Pregnancy Education Month - By Megan Kelly

[CLOSED] How Pregnancy Education Helped Me Labour on My Own

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Every year I collaborate with Bio-Oil to share the importance of pregnancy education. This year, instead of the usual spiel, I thought that I’d share how I benefited from pregnancy education through my own birthing experiences.

Studies have shown that one in every four women describes giving birth as traumatic and up to 20% meet the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder. One of the most effective ways to reduce these alarming figures is to encourage expectant parents be properly prepared.

Pregnancy Education Month - By Megan Kelly

As some of you know, both of my pregnancies ended in an induction at 38,5 weeks and while they were both very similar, there was a distinct difference – I was more confident and trusted my body during my second birth as I had prepared mentally by researching more of what to expect.

You see, with my first pregnancy, I had only ever heard of two types of births; natural and c-section. So, when my doctor told me that I was being booked for an emergency induction, I panicked, not knowing what to expect. Naturally, I called my mom for some help and guidance, but she didn’t know what an induction was either. I remember standing in the corridor of the hospital, on the phone with my mom, trying very hard to hold it together, but feeling the sheer panic catching up to me.

In hindsight, it’s probably better that I didn’t have the time to Google every worst-case scenario as it would have only added to the stress of that moment. I was really grateful to have my husband with me the entire time, who supported me through every labour pain, spoke to the doctors when I was too sore and reassured me that I was doing a good job, even when I didn’t feel like it. If it weren’t for him, I have no doubt that my first birthing experience would not have been such a highlight to look back on.Pregnancy Education Month - By Megan Kelly

An induction can be terrifying and depending on the process that you and your doctor decide to take, it can take up to two days to start experiencing active labour. My doctors first tried a Foley balloon catheter which failed for both of my boys – failed is quite a strong word, especially when you’re unsure of what is coming next.

The following morning, my doctors broke my waters for me, before giving me a solution that would bring on my contractions. The solution had to be drunk every 20 minutes until the bottle was finished, or until I was giving birth – whichever came first.

With my first pregnancy, birth proceeded shortly after finishing the whole bottle of the solution, but my labour was very painful, and I’d pass out in between contractions from being too weak and failing to manage the pain. After 5 hours of labour, my doctors told me that I hadn’t even moved passed 2cm and that I had a long way to go.

So, when preparing for my second birth, I played my first birthing experience over and over in my head, trying to figure out how I could better prepare myself. Although I really did not want an induction, I knew that it was likely to happen and that preparing myself mentally for going through it all over again would be best for mine and my baby’s health.

If you’ve read my birth story, you will know that for my second birth, my husband wasn’t present and that I went through the entire labouring process without him by my side. Something I never thought possible and something that I certainly didn’t prepare for. I also didn’t prepare myself for the fact that the doctor on duty would be hell-bent in me having a c-section and that every time that I showed signs of hopefulness, he would remind me how unlikely it would be for me to have a natural birth and that just because my first induction resulted in a natural birth, it’s not to say my second would too.

But he was wrong.

Despite so many things being out of my control, there were other things that I could control – things that I had prepared for.

I knew that by standing up through the contractions, gravity would help labour progress quicker. I had planned to stand against my husband for this so that he could support me when a contraction came along but because he couldn’t be there, I found a window sill to hold onto and would squat between contractions. I even distracted myself by playing loud, happy music – yes, I created a specific playlist for this – and would dance next to my hospital bed through the contraction or walk around the bed as much as possible.

When my labour had progressed to the point that I could no longer support myself, I plugged in my electric hot water bottle and placed it on my lower back. The heat helped ease the pain that I was experiencing – remember, I didn’t have any pain meds to get me through this, so it was important that I kept myself as comfortable as possible.

Remembering how low my energy was the first time that I gave birth, I stocked up on Super C’s, gummy sweets and Energade to help give me a boost of energy. I also had a cooler bag with water, ice-packs and small snacks. The ice-packs proved useful for keeping my forehead cool, and the snacks were appreciated after welcoming my son into the world.

It was tough labouring on my own. I had very little assistance from the professionals on duty and trying to keep myself motivated while updating my husband via Whatsapp was no small task – but I was confident that I could do it. And I did. Much to the nurse and doctor’s surprise, I went from being 3cm dilated to giving birth in less than 20 minutes, thanks to perseverance, determination and being prepared.

With my own experience in mind, I completely support Bio-Oil’s drive to promote Pregnancy Education, during the month of February. Pregnancy Education Month - By Megan Kelly

“Good childbirth classes will equip parents with the pros and cons of all the available childbirth options as well as practical tips and techniques for the birth and afterwards. Childbirth educators are usually nurses and midwives and parents who can share both professional expertise and personal experience. Classes are offered at many hospitals, clinics, and private practices.

‘We believe that when parents are informed, any type of birth, from homebirth to caesarean, can be an empowering one. It shifts from a potentially overwhelming experience to one that is fulfilling, positive and, ultimately, beneficial to mother and child,’ says Anna Guerin of Bio-Oil. ‘There is simply no substitute for evidence-based information provided by qualified and experienced professionals. With quality childbirth education, parents are empowered and properly prepared in a warm and supportive way.”

Over 300 private hospitals and clinics around South Africa are running Pregnancy Education Month activities in February. For details, or to find a childbirth educator in your area, visit www.PregnancyEducation.co.za. #EmpoweringBirth

Giveaway

In celebration of Pregnancy Education Month, we’re giving away a hamper valued at R2,000 from Bio-Oil, the skincare brand most recommended by doctors, pharmacists, and midwives to help prevent pregnancy stretch marks. The useful basket contains a cotton gown, blanket, bibs, pouch, hand-crocheted soft toy, baby scan album, stretchmark guide, ‘Tips from Moms for Moms’ booklet and four bottles of Bio-Oil, the number one selling scar and stretch mark product in 24 countries. For more info visit www.bio-oil.com. To enter fill in the widget below.

