As a Birth Doula, I want everyone to have the very best support possible. So I want to share with you my top 5 tips for labour.....I know they will help!
1. Movement - is crucial for getting baby engaged in the pelvis, get under the pubic bone and find it's way out of the pelvic outlet. The good news is, you can still move with an epidural. Your Doula is highly trained in this area. But if you don't have a Doula, make sure you know what movements are helpful to get baby locked in and rotating through the pelvis. Ask your nurse and any birth support you have to help you move and change positions regularly.
2. Sitting backward on the toilet - yep, please do this, even in early labour and before you get an epidural. They don't call it the dilation station for no reason!
3. Keep your space calm - if you want to keep the Oxytocin flowing, it is important to keep lights low, and the room calm and quiet. You are not required to allow students to attend your birth. Your birth support should protect that space. Stay connected to your partner and/or other people supporting your birth. Listen to music in earphones, record meditations, affirmations or anything that elicits a calming response.
4. Make your wishes known - have a birth plan that outlines you're preferences. Know that sometimes things change. But include that too. Write down what your idea birth looks like and also what you will need to process and make informed decisions if plans change.
5. Know your options - birth is not an experience that you want to wing. Educate yourself! If you don't have a Doula, take a prenatal class, there are inexpensive online courses that can help you have a more informed birth. Borrow books from the library, watch a million YouTube videos.
Hiring a Doula means you have an educated birth companion to provide you with information and support, someone who will help you will all the things. But you don't require a Doula to have an informed, empowering birth! But you will have to know what you want, be flexible and listen to your intuition.