I always love hearing about birth and seeing the different perspectives, I think it helps us learn and appreciate our journey that little bit more too. So, I asked a bunch of Mum’s what they remember about birth and what their advice would be to expectant or new Mums.
What I was most fascinated with were the responses of “don’t have a plan” or “go with the flow”. Whilst, yes I agree with that to some extent, I really REALLY believe it is vital to have a Birth Wish list as I prefer to call it.
This wish list isn’t about a regimented schedule of how the birth is to go or what position your partner should be in while squeezing that head out!! It’s about understanding the process of birth, informing yourself and knowing what certain things YOU do or don’t want with YOUR birth.
It is so important to go over all aspects of birth with as many possible outcomes so you can make an INFORMED decision should anything deviate from your preferred birth wishes.
What this means is no matter how you give birth you were informed, you were aware of your choices, you were supported and you were prepared.
As a Doula and birth advocate, this is something I feel so strongly about!
Now I have said that, read on below for all the different advice from some amazing Mums!
What I Remember: The overwhelming sensation of intense pressure in your bum!! That’s when you know you’re going to meet your baby soon Advice: Remember to just go with your body. Don’t fight it or try to take over. Breath your baby out – there really is no need to “push” yourself as your body will do it! Make sure to have an open mouth/loose lips and use deep, strong noises if it helps as you breath out. – Karina Adams
Don’t let people make you feel you’re overreacting at the start of your first labour – it may actually be the strongest pain you’ve ever felt, even if it’s just the beginning. – Anna Stoyanoff
Listen to your body, it knows exactly what you need to do. Also the pain you feel is a healthy pain. – Natalie Schwerin
Remember: burning ring of fire, all of my births I remember this moment clearly, and that I knew it was close to the end now. It’s an excruciating pain but it’s also a comforting pain that, your baby is so close to being born now. Advice: Trust your instincts, focus with what works for you (if you want silence, if you need encouragement, if you need to scream). Remember it is a marathon not a sprint, if you need a moment, take a moment. Choose support people that will listen to what you want and need – Tahlia Macpherson
I remember lying on the operating table knowing all the fertility troubles were so worth it and I was about to hold my baby. With my second pregnancy I remember the feeling of them cutting me open, wiggling Tahli to get her out and the feeling of the pressure gone when Tahli came out. I could breathe again! My advice- don’t let anyone make you feel bad for how you birth or your birth choices. Whether you have a “natural”, medicated or c section birth our bodies have done something amazing, with growing a baby and birthing the baby – Cassy Marie
Trusting your body to do what comes naturally – women in comas can give birth! Knowing it could be a very long time or a very short time and just going with it. Having a fantastic support person helps. Waterbirths are awesome and not disgusting (as hubby was convinced!) Although once I was in the water I couldn’t stand being touched because a hand on my back made me feel like I was being pushed down into the water and I was already using all my strength on other things! That pressure in your bum and that feeling of losing control in transition – you’re not going to break yourself but you are very close to meeting bub! And I found breathing baby out really useful. Also ‘dancing the baby out’ shifting your feet and hips during labor to open up and bring baby down. It’s ok not to feel overwhelming love the instant you meet your baby – it will come – Elysia Riley
Use a mirror! I had a huge mirror at the end of the bed so not only did it motivate me to get her out after pushing for so long, I also got to watch her entire birth! – Jessie RoseAmy Shepherd
Take all offers of help! You may have read all the books but your baby hasn’t! Just because people say their babies sleep/are perfect/they’ve never been happier doesn’t mean it’s the truth! It might take time to fall in love with your baby. – Siobhan
Go with the flow! Have a loose plan on what you like the sound of (both birth and after birth) and be prepared for things to not work out that way.
There will be many days that you finally get showered at 10pm and dressed into fresh PJs – Sarah
My advice is … Don’t expect it will go to your plan, let it happen the way it was meant to and don’t be afraid of poo! – Lynda
The things I remember the most…the moment you first get to hold your little baby. Other than that…the fear of not knowing what was happening. Losing control over the pain. Advise…not to be too set on a birth plan! Heat packs were great early on – Cathy
I remember lots of things – I remember my beautiful midwife and how amazing and supportive she was. My piece of advice….don’t listen to all of the negative birth stories that people speak of. Your body was designed to create life, follow its lead because it knows what to do. Breastfeeding is hard, don’t give up even if you have to express for the first few days/weeks/months, watching your baby thrive on your milk is the best feeling in the world.- Naomi
Birth with both my children was very easy and uncomplicated however my labour was a complete different experience between the two. My advice is not everything goes to plan. Don’t be afraid to ask for pain relief if it becomes too much and stay in the shower for as long as you want – Dani
My advice post birth- doesn’t matter if you graze a little, a lot, not at all or tear take a lukewarm bottle of water to the toilet with you and spray it on your vagina while you pee! It burns like a mother fucker if you don’t and works better than taking anti acid tablets to water your pee down and is free! – Casey
My advice for Birth- everyone is so different what works for some women doesn’t mean it will work for you! Take peoples advise with a grain of salt if it works wonderful if it doesn’t, doesn’t mean it was wrong it just didn’t work for you! Plans don’t always work out! Unfortunately we don’t know what it’s like and what we can control or bear until you’re doing it, and all births are different! Preparation is definitely NOT key – Casey
I remember the most – How you get to the point when you feel like you can do it anymore….but you do. The feeling you get when you realise you did it and see that beautiful baby for the first time. There is literally no feeling in the world that compares. My advice is that although its seems like an extremely long and tough experience….it all washes away when you have you baby in in arms. So be strong, let your body do what it’s made to do….it’s all worth it. – Tahlia
My advice – stand up for your rights and understand your choices. Having the same birth team & midwife through the entire birth and pregnancy who knows your wishes is important – Bree