Push it real good…. or not! Bucks Hypnobirthing
Many people’s perception of labour is of a woman on her back in bed, huffing and puffing and pushing as if her life depending on it. It has become part of the British birthing culture for midwives to coach women to push during the second stage of labour. Often women will be told to put their chin on their chest and push down when their baby is descending down the birth canal. Often they will be told not to shout and to channel that energy. There are a few problems with coaching pushing:
- If you are being coached to push you are not listening to your body, you are listening to those around you. You need to follow your instincts to birth your baby
- You are tensing and ‘pushing’ using the wrong muscles. The uterine muscles push the baby out. Once the horizontal muscles of the uterus are bunched up at the top and the cervix has moved out the way the muscles then push the baby down. You cannot actively do this as they do this themselves during a surge (contraction).
- You are probably going to poo – Yep, and that’s because of the above, you are actually tensing the abdominal muscles and those of your back passage causing you often to do a poo
There is an alternative! Hypnobirthing teaches you to breathe your baby into the world. During the first stage of labour you use upward breaths and during the second stage of labour you use downward breaths.
Focusing on your downward breaths; these are the ones you can use instead of pushing your baby out. These breaths are a short breath in through the nose and a long breath out through the nose or mouth. Ina May (Guide to Childbirth) suggests you should relax your jaw as this also relaxes the pelvis. To do this some women find it useful to relax their jaw and make a soft ‘ahh’ noise when they exhale to ensure they don’t hold tension in their jaw. This is a much more focused approach to breathing and it can help to visualize your baby descending and entering the world. As we know with Hypnobirthing practices, where the mind leads the body follows. When you exhale, exhale the air downwards.
What else to remember?
- Practice, practice, practice – the best place is on the toilet
- Be patient, if you are not actively pushing baby can take a little longer to enter the world
- If the urge to push or bear down gets too strong just go with it using your breathing
Why is breathing your baby out a better alternative to active pushing?
- It is an easier process on the baby
- There is less chance of tearing
- You can recover more quickly
- Breathing a baby into the world is a more relaxed approach
Thanks for reading Push it real good…. or not! Bucks Hypnobirthing
Watch out for next week’s blog an open letter to my pregnant self!
If you have any further questions please feel free to contact us here or on 07399 405578.
Bucks and Berks Hypnobirthing delivers one-to-one and group Hypnobirthing sessions in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.
Areas covered in Buckinghamshire include: Marlow, High Wycombe, Bourne End and Beaconsfield
Areas covered in Berkshire include: Maidenhead, Cookham, Windsor and Reading