How to Endure the Greatest Workout of Your Life!

Let’s dive into a hot topic: enduring the physical demands of labour.

My advice is to treat labour like an intense form of exercise! You need to conserve your energy and endure for the long haul. Here’s how…

Prioritise rest
First things first - relax relax relax! Taking care of yourself may sound like a simple suggestion, but being in a comfortable birth environment where you feel calm and cosy is so important for a successful labour. This is because , if you are tense or stressed your body will be too. How can a baby exit from a body that is tight and closed? The more you relax, the more your body will relax and that'll help your labour to progress. I'd suggest putting down all distractions (like your phone, for example) and focus on your body. You may want to relax in front of a movie, have a bath, go for a walk in nature - anything to help you switch off and wind down.

Marathon, not a sprint!
Next up, pace yourself! The stages of labour are sequential and require patience as they play out - from your first twingey contractions, all the way through to pushing. Your body is literally built to give birth - trust your hormones and take your time.

Labour is split up into 3 sections and the first can be very long. The first stage of labour is where your contractions build to open your uterus to 10cm (or approximately 10!), it can take hours or days to build so you need to take it slow and let your contractions build instead of jumping into action mode! Remember, the magic number of active labour and you being admitted into hospital is 4cm dilated. It could take a long time to get there so just rest and ride your contractions as they build.

Remember that labour is a step-by-step process, and YOU are in the driving seat. You’ve got this!

Feeling peckish?
Don’t forget to snack, either! The length of your labour isn’t something you can predict in advance, and it can be easy to forget to eat when you’re focused on the task of giving birth to a human! Be sure to pack your favourite nourishing treats into your hospital bag, and make your birth partner aware of their location so they know exactly where to look when you shout ‘chocolate, pronto!!!’

Did you know that in the first stage of labour, one of the first signs could be diarrhea? This is because your body clears out as much waste as possible before labour starts so that it can focus all energy on birth. Now you know this - it makes sense to snack and drink water throughout labour to keep your energy levels up.

Breathe baby, breathe
Of course, maintaining breathing is also crucial to staying grounded and focused during labour. Hypnobirthing is a sure fire way of staying in control, and you can find out how to harness its power in other butterbean videos.

Many hypnobirthing courses teach you a specific breathing technique whereby you count your inhale and exhale. I can tell you now, that will not help you when in labour. Why? Because you'll be busy counting instead of focusing on your your body! To nail your breath it is as simple as this - just take a long inhale through your nose and a long exhale through your mouth. This will ensure your body is getting oxygen, your uterus can do it's thing and you're not busy counting up and down and worrying whether you're doing it right!

Know those options!
Knowing what to expect and being aware of your options is the best tool you can have to make informed choices and receive the best care possible during labour. The acronym B.R.A.I.N is crucial to keep in mind. It stands for: benefits, risks, alternatives, intuition and nothing. How does it work? Let's take the example of being offered an induction when you are nearing 40 weeks. You ask your midwife what the benefits of an induction are, and then you ask what the risks are, or if there are any alternatives. Next, you engage your gut reaction. What is your intuition telling you? Is it telling you this is gonna be a good option or bad option? Finally, ask your midwife or doctor - what happens if you just do nothing? Remembering this allows you to stay empowered.

Understand your hormones
Next up - pain relief! Our bodies are completely capable of managing labour! They really truly are, thanks to our trusty hormones. A much loved fact of mine is that endorphins are 10 times more powerful than morphine! But saying that, some women are anxious about birth and feel the need for extra pain relief during labour, and that’s A-okay, too.

Understanding your hormones in general is arguably the most important thing you can do to prepare for labour. We can think of them as our support system through labour and birth, almost like a hammock of support, making everything as intuitive and seamless as possible. Our best friends, endorphins, produce effective, natural pain relief. And oxytocin, our love hormone, enables smooth contractions and keeps you calm during labour. Getting to grips with your hormones can really transform how you view the whole process. I can’t recommend it enough! You can head to the butterbean platform for a hormones deep-dive.

 

Your body is built to give birth, you just need the tools to make it happen!

