3 ways to stay calm during labour (instead of totally freaking out)


So last night was probably the worst night in the history of all
nights sleeps. Hurricane Katie was raging outside my house and
Hurricane Jamie Joe (my 1 yr old) was raging inside my house. Jamie is
teething, has a really snotty grotty cold and according to The Wonder
Weeks App is either going through or about to have a developmental
leap- not a good combo!

Katie span, whirled, whistled and down poured whilst Jamie, who
I co-sleep with, wriggled, cried, scratched and just couldn’t
sleep for more then 40 mins at a time (and took about 40 minutes or
longer to settle each time).

After 3-4 hours of this I felt like screaming and running away! I was
tense and my teeth were gritted and I just wanted to not be touched
and to get some damn sleep!! I wanted to wake everyone else up (my
husband and 2 older children) and say please can you take over now
(the kids are only 6 and 8 so not really an option!).

I found myself doing exactly what I teach people NOT to do. I was
feeling so negative, tense and basically holding my breath or
breathing fast. So somehow, in between the pinches and the wriggles
and the crying, I drew upon what I know (which I will tell you about
below) and I got through it.

1. Affirm the positive, not the negative. In my head at one point I
was literally saying “aggghhhh”, “get me out of here” and “why won’t
you sleep”. This was getting me no where. It wasn’t helping Jamie and
it wasn’t helping me! So I switched it up and my mantra became “when I
relax, Jamie relaxes” and with this I allowed my body to lose its
tension. I felt myself become limp and I felt Jamie relax too ( maybe
only for a short while but it’s still a win!!). In labour, you can use
the same technique, repeat a positive affirmation again and again
until it becomes your focus and reality. Ideally you would have been
using positive affirmations throughout your pregnancy which would make
this tip even easier.

2. So I had managed to shut the crappy negative self talk down with
that affirmation, now I needed to make sure that I felt good. So
instead of feeling unhappy and woe is me and thinking all “cup half
empty things” like…”how the hell am I going to get through a rainy
bank,holiday Monday with 3 kids and no sleep!”, I began to think about
how much I love this crying, snotty, struggling to sleep little
munchkin. I allowed myself to really feel the love as strongly as I
could and I began to feel better. In labour the same applies, think
about how soon your baby will be in your arms, stay connected to your
baby and remember that is why you are in labour. Instead of focusing
just on what sensations you are feeling, focus on why you are feeling
them. Ideally, if you have done HypnoBirthing, you would have been
focusing on bonding with your unborn child making this tip once again,
even easier.

3. My breathing had become shallow and fast and at one point I was
holding my breath- this was making me feel worse and not helping
Jamie. It was encouraging my body to tense up. I focused on breathing
calmly, filling my abdomen and breathing out for twice as long as I
was breathing in. That felt soooooo much better and allowed me to
relax my body and work with my affirmation. In labour, breathing
properly is incredibly important, like vital sort of important. You
should use your breathe to work with your body, slowly and in control.
When you do this it helps to release the tension and reduce the
discomfort you may be experiencing. It also encourages a release of
happy hormones (endorphins) which makes you feel calm and relaxed and
also act as natures pain reliever.

My husband woke up at 4am (after vacating to the spare room earlier as
he knew it was going to be a stormy night) and told me to go in the
other room to get some sleep whilst he took over. Thank God! I am
writing this on 3 hours sleep but I feel happy about how I dealt with
the situation and in the morning, nothing is ever as bad as it seems in
the dead of night with hurricane Katie raging against your window.

If you want to transform your pregnancy, put your self in control of
your labour and prepare you for parenthood, send me an email to book a
free 30 minute consultation to find out more.

Right, I’m off to find something to entertain 3 children on this
wonderful rainy bank holiday Monday!