What things does my uterus need to work in labour?

I’m a big believer that knowledge is power and when it comes to understanding how birth works – one of the best things you can learn is about the uterus.. after all.. its the star of the show!

When we are in labour, our uterus (or often called the womb) the muscles need to open up in order for us to give birth to our babies.

That’s what our contractions are for. They are opening the body and supporting your baby to move further down into the birth canal and that’s why I always say that they are a good thing – because it means that you are one step closer to meeting your baby.

During birth, there are a few ways that we can support the process by helping our uterus muscles out.

Just like all other muscles in the body – they need things to help them going and if you imagine doing a marathon (which maybe people will say labour is like – I’ve never done a marathon but I get the comparison) its important to try go in as prepared as you can.

Here’s five of my top tips for supporting your uterus in labour

Hydration

Just like other muscles that work really hard… Pre prepare and ask your birth partner to keep toping you up (a straw is great for this!)

Think coconut water, infused fruit waters, honey or good old water itself.

Oxygen

This is one of the reasons our breath is so important. The better we breathe the better our muscles can function. Take a deep breath in through the nose and back out through the mouth – all of this lovely goodness will flow through your body and down to your uterus muscles.

Oxytocin

The birthing hormone. And my absolute favourite topic when it comes to birth and hypnobirthing!

This hormone is so important for birth… an artificial one is often used in induction (syntocinon. It helps contract the uterus. It loves privacy and quieter, darker spaces.

Fuel

Eating isn’t high on our agenda often whilst birthing. Small and easy foods every now and again can help to keep us going.

Think honey, nuts, dates, frozen grapes or even a cube of your favourite chocolate.

An empty bladder

This really helps to give our baby more room to move further down into the birthing canal. Ask those supporting you to remind you to go!

Have a think how you’d like to incorporate these little tips into your birth preferences, chat with your partner or your midwife and pop a plan in place.

Which essential oils can I use in pregnancy and birth?

Something about early labour that every parent needs to know..

I don’t know about you, but I always imagined that as soon as I went into labour, I’d need to quickly make that trip to the hospital to birth my baby.

Relying on things like one of my favourite TV shows Friends or other programmes, hearing other peoples stories – I just assumed that this is how it worked during labour. Get yourself to a hospital quick.

Even whilst teaching, a lot of the families that I work with are really keen to understand their timings – possibly think about when to make that phone call either to ask their midwives to come to their homebirth or head over to the labour ward or birth centre.

Whilst this is important – it really is impossible to say how long your labour will be.. everyone can be so different.

One of the most important things I share with the families that I work with is when it comes to spontaneous labour (this is labour which starts without any form of intervention such as an induction) one of the biggest secrets is to continue doing things that you would do in day to day life for as long as possible.

Make a plan for early labour

Just having a few ideas of things that you can do to keep yourself busy in early labour can really help you to focus your mind on something that you enjoy instead of… woahhh What do we do now? Here are just a few ideas of things that you can do –

  • Bake a cake to enjoy for once your baby has arrived!
  • Go for a walk
  • Grab a coffee… and even more cake!
  • Write a love note to your baby about how excited you are to meet them
  • Yoga
  • A hobby – so many of my clients have done knitting or crochet during early labour
What about using hypnobirthing techniques up in early labour?

When it comes to using your techniques in early labour – its entirely up to you what you do, however, I do tend to say that its best keeping most of your techniques for when labour becomes more established so that you can continue in day to day activities until you no longer feel like you can.

That’s the biggest secret to early labour – keep going until you feel the need to slow down, close the curtains and really let go and focus on birthing your baby.