Right now, in this moment, in your body and your mind, you already have every tool, skill and resource you need to birth your baby calmly and with confidence. BirthSkills simply shows you how to access and apply these natural abilities to childbirth.
The breathing techniques and visualisation got us through 30 hours of contractions! Our baby through this whole time was fine, his heart rate was strong and did not waver.
According to English Childbirth Educator Sheila Kitzinger, ninety percent of childbirth is determined by what is going on in the head. Having a clear and focused mind provides you with a greater chance of managing a positive labour. If you view the pain as productive and with a purpose, your body and mind will be more dynamic in its response.
More and more childbirth educators are teaching relaxation, breathing and meditation techniques. The effectiveness of these techniques has been shown to improve outcomes for women, for example, by minimising muscle fatigue, conserving energy ready for second stage, improving quality of communication between the labouring woman and her care providers, and creating a safer in-utero environment for babies (Tuschhoff, 2003). In contrast to the rational, clinical model of pregnancy and childbirth that often induces fear in pregnant women, practitioners of mind/body medicine use intuitive techniques to help women reconnect with their pregnant bodies. Empowering a woman during pregnancy and labour is a very important aspect of using mind/body techniques for birth. Switching on the more creative right brain functions puts a woman in touch with her baby and the resources that she already has within her to approach the birthing process with confidence. Birthing is not a left-brain function, however most of us have been brought up in left-brain environments with a high degree of emphasis placed on the rational, logical and critical with the added effect of suppressed emotional responses, a perspective that is further accentuated by western obstetrics. Many women need help accessing and feeling comfortable in using right-brain processes in pregnancy and birth. The following pages provide information on some of the more effective mind/body techniques, the evidence supporting their use and application in childbirth education.