'Be real' Síle Seoige gives us her tips for an empowering birth
I was incredibly fortunate that I got to experience the birth I had hoped for but I fully appreciate things could have been very different had I not gone into spontaneous labour and if our situation had been different.
I really believe preparing as best you can is key to helping you achieve your own personal birthing experience though, and whether you are in the first trimester or days away from your due date, there is always time to get into as good a head space as you can. The most important thing is to try not to stress.
If you want a natural birth or you’re already booked in for an elected C-section, doing your homework in advance can really help you fully appreciate the challenge that lies ahead. It is a life altering event, regardless of how it happens, so do yourself a favour and give yourself the best chance to work towards the experience you desire.
For me, I got to see what I was made of, face my inner demons and eliminate all those negative voices inside questioning ‘can I do this?’, ‘am I strong enough?’. It was both the most challenging and empowering experience of my life. Without a doubt, the best thing I have ever done with the best reward at the end.
Moment by moment
Let go control, breathe and take it a step at a time. Try not to look too far ahead and simply go with the flow.
Trust your body and your baby. It’s easier said than done, I know, but it makes all the difference when you relax as much as possible and you surrender to the experience.
To first timers like me, it's so worth it.
I packed a lot in my hospital bag and I’ll be honest a lot of what I brought stayed in it but there were a few things that I was really glad I had with me.
My top three were a TENS machine, my homeopathy labour kit, and a playlist.The TENS machine was a godsend, I used it early on in my labour and right up until I got into the birthing pool.
My birth team kept me topped up with the homeopathic remedies during labour which proved a great comfort to me. I found my playlist massively helpful too and it certainly was a labour must-have!
I had one song that I wanted to be played on repeat, which I’m sure annoyed everyone else in the room but it helped me stay as relaxed as possible which is absolutely crucial during contractions.
Put the phone down
You will most likely be inundated with texts and calls from friends and family as soon as the news is out that you are now a Momma.
People only want to wish you well but if you engage in every text or call you're taking precious time away from the experience of being with your new addition. So let go of the guilt and any feelings of obligation and limit your phone usage.
There’ll be plenty of time to respond over the coming weeks. Most people will understand, especially those who already have kids.
Right now, your priority is to be with your baby and look after yourself. You need to sleep and eat and this is where your partner can be a massive support, let them mind you and savour this quality time together.
Next week, I’ll be delving into the euphoria and exhaustion of life as a first time Mom with baby Cathal! Until then, trust your body, you got this...