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tips for a positive birth experience

Expert Midwife Shares: 4 Top Tips for a Positive Birth Experience

Hi, I’m Helen – a mum of three, a midwife and researcher, and my big passion is birth/perinatal trauma. Birth/perinatal trauma is something that unfortunately impacts so many of us, and I could write a squillion blog posts about it, but I’d rather spend energy on promoting better things – like how to work towards a positive birth experience – so here are my best tips for this:

Continuity of care

Continuity of care means some or all of your maternity care is provided by a clinician who is known to you. Research shows this type of care has the best outcomes for mothers and babies. Having a known person care for you means they can help advocate for you in your journey and also means that your care preferences are known and respected ahead of time (without having to establish this with each new clinician that might care for you in a fragmented care model).

Advocate for your needs

Maternity care is not a one size fits all approach. Only you can determine what a positive, safe birthing experience means to you, and thus you can decide what elements of the birth process are essential for a positive birth. Once you know these elements, you can advocate for them as part of your care needs.

Prepare/educate and have a game plan for predictable situations

Research consistently shows that preparing and educating yourself (and your birth partner) for birth contributes to birth outcomes – and part of this involves consideration of what might happen if unexpected situations arise during the birthing process. Discussing and having a plan for these situations can help retain a sense of control if they occur, though thankfully they don’t always! 

Prioritise you

It’s all too common that we minimise or dismiss things that are bothering or impacting us, or prioritise others before ourselves – how many mums have eaten the crusts of their kids’ sandwiches because they were too busy or preoccupied or time poor to fix themselves their own snack?! I know I'm guilty of this, but it does no one any favours. We are at a critical and impactful time of our lives when we are growing birthing and nourishing tiny humans. But we also should value ourselves! Those reasons alone are substantial reasons to put ourselves as #1 in looking after ourselves; by that I mean 

  • Keep yourself well hydrated, well nourished, rested. The Franjos Kitchen Motherhood Hydration Powders go a long way in my daily hydration needs, they’re also delicious and enjoyable to drink. During late pregnancy you can start to snack on the Tanker Topper cookies as a nourishing snack to support you and prepare for your breastfeeding journey, if this is what you choose. 
  • Gentle use of our bodies and minds
  • Take opportunities to reduce your mental load where possible 
  • Outsource what you can and say yes to things that make you feel good and bring small even just small moments of peace and calm. 

I hope these tips and explanations are helpful. If you’d like to know more or ask questions, come and find me on Instagram @reallifemidwife ~

Helen 
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