Preparation For Labour And Birth – This Is Not It

I’ve seen these guys before. I think the fact that they attempt to put themselves in the shoes of women is quite sweet, but the videos they produce just don’t help anyone. Sadly, the female OB/GYN who keeps appearing for a professional perspective doesn’t help either. She gives sensationalist opinions, and some of her advice, for example advising women to do abdominal ‘crunches’ during pregnancy in, “The Try Guys Try Pregnancy Bellies,”  is misinformation. (*The video shows the guys doing crunches when ‘heavily pregnant.’ It is strongly recommended to avoid lying on your back because as your uterus grows, its weight can compress the blood vessels leading to your heart, potentially depriving your developing baby of oxygen). Learn about exercising safely during pregnancy here

As I scrolled through the comments for the video, it had done its job brilliantly – woman after woman saying the pain was the reason they never wanted to have children, even if they once did. Yes, this is completely over the top, but it’s just another thing to store itself away in our subconscious – labour and birth are the worst pain I’ll ever feel.

Now, let’s try this. The Try Guys learn about the physiology of birth. They learn about how their bodies will respond. They learn that labour pain is a healthy pain; a by-product of a process working just as it should be – a force which moves their babies down through their bodies and into their arms. They learn about the power of deep, calm, focused and controlled breathing, and how all of those things help with the management of pain. They learn about how effective it is to be active and upright in labour, and using gravity to work with them – rather than being flat on their backs which potentiates the pain. They learn about how empowering giving birth is, and they learn that their power is infinite and that their bodies were made for this. Do they still feel helpless and the need to scream out for drugs, or looking at the whole picture, and preparing themselves for months mentally, do they feel able to ride with the intensity?

I think that the collective perception of pain in labour revolves around the fact that if we’re in pain normally, especially intense pain, we can take a pain killer. Intolerable pain stems from serious injuries, or physical problems, usually, and we should not have to suffer through this pain. So why would we want to put ourselves in a situation of pain when we don’t have to? We’ve all experienced bad pain before, and can’t imagine not being able to do anything about it.

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Injurious pain is not the same as labour pain. The associated pain with contractions ebbs and flows. It is not a constant. There is time between contractions to catch our breath and muster our strength for the next wave. It is just as much a psychological process as it is physiological. What isn’t spoken about nearly enough is how powerful women are and that birth is nothing to fear – it just takes a healthy and prepared mindset.

Having decided to become a mother took enormous strength in itself. As we grow our babies, and our bodies change, we start to realise that we are relinquishing control. As we near the end of our pregnancies, we start to tap into a new strength – patience and trust. Our babies may keep us guessing with possible signs they’re ready to meet us, only to decide, not quite yet. The time finally comes and labour begins, and if we’re really ready to embrace the process, we can find a strength in ourselves we never knew. Any associated pain becomes a great teacher, and it teaches us to never again doubt our abilities; it teaches what we can find within ourselves when we dig deep.

I’ve said it before but I will continue to say it. Birth is beautiful, birth is magnificent, and with the right preparation and acceptance, we can all do it! Don’t let videos like this put you off – they are not the truth. Notice that there were no women speaking who had an empowering birth, or spoke of birth with a respect for the process, and the difference it would make to hear women say how much they loved their birth – there truly are so many of us who do exist.

In gratitude,


From the Womb to the World

Thank you for reading my blog post! I welcome your comments.

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