Elizabeth’s Positive Birth Pool Story, Baby Ben – 2nd Baby

It’s been a little while as we’ve been settling in, but I just wanted to update you on how our birth went! 

I started with regular surges on the morning of Wednesday 19th of April and things hadn’t ramped up much by the Thursday evening, so I called the hospital who said I could pop in for an examination to see how things were progressing. We took all our bags just in case, which was lucky as they asked us to stay in and I got the pool room that I missed out on last time when I was induced with Sophie.

I had the time to set up my hypnobirthing space, with photos, birth affirmations, fairy lights and forest sounds (which I’d been practising and relaxing with since our session). Nathan was incredibly supportive, making sure I had everything I needed and encouraging me through the surges, which carried on for a few more hours at which point the midwife said we could go home if we preferred. I trusted my body though and decided to stay, we managed to take a short nap and when I woke up the surges were getting more intense – I cracked on my music playlist (everything from Blink 182 to Pantera haha!) and stayed active, breathing through the surges. We put the water in the pool at around 11, which really helped me to relax and take some weight off. I also started squeezing my comb at this point (great tip!) as things got more intense.

Our baby boy Ben arrived at 1:29am on the Friday after lots of slow, controlled pushing. I got away with no stitches or tears using the breathing exercises we’d talked about.

The midwives commented afterwards that they’d not seen such a calm and beautiful waterbirth (not that it felt anything like that to me at the time, I definitely made a lot of racket!) which makes me so proud looking back on it. As a very anxious and self-critical person, I tend to focus on everything I think I should be doing better so this was really lovely to hear, and I’ve drawn a lot of courage from it over the past few weeks, which I’ve found really hard.

I can say with certainty that our session with you gave me the confidence and tools to have such an amazing and positive birth experience, which I’ll always be able to look back on as a wonderful memory. What an incredible gift – thank you from the bottom of my heart.

What can I do to support early labour?

When it’s clear that labour is about to begin, many of us tend to think it’s time to make arrangements to go to the hospital or stop everything we are doing and focus on the labour.

  • It’s estimated that for many spontaneous labours (ones that start without any form of intervention) we can spend up to 70% of our time at home.
  • Heading to the hospital or having your midwife come over soon can actually slow down the labour process so listening to your body and tuning in with what’s happening is important to time it right! Here are some tips on what to do during early labour, as part of my full hypnobirthing class 
  • We talk through how labour tends to work during my full hypnobirthing classes and it’s a great opportunity for you to have a think about what you might want to do, what support you might want and what you might need too! 

Here are some tips, let me know what you think and whether you used any of these in your labour!

  • Continue as normal for as long as you feel that you can. Distract yourself with things that you enjoy doing, go for a walk or make some delicious food.
  • Eat a good meal and get hydrated!
  • Get into a rhythm of using calm breathing during your surges or contractions
  • Don’t get too hung up on the pattern of your surges or contractions, ask your partner to support with this so that you can focus on raising your oxytocin!
  • Stay in your own environment or private space as long as you can – this will help the oxytocin flow!
  • Listen to your instincts, you know your baby and your body better than anyone
  • Listen to your body, rest when you need to and move your body intuitively