Yoou­uc­caan­nd­dooitit with­out think­ing

Mother & Baby (UK) - - BUMP & BIRTH -

You might think you have one brain, and you’re right, but it has three ma­jor ar­eas: the neo­cor­tex, the lim­bic brain, and the cere­bel­lum. in mod­ern life, the bit you use most is your neo­cor­tex – this is the ‘think­ing’ bit, that de­cides who to vote for on

Strictly and what to have for tea. in labour, you don’t need this bit at all. You need to let your con­scious­ness drop down into the ‘mon­key’ bit of your brain, the lim­bic part, which is more of an emo­tional, sen­sory and al­to­gether more ‘feely’ place. As birth guru ina May Gaskin says, mon­keys don’t think about how di­lated they are or how their bot­tom is look­ing from a cer­tain an­gle. they just go for it. And you can do just the same.

Birth is ex­tremely safe

‘to be­gin with, i thought birth had to hap­pen in hos­pi­tal, that it would be painful, and that i’d want all the drugs. then i dis­cov­ered hyp­no­birthing, which taught me that i was made to do this, and i had a beau­ti­ful home wa­ter birth.’ Jodie White, 30, from Som­er­set, is mum to Wil­low, 16 months

It’s nor­mal to feel a lit­tle afraid dur­ing labour, es­pe­cially if it’s your first time, but it’s im­por­tant to keep a sense of per­spec­tive. In our priv­i­leged Western so­ci­ety, birth has never been safer. Birth is de­signed to work well in the ma­jor­ity of cases, oth­er­wise we can be sure there wouldn’t be so many hu­mans on the planet! Most of us are now very well-fed, healthy and strong, and mid­wives and medics un­der­stand how labour works and what to do if it doesn’t. And this great com­bi­na­tion of strong women do­ing what we’re built to do, with the safety net of med­i­cal back-up, makes birth in our cul­ture very, safe. very

‘Know­ing the facts helps. And a birth­plan is bril­liant even if your birth doesn’t go to plan. it helped in my emer­gency cae­sarean, as my wishes were lis­tened to, which helped me take own­er­ship of my birth.’ Liz Sharkey, 41, from Leeds, is mum to Josiah, two

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