[1:12] Our reviewer of the week, Cassidy Jake, says, “This podcast is empowering.” She started listening to the podcast with her first and had a beautiful, natural birth. Currently at 30 weeks with her second, she has loved catching up on the new episodes. She loves Stephanie’s passion for informed consent and educating women on physiological birth. She believes the work Stephanie is doing is changing lives and generations with the knowledge and power being given to women.
Thank you for the beautiful testimonial, Cassidy! It HAS changed lives and generations starting with my own to feel empowered and knowledgeable about birth. 💜
Today’s episode is meant to be a resource you can save, download, refer back to, and listen to over and over again! 🎧 The techniques I talk about can be used NOW to make your labor and birth experience so much easier! Another added benefit is including your birth partner so they will be more prepared when the time comes! You will be able to work together to discuss what your needs are! (No need to yell at your birth partner because they're trying to help you relax, but they're doing it all wrong! 😆) The more you practice these relaxation techniques and communicate with your partner, the better you will get, and the easier your labor will be! 👌🏼
[1:59] I want today’s episode to be something you can save, download, refer back to, and listen to consistently! 🎧 What we talk about today is something you can use NOW that will make your labor and birth experience so much easier! A huge bonus is that your birth partner can help you with this too! (I’ll wait while you pause this episode to go get them to listen with you.) 😉
[2:26] Let’s talk about relaxation. These techniques can be used on a car, plane, at home, anywhere! All you need is just fifteen minutes. The goal is to get your fifteen minutes up to thirty minutes! Consistency is key! Start with doing these techniques three or four nights a week and move into practicing for fifteen minutes every day. ⏱
[3:49] Sooo how do I "just relax"? This is a learned skill! Eventually, your body will take over and react to the relaxation techniques. 💆🏼♀️
[4:53] I talk about contractions and how it’s affecting your baby when you go through labor. Your baby’s job: kick back against the contractions so they can be born. Your job: RELAX. 🧘🏼♀️
[6:37] Fill your mental space with relaxation instead of things like doubt, fear, confusion, and what if’s. 🙅🏼♀️ Working with your body gets you further in your labor which decreases your chances of needing intervention or a Cesarean.
[7:38] So how do we do this? We’ll talk about how to relax using the senses of sight, smell, sound, and touch.
[8:18] Sight. Set the mood. You can use whatever you have on hand or whatever you prefer: dim lights, candlelight, twinkle lights, etc. ✨
[9:20] Smell. Lavender is a commonly used scent when trying to relax. Essential oils such as peppermint, orange, or doTerra’s Balance blend can also be helpful. Use the same scent every time! Muscle memory will kick in, and your body will associate the smell with the act of relaxing. 🌿
[11:08] Sound. This could be spa music, a playlist you’re putting together, Dad’s voice, etc. Listen up, dads! This is how you can help mom relax. Dad should be familiar with what to say such as a guided meditation or cues (we have examples of these in the My Essential Birth Course), affirmations that you’re excited about, how much he loves you, etc. 🥰
[12:41] Get comfy! Get into a position that you can be comfortable in for at least ten minutes. I give examples of what positions you can use.
[13:03] Touch. First, think of what’s touching you: socks, blankets, cozy pajamas, etc. Be aware of your temperature too. Next, focus on your partner’s touch. I talk about the different kinds of touch your partner should be using depending on what’s going on during your labor or while you’re trying to relax.
[14:24] Birth partners! Pay attention! ⚠️ Focus on pressure, speed, and where on mom's body you’re touching. I want you to keep in mind and think about: “Strokes of 3. Down and out.” I talk about what this means and how you can help mom. Pro Tip: Moms, show Dad what you want the gentle, relaxing massage to feel like.
[17:07] All right, so you’ve got your sight, smell, sound, and touch senses covered. You've started your relaxation exercise . . . now what do you do? Take deep, relaxing breaths into your belly. I talk about how to take those deep breaths and the benefits of filling your belly with air. 😮💨
[18:24] Don’t forget to loosen your jaw. If your jaw is loose and open, then your vagina and perineum will open as well. Practice with your eyes closed. 😚
[19:26] I talk about how to relax from the top of your head down to your toes. Moving down your body, one body part at a time. Dad can help with this too! I also talk about words to use while relaxing your body.
[21:23] The goal is to get to the point where you can do one of the actions at a time. (Example: Dad will be saying the words to verbally cue you what body part to relax then he’ll just touch that body part without saying anything to physically cue you to relax.)
[21:55] A guided meditation can also be beneficial and work well. I talk about what worked for me. (Popcorn not included.) 😏🍿
[23:16] If you fall asleep during the relaxation, that’s okay! You’re doing it right! 😴
[23:30] I talk about the technique of “riding the waves.” 🌊 This is a great tool to use during labor and contractions. This is great, focused work!
[25:00] You can practice these techniques anywhere! Start now! Getting used to the distractions around you and still being able to relax will benefit you in the long run. The more you practice, the better you will get, and the easier your labor will be! 👌🏼
[25:42] I hope this is something you can take with you, download, take notes on, and start doing today. You can always contact me @myessentialbirth on Instagram or email me at [email protected]. Understand that the more that you practice relaxation, the better you will get! 🤍
ALL the best,