More important than anything I can show you, your basic needs during birth are these:
Connection to others
Peace, freedom from stress
Now, most of these seem easy: eat, drink, move, sleep... However, the number one question I get asked after sharing these is, 'How do I find peace and break free from stress?' For me, the answer lies in the inner work we are doing. Once we do the inner work, peace comes, stress goes, we gain confidence, and, in turn, our connection with others deepens.
My suggestion when it comes to starting the inner work would be to reflect on this:
What are the stories you tell yourself each day? Are they stories you have made up or stories that have been passed down (especially regarding birth)?
In the book 'Childbirth Without Fear,' they speak of how mothers who have less fear around their birth have easier births. Of course, some fear is natural, especially for first-time births, but I'm talking about the fear that doesn't serve us, the fear that weighs us down day after day. Once you've identified your fears, rewrite an empowering story!
Most women are looking for a manual that tells them exactly what birth will be like, how it will feel, how long it will last, how many contractions they will have, and how to cope with the pain. I'll say this: no one can answer these questions. Every birth is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to labour. But if you start with the basics I mentioned above, you're off to a great start.
As Pam England says, 'Labour is hard work, it hurts a lot, and you can do it!' Your greatest tool during labour is your confidence that YOU CAN DO IT.
Another question I would ask you is, does your support team share the same values as you? Do they believe in your choices and you? This will make all the difference. You want a team that will show up without fear and encourage you from beginning to end. Remember, you always have the right to ask for more or less support.
Now, you have some ideas on how to prepare for labour leading up to it, but what will support you best on the day of? Everyone is different in what they need but I believe you'll definitely be able to find some support in the following suggestions:
Distractions (movies, music, dancing)
Effleurage (light stroking)
Deep breathing (in through the nose, out through the mouth)
Avoid bearing down(breathe your baby down)
Avoid holding your breath
OM on the exhale
Deep sounds from your belly
Relax your jaw
Warm cloth with geranium on perineum when baby is coming
Firm pressure(squeezing of the hips)
Attention focusing / mental activity
Chant, mantra, song, prayer
Visual focal point
Music, voice, touch, smell
Body Positions/ Movement
Hands and knees
Squat position/supported squat
Hot packs/cold packs
On lower abdomen
Specific backache measures
Double hip squeeze
Hands and knees
Open knee chest
Shower or Bath
Help from birth partner
Suggestions/ verbal reminders
Immediate response to contractions/surges/waves
Take charge routine
Expressions of love
Please let me know if you have any other questions or comments on other ways I can support you throughout this beautiful rite of passage and many blessings on the birth of your baby to come <3