This means your baby is big enough to communicate with you and for you to communicate back. It also means that you are roughly 20 weeks plus into your pregnancy which is the perfect time to start considering how to prepare for the birth.
Your rib cage is expanding to accommodate your baby and growing bump. That feeling of being kicked in the ribs is a lovely reminder that your baby is growing and constantly moving into different positions to find comfort.
There are 4 things to remember when signing up to any antenatal course and using the acronym R.I.B.S. will help you find the most effective education, particularly if you are feeling anxious and unprepared right now.
Your antenatal education must include the following...
R - Relaxation
Your antenatal education needs to focus on teaching you how to relax. Master the art of relaxation during your pregnancy and you will be able to more easily stay calm and relaxed when birthing your baby. If you do not learn how to relax prior to labour starting, your birthing muscle can find it difficult to do what it needs to do. Learning how to relax will ensure that your uterus muscle works more efficiently on the day. Understanding how your body works and the physiology behind it all is a key factor in understanding the entire birthing process. Your body is clever and so is your baby. When you listen to pregnancy relaxation sessions together you are sending thoughts of love and safety to your baby as well as creating a beautiful and everlasting bond together. Your baby loves the feeling they get when you relax too!
I - Imagine
Now imagine if every time you experienced a contraction your entire body tensed up making it difficult to cope? Being able to divert your mind onto something else during these intense sensations is what will really get you through labour. It is vital that your antenatal preparation embraces the power of the mind and what you can do to divert your attention onto something else and stay in the zone. The birthing zone is that lovely place that will keep you calm and relaxed when birthing your baby. Watching videos of other parents using relaxation techniques is a great way to change your mindset and practice new ways of thinking about pregnancy and birth.
B - Breathe
What happens when you slow your breath right down?
Try it....take in a long deep breath, close your eyes, slowly exhale and repeat 3 times.
How do you feel? Relaxed? Calmer? Grounded? That's because the breath directly relates to the physical response within the body. A slow, calm breath triggers a relaxation response within the body. Learning how to breathe through labour really does make all the difference to not only the intensity of labour but how you will cope with the sensations. If there is one thing to take away from this message today it is this... Your antenatal course must thoroughly and effectively teach you how to breathe when it's time to birth your baby.
S - Smile
And lastly 'smile' represents enjoyment and pleasure. This is what can be achieved when you prepare well with the right resources and the right education.
It is time to smile because you have now found a great way to prepare well, know what to expect, gain great support and overcome any anxieties.
So the next time you get a kick in the ribs from your little bundle of joy, see it as a reminder to choose your birth preparation wisely.
The Wise Hippo provides world class hypnobirthing resources and materials for expectant parents and hypnobirthing teachers.
Wishing you the right birth on the day!
The Wise Hippo x