So you’re pregnant with your second baby and preparing for labour with your second baby? Lots of questions rolling around in your head. Remembering your last birth, thinking forward to the coming one and …? Happy with your last birth memories? Still confused, delighted and bewildered, hoping for better or as good? Wanting to do things differently? Wish you had known then what you know now? Looking for something but don’t really know what? Wanting your partner to be more involved? Wanting to make other choices but not certain what?
You can no longer claim to be ignorant as you face the labour of your 2nd baby. You’ve given birth one way or another before. You’ve liked the experience, been overwhelmed or possibly hated it. Or you had a wonderful, wonderful birth and expect or hope this second baby labor will go as well. You just wonder. You either feel confident, uncertain or terrified.
Every woman having a second birth wants to do better or as well but we’re all plagued by the same Truth that was active as we faced our first birth … ‘There is no way to know what this birth will be like’. We can’t get around this Truth and that leaves us feeling hopeful and anxious at the same time.
Birthing Better offers you the right skills for labour of your 2nd baby
When Birthing Better families developed the skills in the courses on this website, many of them were having their 2nd baby all the way up to their 20th. You would think that the more often you do something the better you get but we are all faced with that Truth … ‘there is no way to know what the next birth will be like’. So this is how we met that challenge … we became skilled. In reality, we don’t always get better at giving birth because the next birth can be so different.
Birth is a noun … ‘Feb 14 was my baby’s birth’ etc. Birth is also an active verb … ‘Giving birth is always an activity women do at the end of pregnancy’. We couldn’t do much about the noun but we realised we could do heaps about the verb. In other words, we could birth better rather than have a better birth. It’s as simple as this … we either do the activity better or we hope that the activity is better. No subtle at all.
First things first
Without a doubt those of us having second baby labor or subsequent one realized there were two parts of doing this activity of giving birth:
- We had to prepare for doing this activity. We now realized giving birth was a major athletic activity and we needed to prepare. What did that mean? Cardio, weight training, sprinting, swimming? Sure and no. We actually had to specifically prepare our body to open up (activity), remain soft, mobile and to create space. The activity of giving birth is actually the activity of getting a big object out of our body.
- We had to have great skills to work through the activity of giving birth. We had to cope, manage, deal with, handle, work through, stay in control and on top of internal sensations as well as what was happening to or around us.
We figured out through trial and error that we should start preparing our pregnant body around 24 weeks of pregnancy. Before 24 weeks we weren’t thinking of The Birth. But something happens about that time when we focus on giving birth (notice our own shift from noun to verb). We also recognize from our previous pregnancy that our mind becomes less focused from about 36 weeks onward (nesting). And our body feels more awkward in those last few weeks. This means our best ability to focus and learn skills starts when we start to think about doing the birth again.
Birth preparation skills for 2nd baby labour
The most important thing we learned is simple: Big object has to come out one way or another. It takes time for that to happen. The easier it is for that object to open our body then come down, through and out the better the experience for us and our baby. It doesn’t matter whether we’re driving to hospital, being prepped for surgery and lying on a cold operating table or whether we are laboring at home or hospital. Time passes while our baby is being born. You see the active verb of ‘birth’ is not just what we do. Our baby is doing the activity of being born.
These are the specific birth preparation skills we developed and are sharing with you in our courses: Mapping your Pelvis, Hip Lift, Sacral Manoeuvre, Sit Bone Spread, Pubic Arch Spread, Tail Bone Flexibility, Pelvic Clock, Positions and Directed Breathing. These are in video exercises.
What’s neat about all these hands-on skills is that both men and women feel the changes in their body. This means you (pregnant woman) should try all the skills on your partner (man/other). Once they ‘feel’ their own ability to create space and make more room then they will have no trouble feeling this on your body. The pregnant body becomes more familiar and not mysterious.
Every exercise has to repeat the same thing when you create tension inside yourself. You will always understand tension and relaxation after feeling the huge difference inside your body. Sure it might take you repeating the skill 3-10 times to ‘get it’ but boy, all these skills are a WOW!
Birth and birth-coaching skills
What skills do you think you need to birth better than last time? Did you realize you should breathe better or relax more? Perhaps you realized you shouldn’t ‘get into labor’ so quickly and instead going about your business during that early phase? Maybe you felt really disconnected during your last Caesarean? You’re thinking your partner could have participated more?
There are many ‘gaps’ that we seek to fill with each pregnancy/birth. As one woman explained:
“My first birth I birthed in local hospital with local Obstetrician. I had a horrible birth and my husband was useless. Next time I got pregnant I decided to choose a midwife and a Birth Center. My husband was still useless and I had a absolutely horrible birth again. So next time I chose a midwife and decided to birth at home. I made my husband read Spiritual Midwifery and Michel Odent’s books. My birth was terrible. I couldn’t believe it. I got pregnant another time and realized that ‘I HAD TO LEARN TO BIRTH’. Thankfully Birthing Better was available. I suck up every single skill. My husband loved how practical the skills were. I could see exactly what I hadn’t done and what I had. My husband now understood exactly how to help. Funny, this pregnancy and birth was full of medical issues unlike our previous 3 but it was by far our best birth. I now had skills so I could manage and my husband absolutely knew when to help and when I was coping by myself. It’s absolutely nonsense to say: ‘There’s nothing can prepare you for birth’. I finally knew exactly how to prepare and then how to birth. I finally birthed as I imagined birth to be’. MarySue Costa
You’re only having your 2nd birth. You don’t want to keep getting pregnant in order to get birth right.
Here are some of the Birthing Better birth and birth-coaching skills and please always remember that all these skills were developed by fathers and mothers alike.
- Of course, breathing but not as you imagined. If you don’t instantaneously know the 4 ways all humans breathe then you do not have breathing skills for giving birth.
- Of course relaxation skills but now you have to learn the skills to relax inside and out. If you have no idea how to do that then you’ll be delighted with these profound skills.
- Communication. We barely think about communication except our Birth Plan but we talk to ourselves all the Time and we need our verbal and non-verbal communication to be understood by our partner while we are birthing. Having these skills means your partner can see and hear when you need help. And understanding you can have two simultaneous voices and how to honor one and use the other is an incredible Life skill … not just birth.
- Touch is another important skill. Unless your partner knows how to touch you in the right way, right place and right time then you’ll never use touch effectively while you birth.
- There are more skills to learn each fills in the huge but significant gaps that make up the diversity of birth stories. Teamwork, niggling labor, dealing with pain. 5 phases of contractions. using the skills in every type of birth, preparing your baby’s birth canal and a great ‘practice’ audio so you can bring your skills together.
A new way to approach birth
With more usable skills, you’ll approach this second birth entirely different than your first one. You know giving birth is an intense journey and you know you feel better when in control and more overwhelmed when you feel out of control. Now you’ll feel confident, capable, different and enthusiastic rather than anxious, unrealistically optimistic and just plain hopeful.
Birthing Better is full of skills but none are hard and many just make so much sense you’ll think to yourself: ‘Why aren’t these skills everywhere’ and ‘Why didn’t I know these skills last time?’