Most mums, when asked about how they feel about labour, are nervous about the potential pain and not knowing how to push. I’m not going to lie to you, delivering my babies most certainly brought some extremely intense sensations which made me very, VERY vocal! Often, sounding like a farm animal as the sensations gripped my body, unlike anything before. Strangely my smallest baby was the most intense labour, bless his little socks.
Pushing a baby out is possibly the toughest thing I’ve ever done, bearing in mind I’ve had to face a few physically tough challenges in my life, given that I work in the fitness industry teaching extreme fitness methods. But, I had a few tricks up my sleeve which really helped me to cope and succeed at pushing my babies out without any intervention.
1. TUCK YOUR CHIN IN
When you push (I.e allow the contractions to expel your baby), it’s very important to tuck your chin into your chest to help the abdominal muscles to work correctly as they respond to your contractions. The muscles work with the contractions rippling in a downward pattern to help your baby make their way out. It’s important to try to work with the contractions, so when you feel one coming, tuck your chin in and gently push… remember, your body knows how to deliver, so you just need to trust the sensations of the contractions and relax into them.
This picture shows the kneeling chin tuck:
2. PUSH INTO TO YOUR BOTTOM
Yes, I know your baby isn’t coming out of your bottom, but this is the angle you need to work with in order for the push to work. Even if you feel like you’re going to pass a bowel movement, don’t panic, that sensation is usually the baby’s head passing by your bowel. It’s a good sign to keep going… a bit of poo could come out, but those midwives are skilled professionals who will never allow you to feel embarrassed, you won’t even know if it’s happened!
I know you might find it hard, but keep breathing! If you hold your breath or breathe too shallowly, your labour sensation levels will actually increase, so you may be less able to cope. For full breathing tips, you can download my book, The FitMama Method (Souvenir Press)
4. MAKE SOME NOISE
Don’t hold back on the primitive noises you may find coming out of your mouth. Making a noise can actually help your ability to activate your diaphragm muscle under your lungs which will aid pushing, so moo like a cow or howl like a wolf!
5. FACE THE RING OF FIRE
That last little signpost your baby is about to arrive is when your vaginal opening begins to feel like the most intense burning is happening, this is because your baby’s head is crowning and stretching the skin as they are passing through the final exit point. If you panic now, you might get yourself into a bit of a pickle, so it’s very important to tuck your chin in, and push into your bottom with every animal noise you want to make and push your baby into this world for their first breath. You are moments away from your first cuddle!
Go for it! You are a warrior mummy!!
About the blogger:
Marie Behenna is the author of The FitMama Method, published by Souvenir Press 2012 and creator of the ChillMAMA Pregnancy Meditation
Marie teaches exercise and nutrition to pregnant and post partum mothers in North Hampshire, United Kingdom. www.fitmamastudio.com