So where are you going to give birth??
- January 13, 2020
- Vicky Barbour-Andrews
- 0 Comment
This is an article I wrote back in 2016 as I headed towards my second labour, this time I had worked in the birth world for 3 years and knew so much more about how our bodies work when we are in labour.
Even if you aren’t considering a home birth there is some invaluable information in this article.
There are many decisions you need to make once you become pregnant, in my eyes one of the most important decisions you need to make is choosing where to give birth.
This may be a surprise to most of you but choosing where to give birth can completely change your birth.
You see we have this archaic system in our bodies called the fight or flight response which releases adrenaline into our bodies when we are under any form of stress and it takes all the blood and oxygen away from the parts of the body that does not need it and sends it to your arms, legs, heart and lungs to allow you to fight or run for your life.
What on earth does this have to do with giving birth you may well be asking, unfortunately it has a lot to do with giving birth.
You see when you are in labour your body releases a hormone called Oxytocin. Oxytocin is called the love hormone and this awesome stuff is what keeps your contractions going which in turn births your baby. Now when we are under any form of stress, anxiety or have any worries or concerns during birth our body releases a hormone called adrenalin. This hormone will override the oxytocin in your body and kick start the fight or flight response. When the fight or flight response is triggered its important to note that your body also takes blood and oxygen from your uterus which then causes your labour to stall.
I hear all the time women talking about how their labours stalled and quite often this happens when they make the journey into the hospital. Women labour beautifully at home, surrounded by their possessions and smells and suddenly when they get in that car to make the journey to hospital they suddenly have the “oh pants, this is actually happening” moment and this releases adrenalin into their systems.
I am talking from experience on this one, I laboured beautifully at home for my first birth, breathing through my surges and staying in control. I have for as long as I can remember not felt happy within a hospital environment and despite my instincts telling me to not birth in the hospital I felt that that was where I needed to birth as thats where everyone gives birth and off I went in the car to the hospital. On arrival at the hospital I was told I was 9cm and promptly hopped into the birth pool.
For hours upon hours I breathed through my surges, I stayed calm, my baby stayed calm but my body refused to budge any further and after 6 hours at 9cm we made the decision to birth Arthur with help from some forceps. I whole heartily know that this was all because at no point in that hospital environment did I feel safe and my body knew that because secretly in the background my body was releasing adrenaline which prevented my body from opening up any further.
So, here I am 3 years later – Preggo again and this time without a doubt I know where I need to give birth. Somewhere I feel safe, somewhere I feel loved, somewhere I am comfortable and that is my home. As I am now a hypnobirthing teacher my husband was not surprised when I told him I was going to birth at home and actually is really pleased that I have made this decision as he saw the difference between how I laboured at home compared to the hospital.
Hospital isn’t your only option of where to give birth. Take the time to research the options in your area and listen to what your heart and body are telling you.
For me its home birth this time so I have been doing my research into what the best things to have to hand are, heres my top 5.
Shower Curtains – I know this was a surprise to me too, but buy them cheap from the £ stores and use them to cover things that you don’t want to get dirty – As beautiful as birth is it is can be a messy thing – use them to cover your sofas and carpets.
A birth pool – You can buy these from companies such as Birth pool in a box or you can buy them second hand, check out your local facebook selling pages.
TENS machine – these little beauties release endorphins into your system, endorphins are the bodies natural pain reliever so will help make your birth more comfortable.
A big bag of old towels, blankets and flannels. Use these for anything and everything.
Tea, cake and ingredients for a bacon sarnie for the midwives. Giving birth can be a lengthy process, keep the midwives topped up with food and drink to keep them happy and their energy levels up.