I’m often asked what women can do during pregnancy to enjoy a Gentle Birth experience. Actually, the biggest impact can be created by what you don’t do, and what you avoid. I’m not sure if that’s what people want to hear!
Following an anti-inflammatory lifestyle and diet is the key. To give birth naturally, with minimal discomfort, the woman’s pelvis needs to be healthy and the surrounding tissue needs to be calm.
Here are my top tips:
- “Gluten free and sugar free” is my motto for a healthy pregnancy and birth experience. This one change contributes 80% of your birth preparation. It takes more than 6 months for the tissues in your body to get rid of the inflammation caused by gluten in your gut and pelvic tissues. Rather than focusing on the fact that you’re going to miss toast and cake, instead think positively. All supermarkets stock gluten free bread, cake and even biscuits. It’s good to know that this one simple change will help you and your baby so much.
- Avoid cow’s milk products – unless it is pure Guernsey milk. Goat’s milk is allowed. Most breeds of cows except the Guernsey cows secrete A1 protein in their milk which can cause inflammation in our gut and muscles. This can interfere with normal gut function and the absorption of good nutrients. It can also cause mucous congestion in our sinuses and mucus accumulation in our pelvic tissues that make it difficult for your baby’s head to descend easily. Mucous congestion also causes the cervix to dilate more slowly during labour.
- Listen to my CD every day for 22 minutes. This is not just a commercial plug! Mental preparation is essential for a healthy pregnancy and birth. My CD teaches expectant mothers self hypnosis, visualisation and mental programming techniques that prepare the mother subconsciously to easily accept and float through the various stages of birthing.Self Hypnosis and Visualisation CD
- Forget about excessive physical training! Exercises like kick boxing, spinning, excessively strong yoga and running tighten the muscles of the pelvis and makes it difficult for the pelvis to open. Focus instead on gentle yoga with micro movements and aqua yoga. In fact, a daily walk of 40 minutes is all that you need.
- Eating for two is a myth! Your baby needs only 200 extra calories a day. The equivalent of a gluten free avocado sandwich plus a ripe pear. A reasonable number of calories for a pregnant mother who takes a brisk 40 minutes a day exercise walk is between 1,800 to 2,000 calories per day.
- Eat fruit with caution. Avoid fruit juices and only eat three fruits a day. Avoid grapes, bananas and mangoes- as they contain too much sugar. Please, please, please avoid dried fruit as it’s full of sugar!
- I advise the use of vaginal oils from 36 weeks of pregnancy until you give birth, with daily gentle self stretching technique. This will help minimise the risk of tearing during labour.
- Take my herbal morning and evening teas to help the tissues in your body eliminate wastes more easily and to strengthen your uterus for birth.
- Go to bed at 10:30 PM every night.
- Spend time with your partner every night for least 10 minutes and ask them to massage my tummy massage oil using the abdominal toning techniques prescribed in my book. This will stimulate the blood supply to your uterus and to your baby and encourages normal birthing hormones to flow on the birthing day. It also helps you and your baby to bond and helps build a loving relationship between you.