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How to have an Intervention-Free Birth in Singapore, Part 2: The Importance of Self Care

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What do you know about giving birth in Singapore, mama? Experienced midwife Red Miller is back with more tips for having an empowering, happy and intervention-free birth!

Click here for Part 1: How to Have an Intervention-Free Birth
Click here for Part 3: 8 Steps to Help You Labour in Peace

Earlier this month experienced midwife and birthing instructor Red Miller of Love Based Birth talked about medical interventions and when they are and are not necessary in the birthing process. Today in part 2 of this 3-part series, Red will continue with her top 20 tips for having an intervention-free birth in Singapore, with a focus on self care during pregnancy. You can also check out part 3: How to Labour in Peace

As ever, we want to let you know that Sassy Mama supports every kind of birth, and respects every woman’s decision around what to do with her body. We just want to help you get informed! For even more on giving birth in Singapore, be sure to check out our Ultimate C-Section Guide and Guide to Natural Birth in Singapore. Now take it away, Red!

I love to work with mums prenatally! My role is to encourage them to be at their healthiest inside and out.

Growing another person inside the body is a great reason to clean up the diet, get more exercise and pay attention to reducing stress and increasing pleasure.

Birth, after all, is not just a physical process; it is equally a mental and emotional one. Making a commitment to all three of these will serve you well.

Getting proactive and excited about health complements actively participating in the decision making process with your care providers. This attitude will go a long way towards supporting you to an intervention-free birth!

Now let’s get back to the tips list (click here for part 1)…

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7. Hire a Doula

A doula is a subjective, experienced presence who is outside of the emotional sphere of the birth.

The Internet is filled with all kinds of awesome stats to support the use of doulas, for instance: a 28% decrease in the risk of C-section. A great doula in my opinion is one who is stands in the birth space with a couple anticipating their needs, and supporting the birth partner to be the best carer for the labouring woman.

Hire a doula. You will be glad you did.

8. Every day do something for a healthier you

A green smoothie
A fresh juice
A fresh coconut water
Focus on your breath
Take a walk
Take the stairs
Get on the yoga mat
Have a swim
Take a nap
Recite an affirmation
Get a massage
Listen to music that makes you feel good

It does not have to be time consuming or complicated, but must be every day.

Pregnant woman in labour at home home birth

9. Practice prenatal yoga

Remembering that breath is key in labor as it is in yoga, use your breath to stay in a pose like wide legged chair longer then you want to. This will help you get comfortable with feeling your body’s edge.

Learning to surrender the mind and body, to soften, to open up, to be present with what comes up, connecting with the breath, letting go of ‘perfection’, building strength; I cannot say enough about the benefits of practicing yoga during pregnancy.

Aim to do yoga three times a week; a great prenatal teacher will also guide you to connect with the baby throughout the class.

10. Have bodywork during pregnancy 

Remember that time you fell off your bike?

That season you spent learning to snowboard and landing on your butt over and over?

That car accident you were involved in as a teen?

All of this trauma is stored in the soft tissues, ligaments and bones of the pelvis and can cause poor alignment. Poor alignment makes for more difficult births.

Additionally, we sit too much at desks and don’t move the pelvis or the spine as much as we need to. The result is more aches and pains for mums and more chance for baby to get comfortable in a position that is not optimal for birth.

Bodywork like Craniosacral Therapy, Osteopathy, Chiropractic and others have wonderful results at getting everything lined up, and there are many wonderful practitioners in Singapore.

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11. Actively Practice Relaxation

Take time every day to breathe and relax each and every muscle from the top of your head all the way down to the bottom of your feet.

Birth requires the body to soften and open to allow another human to pass through; learning to relax is key. The more you practice relaxing the easier it becomes so start early in pregnancy.

Google ‘guided relaxation for pregnancy’ and you’ll find tons of free audio tracks.

12. Include baby in all your birth plans

When you are thinking about or planning for the birth don’t forget to include baby in the conversation.

Lots of cool new research shows how actively they are participating in everything going on.

Have regular chats with your baby and describe the process you are both in and how you imagine your birth will unfold. Let them know what they can do to help.

‘Head down, chin tucked, hands on heart and back to mummy’s belly!’

13. Use positive visualisations and affirmations

Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want.

A common fear for many women is perineum tears during birth. Addressing the fear is important, and then using affirmation and visualisations will help shift it.

For example, visualise lots of space for your baby with your vaginal tissue softening and stretching beautifully around her head.

Write a positive affirmation like ‘my baby is a perfect size for me to birth with ease’ and put it somewhere you will see several times a day. Say it out loud every time you see it.

Affirmations and visualizations like these will increase your confidence and help you relax.

heart-peach

These 7 tips should give you lots to think about in the coming weeks! In the next article I’ll cover tips you can use during labour to hopefully help avoid intervention once the process begins! Until then, happy gestating!

Lead image, image #1, image #2 and image #3 sourced via Pinterest.

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