Different birth methods to use for total serenity



Expert advice

Different birth methods to use for total serenity

To experience the big day fully and serenely, there is nothing like preparing for it calmly and with the right support. Provided by a midwife or doctor, today there are many methods. While all of them aim to soothe pain, each in its own way has its own particular benefit. It is up to you to determine the preparation that best meets your expectations and suits your personality.

Conventional preparation

…For reassurance and to better control all stages

The philosophy: given by a midwife, this preparation sets out to demystify all of the final stages of pregnancy in order to reassure you of your natural ability to give birth to your child.

The protocol: the group or individual sessions (with an independent midwife), at which the father is always welcome, begin around the seventh month of pregnancy and fall into two categories.

One theoretical, to provide the maximum amount of information on the development of the pregnancy and the birth as well as the baby’s first days.

One practical, at which you will learn to better listen to your body and your feelings, and relax. You will also find out about postures that provide some comfort during the birth and help labor to progress. You will then know how to use the different types of breathing at the right time, which will help you during dilation and expulsion.

The particular benefits: at group sessions, you will also be able to share your questions with other mothers-to-be and even sometimes visit the delivery room as these antenatal sessions are often held at the maternity hospital where you are due to give birth. Being on familiar territory is also very reassuring.


…To communicate with your baby and make their arrival more beautiful

The philosophy: Also known as the “science of affectivity,” perinatal haptonomy is a means of in-utero communication with the baby and of creating a strong sense of security for him or her and for the future parents as this method gives the father a leading role.

The protocol: The sessions, which you always attend as a couple with a specialist midwife or doctor, can begin as soon as you begin to feel the baby move, around the fourth or fifth month of pregnancy. The sessions are based on love, the voice and touch. You will learn to allow yourself to be filled with the feeling of tenderness that you feel for your baby so that it feels it and responds to you. With the father, you will discover how to attract the baby’s attention and play with it through hand pressure while speaking to him or her as it will be soothed by the vibration of your voices, which it will quickly memorize. You will also learn about the actions and postures which, by acting on muscle tone and endorphin secretion, will make the birth a moment of tenderness and harmony.

The particular benefits: On the day of the birth, you and the father will be able to participate actively in the birth of your child; guiding it gradually towards the air, while the father soothes you with specific movements, helping you to remain in contact with the baby. And after the birth, you will have all you need to continue this reassuring dialogue.


…To relax the body and the mind

The philosophy: Yoga brings the body and mind into harmony so that one does not block the other. Based on relaxing postures and breathing techniques, it helps promote relaxation to soothe contractions and better oxygenate the baby.

The protocol: Prenatal yoga sessions are offered as of the fourth month. Given by a professional specializing in supporting pregnant women, the postures are always adapted for your condition. You can try this method even if you have never done yoga. You will learn to control and relax your diaphragm (main respiratory muscle) using breathing techniques devised to calm the contractions, and facilitate dilation and pushing. You will also learn about helpful postures during labor.

The particular benefits: By starting prenatal yoga as early as possible you will learn how to gently develop your perineum muscles, reduce and even prevent nausea, backache and anxiety with different postures and types of breathing. And by learning to properly stretch your vertebral column, you will feel lighter during the final months of your pregnancy.


…To better prepare for this beautiful moment

The philosophy: The physiological and psychological approach of sophrology helps you to master your fears and control your body through breathing and positive visualization.

The protocol: Prenatal sessions during the third trimester always begin with a discussion with the sophrologist in order to better identify each mother-to-be’s fears and positive levers. At each session, in a semi-waking state and guided by the practitioner's voice, you will gradually learn to relax better through abdominal breathing until, little by little, it becomes natural. You will also find out about the best type of breathing to use to help you through the birthing process. And you will learn how to use positive visualizations to cope with the birth in complete calm. Each stage will therefore be anticipated positively so that on the day, you can concentrate on these feelings to dispel fear and pain.

The particular benefits: As the technique is extremely personal, its effects are all the more significant. Anxious people will find the means to soothe away the small worries that are always linked with the baby’s first weeks of life.

The Bonapace method

…Promoting what is natural and participation of the father

The philosophy: Originating in Quebec, this method (pronounced Bonapatche) aims to limit medical intervention by developing complete control of pain through different forms of massage and control of the breathing, as well as visualization. The presence of a companion is essential as application of the technique depends mainly on them.

The protocol: Sessions given as of the sixth month of pregnancy by midwives or doctors trained in the technique reveal the mechanisms of pain in order to better understand them. Next, two types of massage are taught. Pressure with the fingertips on acupuncture points some distance from the uterus is used to soothe the contractions and encourage the body to secrete more anti-pain endorphins. Between each contraction, massages of the lumbar region induce essential relaxation. Learning to activate positive visualization of the birth process, as well as breathing techniques, complete the method.

The particular benefits: The method is also useful before an epidural. And the active presence of a close friend or relative gives the birth an extremely human dimension.

(RE) Prenatal singing

...To soothe you with happiness and rock your baby

The philosophy: No need to sing in tune, that’s not what counts! The originality of this method resides simply in the fact that it harnesses the vibrations of the voice both to rock the baby in the womb and soothe the different stages of the birth.

The protocol: The sessions are given by specialized midwives and can begin from the third month of pregnancy onwards. Their development depends on each provider. Above all, it is a question of using sounds that have an analgesic effect on the contractions (low frequency vocalizations) and better control of breathing (which is essential to hold a note, even a wrong one) in order to better support the birth.

Particular benefits: childbirth takes on an even more joyous note. The person present in the delivery room with you can also soothe you with their singing (if they have taken the course).

Preparation in the pool

…Surround yourself with a bubble of well-being

The philosophy: This is a case of making the most of the effect of weightlessness provided by the water (which relaxes and facilitates movement) and the need to adapt the mode of breathing for this element (which helps to control your breathing and therefore stress, and soothe pain).

The protocol: Sessions can begin around the fifth month of pregnancy, always with a doctor’s consent as in some cases, the method may be contra-indicated. Feeling relaxed and weightless, you will practice different exercises designed to open the pelvis but also soothe back and ligament pain. You will also learn to control your breath through breath-holding training, which is very useful at the time of the opening of the cervix and expulsion.

The particular benefits: The method is ideal and even highly recommended for mothers-to-be hoping to give birth in water. But in all cases, by gently toning the abdominal wall muscles, it also helps reduce the time spent pushing.


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