls. And sit on it lots! The nature of sitting on a ball means you can't lean back, as you will fall off. And sitting forward gets rid of the space next to your back, pushing your baby forward too. Another way of achieving this position is by taking a kitchen chair and turning it around, or sitting on the toilet back to front.
- During the last few weeks of pregnancy, spend 15- 20 minutes a day on your knees learning over a chair, sofa or birth ball. The yoga position 'childs pose' is also excellent for bringing baby to the front of your body, and these positions are great for birth too.
- Take a good look on www.spinningbabies.com although this website is difficult to navigate, it has brilliant information for getting babies into an optimal position for birth, including those that are breech and transverse.
- I recommend that all of my clients see an experienced osteopath around 34 weeks of pregnancy. A good osteopath can potentially prevent a forceps or even a caesarean birth, so it's well worth investing the £40! They will do a pelvic 'MOT' to check how your ligaments and muscles are aligned and start to work on anything that is wonky or misaligned. This means that when you labour and that amazing muscle of your womb starts to push your baby down, your baby is less likely to descend in an asynclitic manner and get stuck in a tricky position. Which can only be a good thing!
How many of my top tips are you already doing? And are there some that I haven't mentioned? I'd love to hear them!
Nissa is a midwife working on the birth centre in a busy central London hospital, a hypnobirthing teacher and mum to one. www.thehypnobirthingmidwife.co