Me and Jess done all the preparation we could, in order to have as much an easy labour and birth as possible. We both had apps on our phones that had several suggestions for different aches and pains, as well as things to prepare before the birth. I had an app called DaddyUp, which breaks the pregnancy down to light, humourous sections, comparing the pregnancy to an uphill hike, and makes reference to being a lumberjack and your upcoming child being called a cub. While it sounds juvenile, it also does offer suggestions to help you and Mum feel better. Jess also used some apps that gave her great detail about what to expect from the following week and how the baby was progressing. I especially liked the size comparisons, where it told you what your baby was currently the size of in terms of different movie props, animals, toys and many other interesting things.
Out of all of the suggestions we had read from books, online and our apps, we found that bouncing on an exercise ball would ease Jess‘s hip pain, as well as walking around or rocking in different positions. We also read that these positions she was using to ease the pain, were also ideal delivery positions, so it was good to get some practice in.
I would often massage Jess‘s lower back and rub her feet and ankles to ease the pain and the swelling, and they were all things she wished me to do when the labour began. We even tried remedies that were suggested to reduce tearing, but there was one more big thing that we wanted to master before the day came, and that was hypnobirthing.
Hypnobirthing is a breathing and mindfulness technique used to ease and distract from the pain of contractions and delivery, and we got a book that showed us how to do it. The book was great, it showed Jess the best way to breathe through the pain, but also create pictures in her head associated with inhaling and exhaling, such as the rising and setting of the sun.
Within the book, there were extracts that I could read to Jess to distract her from what was happening, and some weren’t even linked to breathing, they were just there to relax. Our favourite made you imagine a scene where you were out walking and returned home to a nice cosy cottage where a hot fresh loaf of bread awaited you for supper, detailing the smell and taste and texture. I got to practice my best relaxing voice, when I would read to her in bed.
I definitely feel that these exercises helped enormously throughout the contractions, and I would recommend it to anyone.