It's understandable that apart from the excitement you feel for the arrival of your baby, you're also a little bit scared. You're not alone — a lot of pregnant women, even those who have given birth before, still have fears on delivery day. Will everything go smoothly? Will I need a C-section?
The fear is understandable. There's no way to be sure what will happen when you're about to give birth. Books and childbirth classes help a lot, but you need to imagine most of it. This video, however, may help you have a fairly good idea of what awaits you at childbirth.
Childbirth educator Liz Chalmers posted on Youtube a visual representation of how childbirth actually works, from the contractions to cervix dilation. The mom of four and co-owner of Puget Sound Midwives and Birth Center in Seattle, Washington, in the United States used only two things: a balloon and a ping pong ball. The ping pong ball represents the baby, and the balloon is your uterus. You you have to stretch the balloon (your uterus) to put the ball (baby) inside.
At the beginning of the video, Chalmers defines Braxton Hicks as false contractions — it helps the uterus "practice" for the big event. Real labor contractions will originate from the top of the uterus and helps push the baby out.
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As Chalmers squeezed and let go of the balloon mimicking labor contractions that have intervals and increase in intensity, you'll see the mouth of the balloon (this would be your cervix) starting to thin. Eventually, your "cervix" is dilated enough for you to give one final push and delivery your baby! Don't worry, your baby will not pop out like the ping pong ball.
Once you watch the video, which Chalmers posted for her niece, Charlotte, who is studying to be like her aunt in New Zealand, the process of childbirth becomes much clearer. It shows that it's possible to give birth, sans labor interventions. If your husband is still clueless about the things discussed in childbirth classes, show him this video, and he'll definitely be enlightened. Maybe it'll help him be more supportive of your birth choices, too!
"Labor is one of our superpowers! Birth can — and usually does — unfold powerfully and effectively, when in a supportive environment, accompanied by people who understand the importance of [the] environment for allowing the necessary hormones to flow," Chalmers told Babble. "It is so much harder to squeeze that balloon when sitting in front of someone who is terrified of the balloon malfunctioning," she added.
Chalmers also shared her birth mantra: "I can do anything for a minute." She explains, "Let your uterus squeeze, and let go. Then squeeze, and let go. One minute at a time, with a lovely break in between. A typical labor isn’t 16 hours of unremitting pain. It’s more like four hours of pain sprinkled over 16 hours, a minute at a time."
On Facebook, Chalmer's video has received more the 10,000 reactions and more than 24,000 shares. Chalmer is happy it has reached a lot of people and hopes it can help spread the message of calm and positivity to birthing moms and their birth support teams.