As a seasoned Fort Collins birth doula, I’ve been in a labor and delivery room a few times. Okay, a loooootttt of times. And I’ve noticed a thing or two about what makes some deliveries more fun… or at least, more tolerable than others. I’m going to talk about that today.
Having a baby is hard work… there’s no way around that. It’s going to be hard, and you’re going to be pushed to your limits, but I promise you, it doesn’t have to be awful. In fact, it can be so beautiful, fun, and empowering.
I know, I know. You’re probably reading this and think I’ve lost my mind using fun and birth in the same sentence, but I promise I haven’t. Aside from any major medical emergencies or extenuating circumstances, labor can actually be fun. And that’s what we all want right? A beautiful, fun, and sweet delivery.
If you don’t believe me yet, keep reading. I promise there’s a way to ease your mind in a way that will allow you to enjoy the experience. As a Fort Collins birth doula, here’s what I’ve noticed that makes labor go smoother:
- Working to break free of fear… I know this sounds easier said than done, but what sometimes happens in birth is that you can’t enjoy the goodness of it all because you’re so focused on the fear of it all. This looks different for everyone, but breaking that fear cycle can free your mind. This will look different for everyone but before labor even starts, work to change your mindset, get your questions answered, address your fears, find what makes you feel the safest, assert control over the things you can have a say in, and work to reset your thoughts about the whole process. Pam England from Birthing From Within has a great fear clearing exercise I recommend everyone does before birth. You can find it here:
- Practicing mindfulness – As you prepare for labor, mindfulness training is one of the best things you can do for yourself. You’ll learn how to be in the moment, how to meditate, and train for the delivery of your baby. This will give you the tools you need to make it more peaceful, and ultimately more enjoyable.
- Packing your music! As a Fort Collins birth doula, I always recommend you pack a speaker or headphones in your hospital bag. That way you can sing, dance, and shake those hips during delivery. When you dance and sing, your body will naturally increase more endorphins that will help you feel better and be happier. And if you don’t feel up to DJ’ing your own birth playlist there are lots of already made playlists one many of the music stations.
- Doing what feels good – Unless there is a medical reason not to, I always recommend my clients listen to their own bodies and change positions frequently. Using a good balance of rest, standing, squats, movement, walking, and stretching can not only shorten your labor but also make it more comfortable too. Honoring your body and its cravings will help you through your labor.
- Repeating your mantras – As part of mindfulness training, I always recommend clients pick a few mantras that they repeat over and over to themselves during labor. They might be sayings like – this is temporary, or good things are coming, or my body was made for this. Whatever sayings feel right to you will help you get through labor.
- Playing your favorite podcast, book, or album – Another thing you can do to make the time pass and to help take your mind off things is to listen to your favorite podcast, book, or album. These can all help center your mind and give you something else to think about. I particularly love the story “Wonder” that Matthew Mchonachy reads on the Calm app. His voice is like butter.
- Relying on humor – As your Fort Collins birth doula, everyone knows I love humor. It’s a great way to lighten the mood and help everyone relax. Telling jokes, sharing funny stories, or quick quips during delivery can all help everyone enjoy the moment a bit more.
Labor is hard work, but it’s my sincerest hope that these few tips will make your birth just a bit more enjoyable.
And as a Fort Collins birth doula, I know the secret sauce to most happy births is parents who are willing to go with the flow and surrender to the process just a little bit.
Sending you all my love,
If you have any questions or if there’s anything I can do to help, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Otherwise, I would love it if you followed me on Facebook and Instagram for more content (and jokes!).