Early in our pregnancy our midwife lent us a copy of The Pink Kit – a New Zealand resource developed for pregnant women and their partners to prepare for birth. It’s different from any other birth prep I’ve seen in that it examines the physical processes of birth and the individual anatomy of each woman, providing exercises and knowledge to allow you to position yourself and use your body to move your baby through the birth canal. M & I worked through more of the video last night, and both really enjoyed how we can feel the changes in “openness” as we try different positions and different assisted movements. With some more regular practice (even a few more sessions) we will feel really empowered to help me birth more effectively.
One key theme is the importance of relaxation, something echoed in other natural approaches to birth. As we practice the exercises I alternately tense and relax my muscles, particularly interior pelvic muscles, and the difference in movement, openness and space for the baby is striking. Achieving a relaxed atmosphere (and relaxed me) during birth is one of our big priorities, and an important reason why we’ve chosen a home birth. In our own home we have so much more control over so many environmental factors that can facilitate my relaxation, including freedom of movement, access to the food I want/need, our own bed, LACK of a hospital environment, staff, smells, noise & lights, ease of playing music that I want, on and on. I know that birth will be its own intense reality, but I have heard from others how issues in the hospital can pull you out of your relaxed zone. It will be enough of a challenge to stay there – I want to make it as easy as possible.
We’re going to continue with the Pink Kit, including reading through the large section on working together as partners in birth. And yes, we will do it soon!