2. Your Safe Place. Create a relaxing, private safe place to go to in your minds-eye, practice going there in your mind. Feel, see, and hear things as if you are actually there. You can go there when you are in labour too as it will help you to focus your mind, relax your body and cope with contractions.
3. Imagine your Birth. Indulge yourself by fantasizing about your perfect birth in great detail from beginning to end. Do this as much as you can in the last few weeks of birth, daily if possible.
4. Be Positive. Focus on what you do want rather than what you do not want, in terms of planning for your birth and in conversations (with others and yourself!). It has been proven that positive self-talk really works. If you say that you can’t then you won’t but if you say that you can and will then you will!
5. Birth Stories. Protect yourself from negative images about birth - when someone jumps in to tell you about their horror story - stop them and ask them to talk about the good bits, or ask them to tell you about it after the birth! Instead, read and listen to as many positive birth stories as possible. You can find some at www.positivebirthmovement.org and www.tellmeagoodbirthstory.com for example, and link up with your local Positive Birth Movement Group.
6. Exercise Practice physical exercise which is beneficial for birth such as squatting, pelvic floor exercises. Get some fresh air, because let’s face it, it is always good to do exercise of any shape or form in nature, even if it’s just a walk! Great for your mind and your body.
7. Yoga. Take up antenatal Yoga, it can be really beneficial to help you prepare for birth, relaxing you mentally and keeping your muscles active. There are some wonderful antenatal yoga classes in Bury St Edmunds so go and check them all out and find the one that works for you.
8. Rest. It’s simple, find a comfy chair, the floor, your bed, close your eye and take some time out. You may want to listen to some relaxing music, do some meditation, mindfulness or listen to hypnobirthing tracks (you can find some here www.betterbirthandbaby.com/downloads). Whatever works for you, just take a rest. Is there a room at work you can use if you aren’t on maternity leave yet? The benefits for you and baby will be immense.
9. Educate Yourself. Knowing about what happens during birth can really help you to feel calmer and more in control about the birth. Book yourself and your birth partner onto an antenatal class. Hypnobirthing will teach you about how to reduce the pain you may feel when having contractions and will teach you and your birth partner skills to keep you calm and relaxed for a positive birth experience. Read more about what hypnobirthing entails here.
10. Fuel up. Eat lots of healthy food and drink loads of water. Both you and your baby will benefit hugely.