Caesarean and feeding plan

How to Endure the Greatest Workout of Your Life!

Caesarean and feeding plan

Let’s dive into a hot topic: enduring the physical demands of labour.

My advice is to treat labour like an intense form of exercise! You need to conserve your energy and endure for the long haul. Here’s how…

Prioritise rest
First things first - relax relax relax! Taking care of yourself may sound like a simple suggestion, but being in a comfortable birth environment where you feel calm and cosy is so important for a successful labour. This is because , if you are tense or stressed your body will be too. How can a baby exit from a body that is tight and closed? The more you relax, the more your body will relax and that'll help your labour to progress. I'd suggest putting down all distractions (like your phone, for example) and focus on your body. You may want to relax in front of a movie, have a bath, go for a walk in nature - anything to help you switch off and wind down.

Marathon, not a sprint!
Next up, pace yourself! The stages of labour are sequential and require patience as they play out - from your first twingey contractions, all the way through to pushing. Your body is literally built to give birth - trust your hormones and take your time.

Labour is split up into 3 sections and the first can be very long. The first stage of labour is where your contractions build to open your uterus to 10cm (or approximately 10!), it can take hours or days to build so you need to take it slow and let your contractions build instead of jumping into action mode! Remember, the magic number of active labour and you being admitted into hospital is 4cm dilated. It could take a long time to get there so just rest and ride your contractions as they build.

Remember that labour is a step-by-step process, and YOU are in the driving seat. You’ve got this!

Feeling peckish?
Don’t forget to snack, either! The length of your labour isn’t something you can predict in advance, and it can be easy to forget to eat when you’re focused on the task of giving birth to a human! Be sure to pack your favourite nourishing treats into your hospital bag, and make your birth partner aware of their location so they know exactly where to look when you shout ‘chocolate, pronto!!!’

Did you know that in the first stage of labour, one of the first signs could be diarrhea? This is because your body clears out as much waste as possible before labour starts so that it can focus all energy on birth. Now you know this - it makes sense to snack and drink water throughout labour to keep your energy levels up.

Breathe baby, breathe
Of course, maintaining breathing is also crucial to staying grounded and focused during labour. Hypnobirthing is a sure fire way of staying in control, and you can find out how to harness its power in other butterbean videos.

Many hypnobirthing courses teach you a specific breathing technique whereby you count your inhale and exhale. I can tell you now, that will not help you when in labour. Why? Because you'll be busy counting instead of focusing on your your body! To nail your breath it is as simple as this - just take a long inhale through your nose and a long exhale through your mouth. This will ensure your body is getting oxygen, your uterus can do it's thing and you're not busy counting up and down and worrying whether you're doing it right!

Know those options!
Knowing what to expect and being aware of your options is the best tool you can have to make informed choices and receive the best care possible during labour. The acronym B.R.A.I.N is crucial to keep in mind. It stands for: benefits, risks, alternatives, intuition and nothing. How does it work? Let's take the example of being offered an induction when you are nearing 40 weeks. You ask your midwife what the benefits of an induction are, and then you ask what the risks are, or if there are any alternatives. Next, you engage your gut reaction. What is your intuition telling you? Is it telling you this is gonna be a good option or bad option? Finally, ask your midwife or doctor - what happens if you just do nothing? Remembering this allows you to stay empowered.

Understand your hormones
Next up - pain relief! Our bodies are completely capable of managing labour! They really truly are, thanks to our trusty hormones. A much loved fact of mine is that endorphins are 10 times more powerful than morphine! But saying that, some women are anxious about birth and feel the need for extra pain relief during labour, and that’s A-okay, too.

Understanding your hormones in general is arguably the most important thing you can do to prepare for labour. We can think of them as our support system through labour and birth, almost like a hammock of support, making everything as intuitive and seamless as possible. Our best friends, endorphins, produce effective, natural pain relief. And oxytocin, our love hormone, enables smooth contractions and keeps you calm during labour. Getting to grips with your hormones can really transform how you view the whole process. I can’t recommend it enough! You can head to the butterbean platform for a hormones deep-dive.

 

Your body is built to give birth, you just need the tools to make it happen!