Day 1 of the 10 Day Birth Plan – PAIN

Its Day 1 of the 10 day Write your Birth Plan with me, I have 25 lovely ladies who have joined me to write their birth plan to create the best birth. We started off on day 1 with discussing the first of the 10 “P’s” which is pain.

Pain is so closely associated with childbirth and it has got a lot to do with your beliefs and expectations. We did a little poll before we started and I was very interested that of 25 ladies, 17 expected the pain of labour to be a strong 10 out of 10. (BTW  0 out of 10 being no pain at all and 10 out of 10 being the most you can get.) So 17 of the 25 were expecting 10 out of 10, 5 of them were on the 7 to 9 out of 10, only 1 was a 5 out of 10, and nobody was under 5 and that’s really really interesting. It means we have got a lot of work to do because there is already an expectation of pain, and as I have spoken about earlier, pain is usually associated with something that’s wrong and its not something that we think of as pleasurable, enjoyable or even something to look forward to but the pain of labour is so different because you can actually prepare for it.

But at the same time we steer away from the word pain and rather use the word sensation. I have used it in the build up to it because I know that’s how closely associated it is with labour and giving birth, but in the course and the continuation of the week we rather refer to it as sensation cause pain is merely a sensation, its also something that everybody experiences differently because its really subjective. The way I experience a headache will be very different to the way you experience a headache, the way I treat my headache may be very different to the way that you treat your headache. It’s something we have to see as subjective, we all experience it very very differently and that’s sometime the problem with asking other people what its like, because everybody asked will give you a different answer.

So we talk not just about beliefs and expectations but how you manage those beliefs and expectations. In order to change your beliefs and expectations you need to understand them, and understand that because the pain of labour (or sensation of labour) is so different to any other kind of pain it is something that you can prepare for. The other interesting thing about the poll that I did with the ladies in the group was that there was a good 60/40% split so 60% of them are hoping to avoid any form of medical intervention in terms of epidural, pethidine and gas & air, and the other 40% are open to using it and they want to know how and when to use it effectively.

Now because we doing a challenge like this, its important that you understand all your options, so we are covering all of them. I always say is its good to know that you’ve got your safety nets. The medical options are your safety nets and they are always available. Even if your preference is to avoid them its nice to know that they there, then you can focus all your attention on what you do want and what you do want is to avoid them.

In order to avoid them you need to understand them and you need to know how they work, you need to know the risks and benefits and the timings of when they are available, because certainly with your very medical pain relief options like an epidural and like pethidine, there’s a window of opportunity and time when they work really well and when’s the best time to give them. There is also a time when its either too early, or you have passed the point of no return and its not the right thing. You want to know that window of opportunity and you want to understand the risks and benefits and what the alternatives are to using medical pain relief options and if you want to avoid them, what are the other options available to you.

What are the non-medical ones? And the great thing about knowing all of your options is that we have 3 very effective medical pain relief options, your epidural, pethidine and gas & air, and then we’ve got endless non-medical ones, and the most valuable and powerful is your breathing. I teach various breathing techniques but there’s 5 I like to focus on during pregnancy, the ones that I’ve got on my app called Birth Breathing. Then we have got position and movement and how that helps you, how different positions will affect the way you are experiencing the sensation. We’ve got massage, and massage has to do with the gate theory of pain because what we believe or what the gate theory states is that the pleasure signals travel to the brain faster than the pain signals or the discomfort signals, so if we could give you a pleasurable sensation by either giving you a deep back massage or a light touch massage then those pleasure signals are going to reach the brain quicker and those are the ones you going to work with.

Then its also about how you are perceiving that pain, so not just the perception of the pain beforehand, but the perception of the pain when you in it. That has a lot to do with your mental preparation. I put a lot of emphasis on the preparation of the mind and dealing with your expectations and beliefs, and that’s what we are dealing with in this section of the 10 Day Birth Online Birth Plan.

This is a transcript of day 1 of the 10 day Birth Plan –  a “live” online course. In other words, I lead you virtually with a daily live interactive sessions so that you can pick my brain and get the answers that you need as we move through the course together. 

Every day for 10 days you will get an email with a link to a video lesson. Each lesson includes powerful exercises for  you to complete and share daily in the closed group where I will give you individual feedback based on your personal preferences. 

By the end of the 10 days you will have a plan that includes a back up plan. The plan that covers what happens when things do not go as planned – because birth is unpredictable. This plan is realistic. It is powerful and it includes what you need to know and understand. It is more than a checklist of things you do not want.

What you will have is powerful techniques and tools to support your plan and a clear understanding of every element of your plan and the role of your partner. Join me for the next 10 Day Birth Plan

When you are prepared, you can do anything.