Bio-Oil

I am Megan Kelly, the creator behind By Megan Kelly, mom of two boys, named Axl and Eli, and local business owner providing digital marketing solutions. I live on copious amounts of coffee, can be bribed with chocolate and will never admit to having too much makeup – although, I probably do.

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27 Comments
  • thuvashni govender
    Posted at 09:32h, 28 February Reply

    Such a amaxing read;I’m a first time excepting mom;I love using bio oil on a daily basis it keeps my skin soft and glowing I would love to win this hamper.thank you for the chance.

  • Riétte
    Posted at 11:19h, 26 February Reply

    No I did not.

  • Thercia Coza
    Posted at 10:13h, 26 February Reply

    Bio-Oil is fabulous food for my skin good for my skin. It’s non greasy on my skin, leaves no residue, nourishes my skin and the appearance of the scar of my arm is fading away and smells divine. I’m now pregnant with my second child and a gap of 16 years and will continue to use Bio-Oil

  • katlego Mokoena
    Posted at 09:54h, 26 February Reply

    Two boys in 3 years,stretch marks and 2 ceasarian sections!! Whew my body took a toll😂but it was all worth it

  • Phumeza Langa 🇿🇦☀️ (@phumeza_langa)
    Posted at 15:54h, 23 February Reply

    I am planning to and I cannot wait. It’s our first child. SO EXCITED!

  • Avela Tshikila
    Posted at 11:28h, 21 February Reply

    No, I haven’t but I’ve been reading up a lot on how to prepare myself. Hoping for the best and I’m sure going to stock up on some energade – I’ve read how ‘draining’ ka out can be

  • Justine Botes
    Posted at 08:51h, 21 February Reply

    Sadly not attending birthing classes as it falls on the same night as my fitness Pregnancy classes. I was told the exercise is ore important especially since I sit in front of a laptop the whole day for work.

  • Lisa
    Posted at 09:05h, 20 February Reply

    I attended birthing class with my first and don’t think it helped much – I was induced and things didn’t go to plan in my mind so I lost control of everything. with my second – I was much more in control of everything until things went wrong and ended up having an emergency c section which I wasn’t prepared for

  • Cara Bosch
    Posted at 23:06h, 17 February Reply

    I did not attend classed, I would advise others to do so, as knowledge is power.

  • Sherbanu
    Posted at 20:41h, 16 February Reply

    Did not take any classea yet

  • Judy Padayachee
    Posted at 02:15h, 14 February Reply

    No I did not attend but had no problems.

  • Monique Mentoor
    Posted at 14:36h, 13 February Reply

    Natural birth – not for the faint-hearted. I was ‘lucky’ that i carried huge babies so had no option but to have a C’section. I’ve heard ‘horror’ birth stories and have great respect for the super-hero mums that were brave enough.

  • Linda J Graskie
    Posted at 20:30h, 12 February Reply

    Very interesting post, in my day they didn’t worry about classes really. This is a great read for my daughter though and I’ll pass it on and the hamper if I’m lucky enough to win

  • Ayesha
    Posted at 20:36h, 08 February Reply

    No I did not attend

  • Sofiah
    Posted at 20:04h, 08 February Reply

    I did attend childbirth classes and found them very helpful

  • Irfaan
    Posted at 19:51h, 08 February Reply

    Yes we attended

  • Sofiah
    Posted at 22:02h, 07 February Reply

    Birth is a difficult experience and feared by most women thus pregnancy education is vital

  • Shakira khan
    Posted at 00:41h, 07 February Reply

    Yes I did attend a few pregnancy workshops , seminars and baby boot camps…
    Definitely informative and we’ll worth it … there’s a lot to learn especially for new mums … even to learn about breastfeeding…

  • Anusha Naidoo
    Posted at 00:22h, 07 February Reply

    A absolutely interesting read thank you
    A absolutely wonderful giveaway as well

    Yes I attended child birth classes

    I highly recommend this classes for moms to be its absolutely beneficial.

  • Natasha Maggott
    Posted at 22:32h, 06 February Reply

    No

  • Jacqueline Engelbrecht
    Posted at 20:35h, 06 February Reply

    My third birth is coming up in April and Im going to take your advice. It’s never too late to research and prepare no matter how many times you have been through the situation before

  • Ronnae Elliott
    Posted at 16:45h, 06 February Reply

    I did not attend birthing classes

  • Andrea bester
    Posted at 14:10h, 06 February Reply

    Would love to win this hamper ♡ Made the mistake of not doing anything with my first pregnancy but with my 2nd definitely want to.

  • Melishia Pillay
    Posted at 12:53h, 06 February Reply

    An enlightening read…. I know exactly what you mean when saying being prepared is the key to a successful labour. Two births down and one to go. My first was traumatic , my second resulted in PTSD … this time I am prepared as I’ll ever be. Hoping for the best. Thank you for sharing your experiences with all mommas♥

  • Michae
    Posted at 10:33h, 06 February Reply

    Love Bio-Oil so Much! It just gives you that extra confidence back after having your first, second or even third child. And it always work no matter what!

  • Motala Motala
    Posted at 10:33h, 06 February Reply

    Touching 👍🏻

  • Cathy Williams
    Posted at 10:17h, 06 February Reply

    You are so brave and strong! Huge admiration after reading these beautiful birth stories. Wow!

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