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5 Tips for a Positive Birth

Updated: May 20, 2021

In 2014 I wrote this post together with my wonderful doula friend Thando Zwane, with whom I used to co-facilitate the Bristol Positive Birth Movement Group.

The Positive Birth Movement was birthed by Milli Hill in 2012 and quickly became a global network of free groups across the UK and beyond, but has now changed more into an online platform where you can still find many info, courses and resources to help you prepare for birth.

This article was co-written for an interview with Eva Fernandez on BCfm on the topic of “what is a positive birth”. I hope you find it useful, enjoy!

What is a Positive Birth?

"A positive birth is a birth in which a woman feels she has freedom of choice, access to accurate information, and that she is in control, powerful and respected. A birth that she approaches, perhaps with some trepidation, but without fear or dread, and that she then goes on to enjoy, and later remember with warmth and pride. A positive birth does not have to be ‘natural’ or ‘drug free’ – it simply has to be informed from a place of positivity as opposed to fear..."

You can have a positive birth at home, in hospital, with or without drugs: you are in charge of it!

Here are our top five tips to a positive birth: enjoy this transformative journey!


5 Tips for a Positive Birth

1. Get Informed. The key to an empowered birth is knowing what your options are and making informed choices. Know what resources and sources of information are available to you in your community. This can be from birth groups, going on a tour to different hospitals or birth centres, talking to people and reading positive birth stories and books. Knowledge is power!

2. Remain Open in your thinking and in your body. It is good to have your preferences but remember that positive births can happen anywhere and with or without medical interventions. Every pregnancy and birth is different, with its own lessons, insights and wisdom. If something diverts from your original "plan" remain open. Don't be afraid to try something new. Remaining open in your body means releasing any tension that you may be holding. Relax your jaw, unclench your fists and release any tension in your pelvis and birth canal.

3. Trust Your Intuition. That inner voice that has always been there knows exactly what you need, when and how. If you suddenly feel the urge to change something in your birth plan, go with it. You know more than you think you do and your body is perfectly designed to give birth! Your intuition is heightened during labour, so listen to it.

4. Connect to your body, your baby, your breath and birth partner/s, should you decide to have some. Let go of any thinking and just stay fully present with the moment. Use whatever is suitable for you to access that inner place of calm, stillness, peace and strength, whether it is an image, a breathing sequence, an object or even a sense of connection to all the other women around the world labouring with you and those that have laboured before you. Visualise and talk to your baby as you journey together. No matter how things go, just stay connected to that still and calm place within.

5. Let Go. Don't let past experiences, fears or the desire for a "perfect" birth stand in the way of what is and being present to the moment. Surrendering to things as they are brings peace and power. Go into that "other worldly" place and bring your baby Earthside.

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