I’ve invited my ever lovely sister-in-law, Krystal Mackay to Guest Post today about her experience with the Calmbirth course. We had our beautiful little princesses 2 weeks apart from eachother! She is a first time mumma but her points are valid and she sums up the Calmbirth course wonderfully. For me having already experienced labor the calmbirth helped me realise the things that went wrong the first time. I encourage any VBAC mumma, any mumma actually, to consider the Calmbirth course! It is definately something i wish i had done the first time around and i am so that happy i was able encourage Krystal to go and that she ended up having the postive natural birth she wanted first time around!
Guest Post – Krystal Mackay
I always knew I wanted a natural birth. It’s something I am passionate about and something I felt I could do and needed to experience!
Due to a condition I have called anti thrombin 3 deficiency, (which means my blood clots more than it should-especially during pregnancy), I had to inject clexane every day throughout my pregnancy and I was considered “high risk”. This meant it took quite a bit of convincing my obstetrician and specialist that I didn’t need an or want an induction, nor did I want a cesarean….especially because when u have AT3 and have been injecting clexane, an epidural is out of the question and u are put under general if u need a ceasar.
I did my research, stood my ground and in the end had a very quick, (6 hrs total) natural birth with nothing to numb the pain!
I attribute a lot of this to a course that Liza recommended to me…and she also did! The course is called CALMBIRTH. I can hear you laughing….so many people did when I told them I did a birthing course with the word CALM involved…but just read on and you’ll see why.
As I typed “Calmbirth” into google, I had already decided this is something I need to do! My husband, however, took a bit of convincing. He thought it was hippie and not really necessary but I think it was mainly because that meant he had to do the course too! And let’s face it- us women are way more into all the birth stuff than them!
So after some umm-ing and ahh-ing on his part eventually we booked the course. The course does exactly as its name suggests-it encourages a calm birth. It’s run over 2 days in a small group setting.
For me, it totally took the fear out of birth by explaining the phases of labour in detail, and what our body needs to do in order for labour to progress. And to accompany this, (here comes the hippie part) techniques that us mummies and our birth partners can do to assist in that- such as breathing, visualisation and relaxation.
So here’s my Top 10 Things I learnt at Calmbirth
1. Don’t fight the contractions! Fear=Pain. And each contraction is one closer to meeting your beautiful babe.
2. Have a birth preference list-not a strict rigid birth plan that isn’t flexible to the variables that labour brings, but one that you and your birth partner know back to front and the non-negotiables. See “VBAC Tip #2 – Support Support Support” for Liza’s. Mine was much the same.
3. Practise breathing techniques-not the crazy ones u see in the movies, but ones that help you relax. If you do the Calmbirth course, you will receive a CD with tracks that guide you through different techniques.
4.Visualisation WORKS! For example, I used visions of the waves at the beach rolling in and out with each contraction coming and going. I even went to the beach and took photos of what I had in my vision and kept looking at it to help take me there.
5. YOU are the one who is giving birth – its your body, your baby and your experience – so make sure your caregivers are supportive of your wishes, and if they aren’t -perhaps its time to find new ones! The course really helped me to realise that it was OKAY for me to stand up to my caregivers and be firm in what I wanted.
6. Imagine the moment you go into Labour in detail. This is encouraged in one of the tracks on the Calmbirth CD. I ran through what I imagined my labour to be like on a daily basis – sometimes even more than once! I imagined the contractions, where I’d like to sit/stand/lie in our house, even the kind of food I’d like to eat, the music I wanted on, the lighting I wanted, the people I wanted there etc etc… I found this REALLY helpful…even though when I actually went into labour, things moved a bit faster than I imagined, and it didn’t happen exactly how I imagined, it helped me feel in control and like it was familiar.
7. Labor Pain Medications are not a MUST DO – They explain the effects that each medication has on you during labor and your baby and bonding after birth etc etc… After this I felt turned off them which was perfect for me as I was quite determined not to use any.
8. Immerse yourself in POSITIVE birth stories! As soon as you fall pregnant, people are out to share their WAR stories and they are often filled with LOTS of gory details about pain and complications. This does you NO good… There is great power in positivity. To read some postive Calmbirth stories, go HERE.
9. We’re wonderfully made – Us mummies are so incredibly made that our bodies are beautifully designed to birth our baby naturally.
10. It IS possible to have a positive birth experience and a CALMbirth…
Our Calmbirth teacher was Julie Clarke who I would definitely recommend if you’re in Sydney…if you’re not, you can find one close to you on the Calmbirth website.
KEEP CALM and GIVE BIRTH!
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