*Spanish version: https://fem-vital.jimdo.com/2014/07/03/qué-necesitas-para-el-parto/
The arrival of a baby in this world involves a series of questions that the mother poses and often does not know how to deal with. The body of the woman is designed to give birth, but like any other function of the organism, this can be altered by various factors that could turn this event into an overwhelming experience. Beyond the medical consultations and knowing that the pregnancy is going well, it is necessary to recover that confidence that the woman should have in her capacity to give birth. What do you need for it?
Knowing how the body works, how each organ is related and how they participate when labor begins. Knowing what hormones come into play and how important they are for the process to develop naturally. Knowing about the birth process. Knowing how the process is triggered and in which moment you will have to act. And above all, know, what are those factors that can disturb the normal course of labor. Where to find this information? Prenatal classes or Childbirth Education (most clinics and hospitals have this service); a prenatal centre; books about pregnancy and motherhood; documentaries on tv (search ‘The Birth Reborn’ on Netflix).
If a woman is comfortable, she will surely be able to handle each contraction much better. Keeping her rigid in one position (usually lying down) removes the mother's freedom to move and do what her body asks for and her baby needs at that moment. What options are there? Take yoga classes (learning to listen to the body is essential for the moment of delivery); change postures regularly during labor; use a ball (fit-ball) for certain positions; use your breathing to oxygenate your body, your baby, and to calm your mind.
The environment is everything that surrounds the mother and that should give her a space of relax. For example, a wide environment that allows you to move if you wish. With light or low light. With the ideal temperature to not feel cold or heat. With or without company. With enough privacy to keep her focused on her work. And with all the possible resources that make her feel good. How to achieve it? I suggest that the space in which you will stay has dim light preferably; relaxing aromas; just the people of your trust (husband, a doula); music or absolute silence; massages.
ENJOY THE PROCESS
And this could be somewhat ironic for many. Is it possible to enjoy the process when contractions occur frequently and become increasingly intense? Well, during this process, the woman's body (not in a tense state), produces a hormonal 'cocktail' capable of taking her to a state in which she can disconnects from the outside, focuses on what she is feeling second by second. Again, is it possible? Yes. T R U S T. Your body knows what it has to do, you have a wisdom that will always be with you. But remember, you need to trust first.
With all of the above, let's give an example: How do you receive a very dear person that you haven’t seen for a long time? Imagine that situation. Imagine that you will have to wait at home for him/her to arrive. How do you prepare? Maybe cleaning every corner of the house. Maybe fixing it and even decorating it if you want. Preparing a delicious lunch. Putting on your best clothes but mainly drawing your best smile. When the hour approaches, a torrent of emotions overwhelms you throughout the body. There is a kind of anxiety for wanting to see that person already but there is also emotion, happiness and a lot of love.
Why, then, not prepare the reception of the most important person for a mother like this? Why not take care of the environment so that she can feel comfortable while the baby takes its time to arrive? Why not do everything possible to not disturb the tranquility of the woman? And finally, why not let that same torrent of emotions invade the mother in her labor, instead of filling her with the wrong fears that alter her ideal state of happiness? There is no doubt that pregnancy and birth are new experiences (especially in first-time moms) that can generate some fear, to some extent normal, but why let that fear be the dominant emotion?
Finally, these are the most important ingredients we will need for the optimal reception of a baby: caring for the mother's environment, providing support and comfort while we encourage her to continue on her way and, above all, protect her emotions so that no action towards her can disturb her to the point of changing her perception of childbirth in a negative way. We need a strong, safe, calm and empowered mother of her body and emotions. From the environment we must take care of the rest of us.