Many of you have already heard my void deck birth story via IGTV and I'm so glad you either found it hilarious or inspiring. I'm sure some also freaked out because it seems impossible that anyone could labour outside of the hospital right? Well we have been programmed to think that the ONLY place safe for a woman to give birth is the hospital which I feel is very debatable. We have also been brain washed by movies and society that we'd scream at the top of our lungs when pushing the baby out and that we need all the drugs and painkillers to go through this ordeal. Again - debatable. Worse is some of us believe we can’t even labour and the only way the baby can get out is through cutting you open. This I strongly disagree.
In today's blogpost, I really hope to sincerely share with you why and how ANY woman has all the RIGHTS to have a drug-free, natural birth. I also have no intentions of putting down women who had to take drugs or pushed to a Caesarean birth due to medical reasons.
You may question me back - why do I even want a natural birth? What's so important? My simple 3 answers are;
1) Your body is made to do so - Did you know, I was fully aware of the surrounding and very alert with what’s going on after I pushed the baby, in fact I was the one who told my hubby to take these photos.
2) Healing is faster and less painful - I could receive guests right from day 1 once back from hospital.
3) A natural labour eases you to breastfeeding which is another process I strongly believe in.
Before I share the hows, please remember that every woman's body is different and what has worked for me may not work for you the same. Every labour is different, even if you follow all the tips that I'm about to share, you will have a slightly varied experience.
Here are 5 things I did consistently throughout my pregnancy.
1) Eat clean
I stopped eating fast food when I found out I had conceived. Well I actually cut down ever since my first pregnancy. I also hardly ate out. 90% home cooked food (ok to be fair, I have a helper - so no pressure guys, if you have to eat out, choose healthier options.) I also Green Juice every morning. Even my little toddler Iman take sips of it.
I used to get hungry very easily and needed to snack at night - so i'd make home made granolas, muffins together with Iman and also attempted home made ice cream.
Again, if you do not have the luxury of time, you can snack on fruits, dates, nuts - Not Bubble tea and chips, hehe.
WHY Eat clean - not only should we eat clean all the time, your body wont dilate easily if your sugar levels are high and you don't have all the nutrients.
2) Walk, walk, walk
2nd trimester onwards, I tried to make it a point to walk weekly. Thank god for my Doula, Kak Fad who organised birth walks with other pregnant mummies, made it easier for me to step out of the house to exercise. We would also walk for at least an hour, if not 2 hours at Bedok Reservoir Park or Pasir Ris Park. If weather was too hot or rainy, we'd walk at the airport or Tampines Hub.
The whole purpose of walking is to stay active, so the baby has enough room in your tummy to move about too. Sweating it out also prepares you for the labour - remember giving birth is a physical thing - you need to be at your fittest for a smooth labour.
3) Breathing techniques
As I was counting down to my big day, I would practise my breathing. This is important for you to get through your contractions. Typically a contraction lasts about 30 seconds to 1 min or so. Practise deep breathing for 10 seconds and breathing out for 10 seconds. That’s a total of 20 seconds. So to last 1 min of contractions (60 seconds), you need just 3 cycles of breathing - isn't that doable?? YESS!!
4) A supportive spouse
Throughout my pregnancy, I'm super blessed that my hubby was in this together with me. He would eat clean with me, walked with me (on top of my birth walks, we did a few walks at Mount Faber and nearby our park). He also annoyingly disallowed me to buy junk food or unhealthy snacks. The only time we had to eat out and slightly unhealthy was during our trip to Turkey.
Most importantly, he kept telling me my labour will be easier and on the actual day itself, stood by me and massaged me whenever contractions came.
5) Positive Vibes only
Sometimes the power of our mind is stronger than the body. Even if you ate right, exercised daily, did yoga, had a support system, it all boils down to YOU. To be honest with you, I was very skeptical that despite my efforts, I would still have a long labour like Iman's (34 hours). But I kept telling myself to stay positive, think happy thoughts, count your blessings and know that you'll get through it. Don't forget your prayers coz only God can make it all happen. Every single time I make sujud, I always doa to have a short and smooth labour. Alhamdulillah, exactly that happened for me.
Thats all it takes - a little bit of discipline, effort and GOOD VIBES only. This whole positive experience have led to believe that yes your MIND is powerful. And you gotta surround yourself with people who support you SINCERELY. This also inspired me to our current collection + bundle deals - The Good Vibes Gang. Go get your set now=)
Thank you for reading my blog and I have no intentions of putting pressure on anyone but just want to share what has worked for me. There will always be 2 camps; pro natural VS c-sect, Breastfeeding VS formula, Baby-led weaning VS feeding and so on. There is no one way to your own personal journey and no 2 journeys are the same. Ask around before deciding, do your research, pray to God and again surround yourself with positivity. Shout out to my doala Kak Fad who did an amazing job prepping me for the labour with all her tips and birth walks. Thank you Kak Fad and I wish you the best for 2020. Another shout out to my birth team - hubby and the awesome paramedics - thank you for making in on time at the void deck and sending me and baby in 1 piece to KKH.
To all preggy mamas - YOU GOT THIS!
To all new mamas - If you had a traumatic first labour, let go of the fears coz baby no 2 will surprise you. (if you're planning)
To all women - GOOD VIBES only=)
PS: Below is a recap of my labour story for those who didn't watch my IGTV.
7am - Contractions 15 mins apart
11am - Went to NUH for check up, Mucus plug out
12 - Contractions 10mins apart
2pm - Saw Gynae and she confirmed my baby head is down
3pm - Lunch at Crave Nasi Lemak, NUH
4pm - Home
4pm - 6pm - Contractions 5 mins apart
6pm - Decided to go hospital at night after Isyak ( after 8pm)
6pm - 7pm - Contractions 2 mins apart but still very manageable
7pm - Waterbag broke
7 - 7.30pm - Got ready to get to hospital, in between contractions got REALLY strong. Decided to call grab. Called my Doula who was already in NUH, when she heard my voice, she said Call 995 because I said I felt like pushing.
7.30pm - At the lift - again the urge to push got stronger. When I arrived the lift lobby, hubby cancelled grab and called 995.
7.33pm - Paramedics came.
7.50pm - A few pushes and baby was out.
8pm - En route to KKH, delivery suite.
*Active labour was probably from 5pm till 7pm.