Tag: Natural Childbirth

A Mamma Working Hard


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Hypnobirthing Language

One of the key components in Hypnobirthing is moving away from the medical language of pregnancy and birth and embracing words that invoke natural movement and transition. Below is a list of medical words with the Hypnobirthing alternative following.

Contraction – Surge or Wave
Coach – Birth companion or partner
Catch the baby – receive the baby
Deliver the baby – Birth the baby
Due Date – Birthing time
Water breaks – Release of membranes
Pain – Pressure / Sensation / tightening
Birth canal – Birth path
Pushing – Breathing baby down
Complications – Special circumstances
Mucous plug – Uterine seal
Bloody show – Birth show
Effacing / Dilating – Thinning / Opening
Transition – Near completion
Fetus – Preborn
Neonate – Newborn
Pateints – Parents
False labor – Practice labor

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Labor & Birth Guide of What to Expect – Part 8

Placenta Birth

  • Placenta separates from uterine wall
  • This could take 5 – 90 minutes
  • May experience painful contractions or none at all

Possible Emotional Responses to Placenta Birth

  • Surprise that you still aren’t done
  • Anger at contractions
  • Engrossment for your baby

What You Can Do During the Birth of the Placenta

  • Use your breathing during contractions
  • Keep baby at breast to stimulate the release of the placenta
  • Keep baby skin-to-skin
  • Enjoy your new baby
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Labor & Birth Guide of What to Expect – Part 7

Crowning and Birth

  • Baby’s head no longer retreats between contractions
  • Head is visible
  • May feel burning and stretching – this is ok – it’s your tissues dilating and stretching so they don’t tear

Possible Emotional Responses During Crowning and Birth

  • Confusion about the burning pain
  • Fear of tearing
  • Fear of the birth of the body
  • Panic
  • Trying to escape the pain
  • Awe as the baby is born
  • Relief
  • Thankfulness
  • Gratitude
  • Exhaustion

What You Can Do During Crowning and Birth

  • Touch baby as she emerges or catch her yourself
  • View the birth in a mirror
  • Enjoy skin to skin contact
  • Celebrate a birth and labor day
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Labor & Birth Guide of What to Expect – Part 5

Rest and Be Thankful Phase

  • May be able to rest for 5-30 minutes with no contractions
  • Baby’s head has left the uterus, creating space inside the uterine cavity, leaving the uterus with more slack then ever before
  • No urge to push
  • Relief from pain

Possible Emotional Responses to the Rest and Be Thankful Phase

  • Renewed energy, hope and trust
  • More awareness of surroundings
  • Ready to get on with it!
  • Sense of humor may return temporarily

What You Can Do During the Rest and Be Thankful Phase

  • REST
  • Sleep – it’s money in the bank for when you start pushing
  • Close your eyes
  • Get in a comfortable position
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Labor & Birth Guide of What to Expect – Part 4


  • I’ve noticed that a lot of women really want to know when they are in transition. It’s important to keep in mind that you may not experience the outward signs of transition, so try to let your expectations go.
  • Very intense and long contractions.
  • Pain has usually peaked
  • Starting to feel pressure on the vagina and rectum – feels like you are going to poop
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Urge to push
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Cramping in legs
  • Hot
  • Cold
  • Tired
  • Anxiety
  • Flushed face
  • Hot flashes

Possible Emotional Responses to Transition

  • Feel like you can never go on
  • Loose control
  • Crying and begging
  • Can’t concentrate
  • Overwhelmed
  • Panicky
  • Angry and afraid

What You Can Do During Transition

  • Remind yourself how far you’ve come
  • Change positions
  • Employ comfort measures
  • Breath
  • Let go
  • Surrender to the flow
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Labor & Birth Guide of What to Expect – Part 3

Active Labor

  • Contractions continue progressing and become stronger and longer. You are now unable to be distracted during a contraction.
  • Contractions are now lasted 1 minute or longer and are coming every 4 or 5 minutes. This has been happening for over an hour.
  • Peak of pain intensity is usually reached by 7-9 cm. That means if you’ve made it this far, you can do the rest!
  • Water may release and you may see more bloody show

Possible Emotional Responses to Active Labor

  • Fear that you can’t go on
  • Serious and focused – no unnecessary conversation
  • No small talk
  • Letting go and giving in – this isn’t something you are in charge of

What You Can Do During Active Labor

  • If leaving your home for your birth, this is when you would do it.
  • Pee every hour
  • Sip liquids between every contraction
  • If you can, eat something light
  • Focus on each contraction
  • Relax your mouth and your bottom
  • Be present
  • Use comfort measures
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Labor & Birth Guide of What to Expect – Part 2

Early Active Labor

  • Contractions are becoming stronger, longer and more frequent
  • May continue to see bloody show (mucus)
  • Water may release

Possible Emotional Responses to Early Active Labor

  • Almost certain that you’re in labor, but still unsure, which causes confusion
  • Apprehensive or confident
  • May focus on contractions too much. Save that energy girl!

