How on earth could a relaxation CD help prepare you for birth?
by Andy Mayer
It sounds a bit nutty that you can whack on some ear phones , close your eyes and relax to the point of falling asleep to prepare for your baby’s birth. However, in many independent birth classes these days parents are often given a few handouts plus a relaxation CD or they are advised to download a hypnobirthing, calmbirth, noblebirth or some meditation style track.
Parents across the globe are now donning the headphones each night in preparation for labour and birth but is it any good?
Doing something is better than doing nothing. However, doing some preparation in a holistic manner is better than doing it in isolation. Attending classes, reading a book, doing an online course in conjunction with listening to preparation audios will be more beneficial to meeting your pregnancy and birth goals. Making sure the audio tracks you are listening to add value is another step.
- The track should be written by a qualified Hypnotherapist childbirth educator. This is because scripts are written following a particular format and should have 4 distinct parts
- Introduction to what will happen
- Deepening of relaxation
- Suggestions relating to the thoughts,behaviours or beliefs you wish to change
- Awakening component bringing you back to full alertness.
- The voice on the track should have a relatively neutral accent. A non English speaker recorded in English or an English speaker with a strong accent may have you tuning out rather fast.
- The track provides instructions of how to create a relaxed space and how to go into a deep level of relaxation. It should INSTRUCT you how to get comfortable, when to close your eyes, tips on breathing for relaxation and clearly explain what is going to happen. Importantly it should make you feel SAFE.
- The tracks MUST prepare you for birth. if it ONLy relaxes you then you may as well go off and meditate. Relaxation in pregnancy is extremely important BUT preparing for labour is a little bit different. There must be positive references to birth and labour.Meditation follows the same pathway to relaxation but does not offer suggestions for behavioural or belief changes.
- The track MUST contain suggestions about positive birth and give you time to relate and absorb those statements. It should be deprogramming negative outlooks or beliefs and replacing them with positive outlooks and your own intent are part of the overall preparation. In fact it is paramount. Listening to your relaxation track daily is optimal even if it is at night before you drift off to sleep. This is because you will hear different parts of the track at differing times in your sleep pattern and the positive suggestions in the tracks are paramount to your positive preparation. When you get up to toilet during the night just put your tracks back on and drift back to sleep.
So what are you waiting for ? Go lie down and listen to your birth preparation audios. The best exercise you can do while drifting off to sleep