8 “Must-Haves” For a Mindful Birthing Day!

Via on Dec 11, 2010

Whether you are staying home or birthing out of home, begin preparation for this special day early in pregnancy for a smooth, seamless and stress free arrival of your sweet one.

Here are 8 “Must-Haves” for a joyful birthing day:

Photo courtesy of Showcase Reflections, Boulder, CO.

1. Birth partner

Your birth partner is your beloved, spouse, partner, mother, sister, or other trusted friend or family member. Your birth partner may not be a birth professional, but may indeed be a person who can provide emotional support or even physical comfort measures (the birth doula can assist your partner with this.) When your labor starts, notify your birth parter so that this person can arrange to be with you as soon as possible.

2. Birth doula

Whether birthing at home, hospital, birth center or other location, a birth doula is someone not to forget to have with you for birthing day! The Greek word doula translates to “woman caregiver.” Therefore, a birth doula is a woman who looks after and watches over birth. She assists the partner is being an effective support person, often gently guiding the birth partner to use helpful techniques for assisting and supporting mom with labor.  A doula is a professional caregiver who trusts, respects, and understands the birth process. Her role also is to help mama and partner to have a wonderful experience that they look back upon as an uplifting and joyous occasion.

3. Birth altar

A birth altar is a wonderful way to prepare emotionally, mentally and spiritually for the arrival of your sweet baby. Whether you create a corner in your home, a bag filled with special object for your altar, or a customizable portable birth alter, the process of reflection and preparation is nourishing to mama and partner as well as baby! Your baby feels your love as you create space to honor the pregnancy and your new role! Your alter can contain photos, objects from nature, poems, art, baby items or anything that has special meaning to you.

4. Birth plan

A birth plan is a tool of communication about your birth preferences and desires. In “Creating Your Birth Plan” by Marsden Wagner, M.D. says,

“First you need information about everything that could happen. Second, you need information about the different ways to handle what happens. Third, you need to make decisions about your preferences in case things happen. And finally, you need to communicate or express those preferences.”

While I highly recommend this book to every pregnant couple who is planning for a new baby, I also recommend enrolling in an independent childbirth class with a teacher who trusts and understands the natural divine birth design.

5. Food and drink

Giving birth is the greatest athletic event of your entire life. Of course, food and drink are necessary to stay energized and on top of your game. Purchase or make your favorite energy drink as well as nourishing snacks like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruit and nut bars or other snacks that appeal to you. The scientific evidence clearly shows the importance of eating and drinking in labor.

6. Camera / photographer

Giving birth can be one of the most profound life changing experiences. Michelle, a mom from California recently explained it this way:

“Birthing both of my children at home and intervention free helped me recognize something. Birth is a gateway. Once we pass through that gateway unhindered, we have reclaimed our power as women in this world.”

Capture this special event with casual snapshots or professional shots. Create an album of photos for your child and take it out every birthday to honor and celebrate her birth!

7. Favorite music

Music carries incredible power to soothe, uplift, encourage or relax. In your relaxation, movement or meditation practice play your favorite songs to help your body and cells create the memory of your music within your body. When birthing day comes along, your body will hear your music and automatically let go into relaxation. When the body is relaxed and free of tension, the uterus can do its job of pushing baby out.

8. Comfortable cozy clothes

Reflecting back to the births’ of my own children as well as my understanding of labor, it may be helpful to prepare a “wardrobe” of clothes. Here is why. In early labor most women are quite modest and like to be covered up. Don your favorite nightgown or t-shirt and cozy pants for ease of movement. Yes, you’ll be moving around – A LOT! Many women like to wear a nursing bra for support. During active labor most women lose their modesty and prefer to be wearing little to no clothes. Mama is sweating from the intensity. Clothes may bother her skin and she may just want to wear a nursing bra (not a regular bra because baby should head toward the breast immediately.) After the baby is born, she again will want comfortable clothes, perhaps a button down shirt for easy access to the milk.

Suggest your “must-have” for birthday day in the comments section just below!