What You Can Do During Early Active Labor

  • REST
  • If unable to be distracted during a contraction, take a cleansing breath at the start of a contraction and breath through each surge, using vocalization, movement or whatever feels good.
  • Eat and drink
  • REST
  • Brush teeth (you probably won’t be doing that again for awhile)
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Labor & Birth Guide of What to Expect – Part 1

Early Labor

  • Early labor may last a short amount of time (usually just for moms who have already given birth) or several days.

Possible Signs of Early Labor

  • Diarrhea
  • Backache
  • Cramps – Menstrual like cramps
  • Nonprogressing contractions – meaning they don’t increase in frequency/duration and may go away
  • Mucus in your underware – this can be a small amount or a large amount and may or may not be tinged with blood
  • Water breaks – this is a rare and unusual way of beginning labor. It’s really more of a Hollywood thing.

Common Emotional Responses of Early Labor

  • Confusion about whether you are in labor or not
  • Mixed feelings
  • May overestimate labor progress

What You Can Do During Early Labor

  • Distract yourself from your contractions
  • Do not time or pay attention to your contraction pattern
  • Watch a funny or romantic movie
  • Call friends that are positive and happy
  • Invite a friend over to keep you company who will be a positive influence
  • REST
  • EAT
  • REST – you have a lot of work ahead of you
  • Bake or cook if you like doing this type of thing
  • Work on a project you pre-selected that you enjoy – knitting, scrapbooking, coloring

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How to Use Comfort Breathing During Labor

During childbirth classes moms often ask if I will teach them how to breathe during labor. I find that most moms will instinctively find the breath pattern that works for them and there is no right or wrong way to do it. But below is what I teach in my class.

When a contraction begins:
1. Signal to your partner that a contraction is beginning by taking a deep breath in and then out. This cleansing breath is similar to a sigh and helps ready your body for what’s coming. Remember to release all your tension during this cleansing breath. For your partner: He or she will often notice that, even before your cleansing breath, your body involuntarily signals the start of a new contraction. This could take the form of a finger or foot twitch or a slight tow movement. Mom’s in labor have all sorts of subtle ways to alert their partner to what is about to happen.

2. Following the nice, slow cleansing breath you just took to begin your contraction, continue to focus your attention on whatever brings you the most peace – a focal point, an image, a place, the music, a shadow on the wall – whatever works for you. Continue breathing slowly through the contraction.

3. Combine your breathing with other comfort measures like moaning, whaling, making loud and low noises, swaying your hips, letting your body go, massage, hot or cold packs, shower – again, whatever works for you.

4. Your mouth is directly related to your vagina. If your mouth is tight and clenched, then so is your bottom. Try it – tighten and tense your mouth and try to relax your yoni – it’s just not going to happen. Now make a small “O” with your mouth and feel the difference in your vagina. So keep your mouth loose and relaxed during contractions and this will keep your bottom loose and relaxed as well.

When the contraction ends:
1. Take another cleansing breath to close out the contraction.

2. Move around, take a sip of water, fall asleep, give feedback to your partner – whatever you need to do in that moment. Try not to think about the next contraction coming, just focus on the present moment and believe that your body will be able to handle what’s next.

In these moments between contractions, don’t expect your body to fully relax. Don’t expect yourself to fully fall asleep. Hold no expectations for yourself.

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Why Birth Matters

How we birth matters!

What our babies experience shape who they are.
What a mother experiences at the very transition
from maiden to mother changes her.
Gentle, natural birth unlocks something primal at our very core
and makes mothering easier and families stronger.
If parents would only realize that every single decision they make
from conception onward influences the outcome of their birth,
they would reclaim what they didn’t even know was lost.
-Kim Wildner, Mother’s Intention
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