In my birth story there wasn’t space to share the resources that helped us to prepare mentally, physically and spiritually for this marathon! So I thought I’d share those here.
1) Bradley Class- the Bradley class was one of the biggest influences on us in deciding what birth we wanted. (I appreciate that our instructor, Regina Paleau, knows the balance as her first baby was born naturally and the second required a C-section). Just knowing how my body works really helped mentally during labor. It was also a tremendous blessing as my husband had learned ways that he could be more helpful.
2) Dancing for Birth- Physically this was a huge help. I took the first class because it sounded like fun, a great way to meet new ladies, and it was free. I developed a friendship with the dance instructor, Dana Caulkins, and she was a great help, teaching why certain positions are more effective, the importance of exercise during pregnancy, etc. However, during labor, I was surprised how much those dance moves really helped to ease the pain of contractions!
3) Essential Oils – I had been using essential oils before I became pregnant, and when I first became pregnant, I stopped everything because I didn’t know what was safe. However, I was very excited to learn that there were several that I could use. I have a book called Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Birth, & Babies by midwife Stefanie Fritz. She outlines several of the ways she uses essential oils in her practice and shares testimonials from many of her patients. Of course, I recommend that every woman does her own research, uses caution and talks to her medical caregiver with concerns.
By far, my faith was the biggest help during labor. The freedom to call out to God and know that He hears and helps me, as well as comforting passages from Scripture, were a huge help. My family and those supportive people around me were another tremendous blessing. I’m so thankful for how God has blessed me with such supportive and encouraging people.