Babies can hear from 18 weeks in the womb and recognise their mother’s voice and the voices of those who are close to her when they are born. Playing music and singing are lovely ways to communicate with your baby before it is born.
LINK: The social baby
Massaging your belly. Babies are aware of touch from seven weeks after conception. Chilling and relaxing are good for you and your baby – let those calming hormones flow.
LINK: Your baby’s senses
Get to know your baby before he/she is born; take time to relax, releasing the calming hormone of love (oxytocin) for you and your baby.
Learning to relax can help you get into the birthing zone and can make labour easier.
Help yourself to relax using CDs , partner massage and talking through any concerns you have with your birth partner or midwife.
LINK: Helpful hormones
Dads can help mum by practicing relaxation with her, enjoyable for you both as a couple. Some couples find that attending hypnosis for childbirth classes can teach them self relaxation techniques for a calmer birth. You can also buy Relaxation CDs if a class is not for you.
Chat over your hopes and concerns with your partner and discuss your ideas for your birth and immediately afterwards.
Visit a few birthing places, maternity units, birth centres or think about your own home to make sure this is the right place for you to feel relaxed and comfortable in to have your baby.
Birth Choice is an excellent site which offers information for women on where to have their baby, with details of home birth, hospital birth and alternative maternity choices.
A second birth companion?
Some women and their partners may want additional support for themselves during the birth. Maybe a trusted friend or relative can provide you with some additional emotional support.
A doula is a professional birth companion.(There is a doula hardship fund available) Check out the link for questions to ask a prospective doula to see if this is the right person for you.
WORDS OF WISDOM
For all mamas reaching the 40 week plus stage, a great poem to leave on your answer phones:
WE’RE JUST FINE…..
My baby’s not a library book,
So he/she’s not overdue.
My baby doesn’t over-cook,
Coz he/she’s not veggie stew.
My baby’s not an elephant,
And I’m not fit to burst.
The time and date aren’t relevant,
We’re blessed with days, not cursed.
My baby can’t read dates as yet,
Because he/she’s very new.
So there’s no cause to fuss and fret,
If he/she don’t come on cue.
So stop your worry,
Stop your asking,
There’s no hurry
In this golden pregnant time,
This pause, which is just his/hers and mine.
You leave us be, we are just fine
“Baby Brain”…this is only temporary
Be ready for your brain to turn to mush slightly after baby is born. Don’t panic, this is totally normal and will pass. Hormones help relax mums brain into a gentle mode, helping her to focus on her and her baby’s basic needs. You may find it hard to remember things so a pad and pencil is a handy ally. (Especially when it comes to recording who bought what present!)