About Helene Rose

Helene Rose, MS, is dedicated to inspiring your inner radiance and passionate about supporting women to live uniquely brilliant lives. She offers private mentoring and group mentorship programs dedicated to supporting working women and mothers. Helene also works with corporations to bring balance to feminine leadership and help women and companies tap into and unleash creative feminine energy. Before founding Be Brilliant Network LLC, she completed a BS in Mechanical Engineering, a MS in Curriculum Development, worked within several large corporations, taught ninth-graders in an inner-city school, founded a non-profit to support mothers, and has been on the path of feminine empowerment and mindfulness since becoming a mother in 2004. She lives in Boulder, CO with her family. "Living a brilliant life means that you radiate joy and peace in all areas of your life. You live by your own set of unique values and are empowered to live an authentic, radiant life. Your relationships are nurturing and supportive. Your work is purposeful and meaningful. The earth glows with each step you take. When a woman fully acknowledges and embodies her brilliance, she is an authentic and successful contributor to society - no matter where she is and what she chooses to do. Her inner brilliance shines forth in all she does." - Helene Rose Register for Helene's next Be Brilliant Group Mentoring Program for women. HERE.

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14 Responses to “8 “Must-Haves” For a Mindful Birthing Day!”

  1. Jennifer says:

    I think you mean "altar"

  2. Vicki says:

    I was starving during my last labour, I just wanted to eat right up until I got to feeling like pushing. I had about 12 hours of early labour and about 3 hours of intense work. I never felt sick, just really hungry, so I was really glad I had lots of easy to eat snacks and juice in stock. Guess you've got to go with what feels right at the time, freedom to do that was the most important for me. Being at home and not being drugged so I could go with what my body wanted helped me to really relax and enjoy birth. So very different from the previous time where I was in a birth centre, which was great, but nothing like as great as just staying in my own home. Leaving your nest is such a hard thing to do when you are about to give birth, and I'd not choose to do that again.
    Giving yourself space to prepare mentally is really important, I think it does make a big difference, you can always reject the choices, you can easily turn the music off or blow out the candles, but labour is not the time to be starting to think about collecting those things together if you start to want them!

  3. Allison says:

    I had my baby at home with 3 midwives whom I'd gotten to know well over the course of my pregnancy. By the time I went into labor, my midwives knew me and my wishes and desires so well that I didn't need a 'birth plan'.

    That said – get a birthing tub!!! When you are 9 months pregnant and HUGE, it is actually really hard to move around quickly. Labor requires you to move around. A lot. And if you are in water the ease of that movement is such a relief!

    Last thing – I think our cultural imprint on labor and birth is focused on the pain. And yes, it is painful. But don't loose sight of the joy, either. My partner did such a wonderful job of helping me stay mindful of the baby that was making its way into the world. Just stay focused on your baby and the entire experience of birth, not just the labor pain.

    • helene_rose says:

      Hi Allison,

      Great suggestion to have a birth tub. LOVED mine!!
      What a lovely experience of getting to know your midwives so well, they know you and your home so well!

      I reminded myself that the goal was to birth a baby, not escape the pain or try to get more comfortable!
      I told the Universe to "bring it on" and had my baby at the 3 hour mark!

  4. candy says:

    I find a birth plan to be mostly for you and your husband. I'm about the embark on my second midwife delivered hospital birth. We took a 12 week Bradley class with my son and I also completed a prenatal yoga teachers training at the same time. I was well educated and ended up having a wonderful birth since the midwife does everything standard (clamping and cutting the cord only after it stops beating, episiotomy only if necessary, baby and mothering bonding time immediately after birth and they will send you home at only 3 cm dialated). My husband and I made it just in time for my sons birth so the birth plan really went out the window given no one had time to read it. With in 30 minutes of arriving we had a beautiful baby that received no formula, no drugs, no vaccines, etc and we were out of the hospital in less than 36 hours. Its just about managing the staff and the pain instinctively. About setting that intention…

  5. Good advice & love the comments – Plan and then be ready for everything to change. Best thing I learned about giving birth is that it is 'labour.' This is hard work, but it's work that your body knows how to perform, and which women have been doing, and doing well, since the beginning. Use your breath, use your mind (visualizations are powerful), use every natural process that will assist you and then get to work. It will be the most rewarding experience of your life.

  6. Ella says:

    As a birth doula in training, I so appreciate your to-the-point wisdom and all the comments shared here. It seems that often what we prepare for (and expect) gets thrown out the window but the need for intention, support and celebration never does.
    I so love the portable altars suggestion and the link, beautiful- what a sweet resource for mamas not on the home front.

  7. [...] up, I would be charged with “Failure to obey a direct order.” Again, I was devastated. I had physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared my entire pregnancy for the vaginal birth I lon…I tried going to the commanding officer of the hospital and pleading with her. She suggested that I [...]

  8. helene_rose says:

    Hi Christie,

    It is so important to tune into your mama bear wisdom and determine what you need during the moments of labor and birth, which it sounds like you did! Congratulations!

    Helene

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