The highlight of this class was Hubby asking “why doesn’t everyone do this course as it makes so much sense?!!” He is so right, I really feel for the mums who have been told they are “high risk” and that they would be better off going straight for an epidural rather than suffering! It sets the whole process up to have a high chance of medical intervention from the beginning. I wonder how many mums could have had a less medicalised birth if they had been empowered to believe they could do it from the beginning? With knowledge of the options available should the need arise but a general overpowering belief instilled that their birth could be calm and relaxed with them in control.
The biggest thing I’m getting from the course is the belief in myself to make informed choices that suit and support my birth as it unfolds.
This week the focus was on active birth and techniques to help with relaxation and pain during surges…
- Rebozo: a Mexican scarf technique. The scarf can be used in a range of ways to support and rock the bump. It’s very relaxing and the only problem is that you won’t want your birth partner to stop!
- Jiggling or “shaking the apples”: a rhythmic rocking of the hips and bum… um… this one comes with a warning… it is highly likely to get Hubby aroused!!! Basically he places his hands on your rump (with you on all fours) and shakes your hips. Omg it feels so good! The only time this hasn’t felt good is when baby had their feet up under my ribs – ekk!
- Light touch massage: we were shown a range of motion paths for light touch massage. These seem to work best when paired with my breathing, especially useful to help me breathe slower and calmer. I do keep having to remind Hubby to go slower though so we probably need to practice this one.
- Spiky balls: OMG! Gotta get me some of these! A set of three different sized fairly hard spiky balls… who would have thought that these would be so good. They work well on the fleshy sore bits (yeah… my bum), tailbone and also going across the back from side to side. They have a sort of nerve pinging TENS machine affect. Also good on pre-cramping calves but not so much afterwards. The person doing the massage could do with some gloves though otherwise their hands go a bit numb! Actually oven gloves work quite well!
A gym ball is a very useful tool to help get into comfortable but active positions. I need a 75cm one as I’m 5’8″, a bigger ball can always be let down a little if needed. Basically you need your knees below the level of your hips. I’ve got mine up and in use already. It helps with sitting at computers and is an easy modification for the workplace. Just don’t bounce up and down all the time or your colleagues will complain that you are making them feel seasick! I do tend to throw a blanket over mine otherwise you do tend to end up a little… ahem… sweaty down there!
It was so good to try out all of the techniques in a class as the midwives came around and helped us with positioning and making them as effective as possible.
Lots to try out and practice this week… and relax!!!