You're pregnant and everyone from your mum to your midwife to your Gynaecologist is telling you in order to have a good birth, you just need to relax. Now that's wonderful in theory but not quite so easy in practice!
Our number one fear as humans is the unknown and for any first time mums, giving birth rates right at the top of the ‘great big unknown list’. Secondly, pretty much everything we've heard about giving birth is traumatic and scary and thirdly, there is very probably going to be pain involved.
Yikes! Those three factors are usually enough to plunge any of us into a deep dark hole! But the good news is that it's very easy to learn how to relax once you know how.
1 – DEEP BREATHING
A simple technique is to breathe in counting from one to four. Then gently exhale counting from one to eight. Allow yourself to just take your time focusing all your attention on your breathing. If you don’t get all the way to eight, no problem, just take it to 6 or whatever feels comfortable whilst ensuring you are extending your exhalation.
Follow this pattern of breathing in for the count of four and breathing out for the count of eight for three or four minutes.
Notice how your body immediately starts to feel calmer and more centred? The more you use this breathing, the easier it becomes. You can use this breathing technique anytime, day or night and it will immediately cause the body to relax.
2 – DAILY RELAXATION PRACTICE
Taking time out each day is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and your baby. Taking 10 or 20 minutes to go into deep relaxation has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, enhance your immune function and significantly increase your feelings of well-being. And it will give you fabulous bonding time with your little bab!
Good relaxation practice involves the following
Setting aside 10 or 20 uninterrupted minutes
Sitting or lying in a comfortable position
Using a specific tool to help quiet the mind. Some relaxing classical music or a guided visualisation tool like “Relaxation for Calm Pregnancy”.
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