Many first-time mothers in particular fear the experience of childbirth. Although we hear that “it’s all worth it in the end”, we are also constantly told that the birth process is one of the most painful experiences women will go through which impacts anxiety levels.
What many women may not know however, is that the emotional state of fear can have a negative impact on the progress of labor. Emotions of anxiety and fear have been shown to affect the physiological state of the birthing woman. The associated ‘fight-or-flight’ response in the body and release of adrenaline can manifest through the slowing down of labor, and influence a mother’s overall experience of labor and associated pain.
Even Midwives get the first-time mum jitters
Martine Murphy, midwife of 7 years from the Northern Beaches of Sydney, shows us that even those with knowledge of the birthing process get anxious as first-time mums.
“As a midwife, I understood what birth involved but I was still a first time mum. I didn’t know exactly how I was going to cope with the whole process.”
Martine realised that she needed to arm herself with more knowledge and confidence to transform her anxieties into a positive experience. She decided to enrol herself into a Calmbirth course and, together with her husband, learned about how to use certain techniques and skills to have a more calm and enjoyable experience during the labor process.
My births were enjoyable and such empowering experiences. The course really prepared us for any path the birth may have taken.
“It helped me completely surrender to the experience of birth, and taught me amazing techniques to help me prepare for my labor and birth. My births were enjoyable and such empowering experiences. The course really prepared us for any path the birth may have taken. My husband also benefited greatly, as he learnt some practical tips on how to help me throughout labor and what his role was on the day. Partners or support people play such a vital role in helping the woman throughout their labor.”
Your Perfect Birth Courses
Martine is now a mother to her three children Finnegan, Olivia and Thomas, and benefited so much from her course that she decided to become a Calmbirth practitioner herself through her business Your Perfect Birth.
“Becoming a Calmbirth practitioner is my way of helping other women and their partners to create their own positive birth experience, however they imagine it to be.”
Calmbirth teaches pregnant couples how to use their in-built inner resources such as relaxation, breathing and creative visualisation techniques to help reduce or even eliminate fears, anxieties and the unknown that they may have about their upcoming labor and birth. It helps prepare for your birth however your day unfolds.
- runs over 4 weekly 3hr sessions in small groups
- includes theoretical components such as learning what happens with the body during pregnancy and birth, how the hormones and muscles are assisting in the progression of labour, and how to work with these hormones and not against them
- includes practical components such as relaxation exercises, breathing techniques and massage.
- includes a Calmbirth book, relaxation CD/USB, and ongoing support from Martine via email or mobile in the lead up to birth
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Martine Murphy, Sydney midwife of 7 years and mother to 3 children herself, teaches prenatal courses called Calmbirth through her business Your Perfect Birth. Her courses teach and empower pregnant couples to prepare for childbirth, however the day unfolds; helping transform feelings of anxiety and fear into calmer and more positive emotions through imparting theoretical knowledge and teaching practical techniques for the labor process.
#Content in this article has been by contributed by Martine Murphy, edited by DearBub Blog and Magazine Staff. Please apply credit if referencing this article.
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