How to Have a Good Birth


Hello it’s me, writing a list for the first time in a long while!

Why the pause? The truth is it all got a bit much. Attempting to juggle working full time, 2 kids, being pregnant and writing for the blog was leaving me feeling overwhelmed and anxious. So I  decided to take the pressure off and concentrate on the Guest Lists for a while.

Anyway here I am, back for what might be a brief interlude. Baby 3 is due in a matter of days, my hormones are sky high and I am currently riding out a rollercoaster of emotions. I’m apprehensive. Impatient. Nervous and Excited.

Recently, a friend messaged saying she was worried about birth and I sent her a list (obvs) of thoughts or statements that I find reassuring. This post is an extended version of that.

Third time around I’m all too aware that you can’t control labour, but you can put in some ground work that help will make it into a good experience, perhaps even a great one.

  • First things first, by ‘good birth’ I don’t mean a particular type of birth. Could be a home-birth, a c-section. One with an epidural or just breathing technics. Or something else entirely. I ain’t judging.

  • Getting a human out into the world is a big deal, whether it’s via the sunroof or your fanny. 

  • My definition of a good birth is one in which YOU feel empowered and in and party to any decisions made.

  • I say this having had 2 very different experiences with the boys. (Read my birth stories hear).

  • The single best thing you can do to prepare for labour is a hypnobirthing course. It sounds hippie but fundamentally it’s a combination of birth education and relaxation techniques.

  • The best in the business of Hollie aka @theyesmummum of London Hypnobirthing. She’s now running an online version of her course too called ‘The Positive Birth Project.

    Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 09.49.57

    @theyesmummum knows best

  • And to be clear it’s not about turning up for a days course and being done with it.

  • It’s about putting the practise in too.

  • Labour is like running a marathon and you wouldn’t just rock up to run 26.5 miles without prep, same goes for giving birth.

  • Even though my second birth was amazing  I’ve still been feeling anxious about doing it all again.

  • And the thing about anxiety is it breeds more anxiety. A few weeks ago I found myself losing sleep over all the ‘worst case scenarios’.

  • Perhaps it was my mind switching gear: from birth being a distant idea, to focusing on the task in hand.

  • After wallowing in worries for a bit I decided to actively make a change and ‘bring the good vibes’.

  • You see, a good birth starts with a good mindset. Yup, that probably makes me sound like a wanker, but it’s true.

  • Here’s how to get in a good headspace…

  • People love to share a birth horror story, but those who have had a nice experience tend to feel less driven to talk about it.

  • (In my case with Woody’s lovely birth I am wary of appearing smug or like I’m rub it in peoples faces, so tend to breeze over the subject a bit). 

  • BUT there are tons of positive birth accounts on Instagram. Follow some. Other great resources include videos on YouTube from Positive Birth Company and The Hypnobirthing Midwife.

  • Talk through your fears. What are the things that are worrying you? Childcare for the other kids? Questions about pain relief? A niggle shared is a niggle halved. Talk to your partner. Talk to your midwife. Take away all the blockers that could get in the way.

  • Remind yourself that you WANT THIS.

  • I wanted this pregnancy. I wanted this baby.

  • I REALLY want to meet my daughter.

  • Everytime I have a pang of nerves about labour I tell myself it’s a pang of excitement.


    Hanging out in the new nursery gets my oxytocin going.

  • If you have a particularly wobbly day, go and have a look at one of the  baby outfits you’ve bought. Or even those tiny weeny nappies. That pang in your heart and ovaries? Embrace it.

  • Picture the end result. Whether it’s imagining a text to mates with a pic of your bubba. Introducing your new edition to its family. The thought of Bertie and Woody meeting their sister for the first time is enough to reduce me to tears in a instant.


  • And here’s the thing, if you grew that baby you can get it out of you.

  • Yes it is hard. But you are capable of hard things. 

  • Picture the wimpiest Mum you know. If she can get a baby out of her, so can you.

  • Trust your body. Let it do what it’s made to do. 

  • My tactic is to try and ignore labour for as long as possible. I’ve got a whole load of distractions lined-up: hanging with my boys, going for a walk,  having a bath, putting a load of washing on, washing your hair, watching something funny on Netflix (Modern Family, Master of None, Park and Recreation all faves).

  • Go for a nice lunch. Really. As soon as contractions begin: eat. Something simple and carby. Pasta. Pizza. Then you have fuel in your tank. 

  •  When you are in established labour it’s difficult to eat. So get stuff you like. Dark chocolate and Jaffa cakes are my ‘go to’.


    Snacks at the ready.

  • Have a solid play-list (and headphones). I’ll be listening to a combination of Hollie’s affirmations and my annoyingly talented brother Charlie Cunningham – he always makes me feel calm.

  • Nice smells help too: Lavender. Clary Sage. Neals Yard ‘Womans Balance‘ aromatherapy blend is a goodie.

  • I’m hoping to be at home, so I’ve used it as a perfect excuse to get a new Diptyque candle and call it a birth ‘necessity’.

  • Line-up some treats for the other-side too.

  • A nice hoodie or PJ’s for chilling in afterwards.

  • A bottle of bubbly.  Or stuff you’ve been avoiding in pregnancy – blue cheese, parma ham. Or a realllly rare steak (great for postpartum iron levels). 

  • All of the above points help me. But there are 3 very crucial things that are the crux of it all:  

  • Remember, once you’ve been through labour, YOU WON’T BE PREGNANT ANYMORE. If you are reading this at the end of pregnancy you’ll know how appealing that is. Being able to put your own shoes on. Being able to sleep on your front. Being able to go for a wee that lasts longer than 2 seconds. Being able to have a gin & tonic on a Friday night (particularly desirable if you already have kids).

  • Secondly, you can get on with the next chapter of your life, rather than just talk about it. I HATE the ‘in limbo’ bit at the end of pregnancy. When you don’t have your pre-baby life, but you don’t have the bubba in your arms yet either.

  • And this is the big one. Giving birth means YOU ARE ABOUT TO MEET A HUMAN WHO YOU WILL LOVE MORE THAN ANYTHING IN THE WORLD. That’s not to something to be dreaded. It’s the best thing ever.   

  • Better still birth really can be the most empowering experience imaginable. After all its blooming miracle and proof how incredible us women are!

  • Wish me luck and see you on the other-side! x



Siblings meeting = the best moment.

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  • Reply Rebecca January 28, 2018 at 7:44 am

    Gorgeous, thanks clemmie for this. I still have a way to go (23 weeks) but all these positive encouragements are really helping as its my first and the anxiety can get quite overwhelming xx R

  • Reply Judy January 28, 2018 at 9:25 am

    Such an encouraging and practical post! Made me really consider a few things for when I go into labour! It’s all about the planning.
    Wishing you all the best for when the day arrives and you meet your new baby!

    Judy xx

  • Reply Lisa - Me & Monkey January 28, 2018 at 9:40 am

    I hope I’ve not sounded smug when I have told people that I had a positive birth… I put it down to having a really strong mindset, researching and planning so i would recommend your list to anyone I know to help get them in the right mindframe!

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