Exercises for labour preparation is kind of known and kind of not known. Childbirth preparation classes give you heaps of information about making choices … so in some sense ‘exercises for labour preparation’ are covered. In other words, you ‘exercise’ your brain to make choices.
But really exercises aren’t about thinking, they are about doing. Rarely do childbirth education classes offer many skills to prepare your body for birth or skills to work through the activity of birthing your baby.
In fact, words like education, preparation, information, skills, knowledge, choice, exercises and plans are all lumped up together as though they are interchangeable.
Exercises for labour preparation should be all about knowing your pregnant body for birth and how to help your baby be born.
Childbirth is such an interesting experience.
- Giving birth is dynamic. Going through labour can be very painful.
- Giving birth is an infrequent activity in anyone’s life.
- There are now several ways to give birth.
- A woman can labour and then have a vaginal birth.
- A pregnant woman can labour and have a surgical cesarean
- A woman can have a non-laboring c-section.
Whichever way you birth your baby, it’s a day you’ll never forget and an activity YOU and only you absolutely must do just as you and only you have been pregnant.
What are some exercises to prepare for labor
First, there have to be exercises to prepare your body for labour.
Second there have to be ways to prepare for labour pains.
This means there are two parts:
Prior to modern maternity care and in many cultures today there are two elements of labour … health issues for the mother and/or baby and pain issues when a woman doesn’t cope with the natural occurring pain associated with labor contractions.
In reality there are three issues:
- Health issues of mother and/or baby
- Delay of labour or delivery that results in increased medical interventions
- Not coping with the natural occurring pain and using medical pain relief that often leads to more medical interventions.
Unfortunately, those three issues are often all treated as ‘problems’ when in fact only the first has potential ‘problems’ that risk the mother or baby.
Two and three absolutely highlight the lack of preparation for labour! Bold statement but honestly true. But what do we associate pain with? Death, injury, illness or a ‘problem’. We can’t imagine that pain is not a problem. We find ourselves asking: ‘How can anything that’s painful not be a problem?’ And many women will tell you when they are experiencing really painful contractions that they ‘think I’m going to die’. That’s a pretty strong statement.
Nothing is more frustrating than having your Obstetrician, staff or midwife tell you that the pain is natural! That means pain is not a problem and you can prepare for that pain by doing all the Birthing Better exercises designed for labour preparation!
Most pregnant women and fathers-to-be are NOT seeking exercises for labour preparation! They are all looking to make a Birth Plan full of ‘what I want and don’t want’.
You are actually looking for ways to prepare your body for labour as well as mentally preparing for labour pains. This means you need to create a skilled-based Birth Plan
No skills = no preparation for labour pains
What’s so very interesting is that labour pains can be quite manageable when a woman has the skills to cope, handle, deal with, work through, stay on top of and in control of her responses to the wave of each contraction. To solidly gain that control you have to do the above body preparation for labour pains.
Women who thought they would die in their first labour from labour pains realise they needed to relax more, accept the wave, breathe better. When they do those things in their next labour they find the pain still intense and more manageable.
What Birthing Better families discovered very early on was just learning birth skills was not enough. You have to prepare your pregnant body first.
What causes labour pains?
Gosh … we have two eBooks in our courses that explain:
Labour pains are a physical function of the 4 types of Tension excerpt
Everything comes back to:
- prepare your body for labour
- learn birth and birth-coaching skills
You can DO THIS! And should!
Differentiate problem from pain
You have to find out if there is really a problem when you experience pain in labour. Remember labour pains are part of the natural occurring part of giving birth. Labour is hard work because it’s painful.
Ask your birth professional these two questions:
- When my birthing partner experiences increased pain does this mean a ‘problem’ is happening?
- Are there any medical ‘problems’ that cause the really bad pain my birthing partner experiences during contractions?
Once you learn that the ‘pain’ in labour is productive (the birthing process) and is not connected to medical problems then you can feel calmer. What helps significantly is if you and your partner have taken the time to become skilled.
Skilled families do not often confuse the natural occurring pain with a problem. They expect the pain and work together to handle it. When there is a problem they continue to use their skills to work through their birth as it is unfolding.
Your task is to use your birth-coaching skills to help your birthing partner cope, manage, work with and deal with the natural occurring pain while giving birth whether there is a problem or not.
We have the skills and want to share them with you
All the skills in Birthing Better online birth class were developed equally by fathers and mothers. They did not want to get caught out or overwhelmed by the birth of their baby.
If you are serious about doing exercises to prepare for labour, Birthing Better is by far the best, most extensive resource on the market besides the ONLY one developed entirely by ordinary fathers and mothers. We have your back!
Birthing Better online birth classes are housed in Common Knowledge Trust.