Updated: Jul 10
I remember when I discovered I was pregnant for the first time, I was so excited about the prospect of becoming a mum UNTIL people started to share their stories & experiences with me. Over the course of 3 pregnancies I can not tell you how many times someone shared a horror story with me, thinking that somehow they were doing me a favour - really??? So if you are guilty of this, whilst I am sure it comes from a place of love - stop it! When someone is regularly exposed to negative stories & experiences, they will begin to doubt their ability, as well as creating needless stress & worry.
So what can you do, to create a positive mindset?
Know your stuff - Take time to research & understand birth. You can read, watch videos or attend an antenatal class. Being knowledgeable about what is happening, will help you to feel more prepared & therefore more confident.
Write a birth plan - being clear on your choices and what it important to you, will not only help you to feel in control but will be incredibly important for your birth partner & your midwife. Writing 3 plans can be helpful:
Plan A - your ideal birth
Plan B - if your plan had to change i.e. MLU is closed or the pool isn't available
Plan C - if you decide on intervention i.e. induction or Caesarean
Surround yourself with positivity - Every birth is different, your birth is YOUR birth. It makes no difference to your birth experience if your best friend had an epidural or your cousin had an emergency caesarean. Take time to seek out and read positive stories & experiences (they are out there but often women feel guilty for sharing. So if you had amazing experience - share it. Women need to hear it!!). A great starting point is right here on my website: https://www.vickiwilkinsonbirthandbaby.co.uk/positivebirthstories
Exercise - gentle exercise in pregnancy, such as pregnancy yoga, swimming & walking can ease any pregnancy aches, prepare your body for birth & help baby's positioning. Plus it's great for releasing all the feel good hormones such as endorphins.
Pick your birth partner wisely & make sure they are prepared - now this may be a bit controversial but you need to make sure your birth partner/s is are on board with your birth plan. There is no point spending time on your own mindset if your birth partner/s are not so keen on your choices. Think about who will help you to feel calm & relaxed, who can understand what you need, who can make you feel safe & cared for - maybe that's your romantic partner, a family member, a friend or even a doula ( we are amazing at this!).
Who ever you choose, your birth partner needs to be your biggest advocate, so make sure they are prepared. Encourage them to co-produce your birth plan, attend classes with you & do their research, so they know how to support you in labour. Knowing your birth partner has it sorted means you can relax & simply focus on having your baby when the big day arrives❤︎