I love a good list and I think many of my ideal clients are also list-oriented. People who take a Hypnobabies class gain so many ideas about what to do during your early birthing time when pressure waves (contractions) may be starting but you’re not ready to go to the hospital yet. Most people choose to head to their birthing place when they reach active birthing time, which is when most of the cervical change begins to take place. (In class we also learn a lot about how to tell the difference!) This list will include some options that anyone may wish to explore and some options that are exclusive to Hypnobabies parents. Enjoy!
A – Affirmations. You’ve been listening to Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations daily and now it’s time to switch over to Birthing Day Affirmations. You will love this relaxing track which helps get you into a positive, calm frame of mind, ready for your birthing time to begin.
B – Bake brownies or cookies for your nurses, midwives, doctors etc.
C – Cat-nap
D – Depends (adult diapers) are so helpful if you’re leaking any fluid! Sexy, right?
E – Eat nourishing foods such as Greek yogurt, fruit, oatmeal, peanut butter, energy bars, eggs, cheese & crackers are great. It’s important to keep your energy up during early birthing time especially since you may not feel like eating later on once active birthing begins.
F – Fear Clearing. This track is such a helpful tool for birthing people (and their partners, too) to listen to out loud during your early birthing time. It helps clear your mind of lingering fears so that you can focus on having a wonderful, supported birthing time!
G – Go for a walk. If you’ve already had time for a nice cat-nap and are feeling refreshed, you might feel like a short walk. The upright movement may encourage your baby to descend further into the pelvis, which can bring on steady pressure waves.
H – Hydrate. Plenty of fluid may help keep baby safe from cord compression and cushion pressure waves, so that they come to a peak more gradually.
I – Immerse yourself in a hot bath (or shower). Excellent to soothe sore muscles. Light some candles, play your Hypnobabies tracks, and enjoy. You can even sit on the birth ball in your shower and let the warm water spray on your back.
J – Joke around with your partner. Laughter releases endorphins which help to increase the body’s production of oxytocin.
K – Kneel. You can do this leaning over your birth ball, on your hands and knees (pelvic rock), or you can do it asymmetrically (the “Captain Morgan”) with one foot on the ground to give your baby room to maneuver the pelvis.
L – Listen to your body and your baby. Using your intuition about what you need is so important.
M – Milescircuit.com
N – Nest. No nesting urge? No problem! You can still surround yourself with comforting things. Lots of pillows, a blanket, cozy socks, and anything else that keeps you comfortable. Your birth partner’s job is to protect this space for you so that you can focus on breathing and tuning into your body and baby.
O – Oxygen. Bring your baby plenty of it by taking slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Ahhh.
P – Pray/meditate. Even if neither of these is your thing, it can be really helpful to spend some dedicated time thinking about the task at hand and then letting go of any and all control issues surrounding it. We can’t control birth, but to some extent (a greater extent if doing Hypnobabies) we can control how we experience it.
Q – Quack, quack. Walk like a duck. No, I’m not kidding! This is something you can try which helps to open up the pelvis. (Sound effects are optional.) Be sure you’ve rested up (see C – Cat-nap) before you do much physical exertion.
R – Relaxation music. Play this Hypnobabies track out loud and you can practice your Finger Drop technique each time you feel a pressure wave.
S – Sit on your birth ball. Make wide circles with your hips to open up your pelvis and encourage your baby to move down.
T – Text your doula. Keep her updated of your progress if it’s daytime. If it’s nighttime, let her sleep unless you are ready for her to join you!
U – Unwind. Anything not already listed that helps you unwind is a good activity for you during this time! Dance, sing at the top of your lungs, have sex (if your water hasn’t broken yet), go for a swim or a run in the rain, or you might even consider a small glass of wine to relax you. Do what works for you!
V – Visualize Your Birth. Another wonderful Hypnobabies track which helps you focus on the birth that you have been planning for and dreaming of.
W – Watch a funny movie.
X – X-factor: noun: a hard-to-describe influence or quality; an important element with unknown consequences. Birth can be mysterious, so remember to embrace the unknown and give birth in the way that feels best for you!
Y – Your Special Place. One of your Hypnobabies tracks that you’ve been listening to since the beginning of your preparation. It guides you to hold and talk to your baby and journey to a place in your mind where you feel safe, secure, and totally comfortable.
Z – Zaxby’s ice. Allow this glorious matter to melt in your mouth to help you stay hydrated. I am not above sending a birth partner out to Zaxby’s just to get a cup of ice. Pellet ice is the best and the pregnant person needs it. #sorrynotsorry