Making the move
Research shows that if we arrive at the place where we are going to give birth already in active labour, it reduces this risk for intervention
This means that by the time we arrive, our care providers would like us to be over 4 cm dilated or having around 3 contractions in 10 mins consistently for 2 hours.
(always check with your care providers as these numbers vary from place to place)
Being sent home
It’s very common for women to be having these regular contractions at home and make the journey to the birth centre or hospital. On arrival they accept the optional vaginal exam offered by the care providers and discover they are less dilated than they thought, perhaps the contractions are less frequent than they were and they are advised to go home. Which can be frustrating not to mention demotivating
Hormones at work
This all makes sense when we consider the role of oxytocin in the labour.
Oxytocin likes to feel safe, private and comfortable. Now I don’t know about you but the backseat of my local taxi company isn’t gonna cut the mustard here…
This journey, however, is unavoidable unless you chose to birth at home right?
Even if you to opt for homebirth. The transfer rate for a 1st time mum is about 40-50 percent so it’s always worth having a plan B for the big day.
My tips for a smooth transition
Whilst you may have gone to great lengths to recreate your local cowshed spa in your front room, it’s important to consider this journey in as a key transition stage in your birth.
Here are my top 3 tips to stay in the birthing zone when you leave the comfort of your home.
Think about how you can create your own little bubble. a way for you to still maintain a sense of privacy- Even though this might not be the obvious. Whether it’s a blanket or scarf over your head or an eye mask. whatever this means to you.
Bonus points for keeping it dark/dimly lit here. Your hormone melatonin is released in the dark. Think of melatonin like oxytocin’s wingwoman. Helping to keep your contractions regular and powerful.
In my Walthamstow Hypnobirthing classes, I always encourage couples to work with an anchor when practicing relaxation. Let’s use scent as an example.
Pick a favourite relaxing scent. Lavender and chamomile are common but it’s really down to your preference and you may even find a premixed rollerball with a blend of scents.
If you practice relaxation regularly with this scent anchor at the same time, then your brain associates that scent with being relaxed.
In time, the simple act of smelling that smell acts as a trigger for relaxation.
I use smell as an example here because for me this is very evocative.
But this could be anything, listening to a piece of music, a photo of a loved one. A favourite crystal. Consistency is key and it requires prior planning!
Where do I start here?
I am a big advocate for the power of positive touch throughout labour. Massage, stroking, hugging. Whatever floats your boat.
These techniques promote both oxytocin (see above) and endorphins, mother nature’s very own pain-relieving hormones. This can help you feel more comfortable.
So in the situation where you find yourself leaving the haven of your home. The power of positive touch can help you to birth more comfortably.
In the car or tax, consider how your birth partner can support here.
In the transfer scenario a full back rub or foot massage may not be convenient!
So consider what is. Stroking your arm or your hair, or even holding you close.
If your partner is driving you then of course skip this one and eyes on the road!!!
For more tips on how to create the optimum environment for birth be it at home, hospital or even the Uber to the birth centre come along to my Walthamstow Hypnobirthing classes or get in touch about a free taster session