When you are pregnant, it is very useful to understand birth from a physical, hormonal and emotional perspective. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ If you have read my earlier posts you will understand that birth involves an amazing cocktail of hormones, muscular changes, movements of body parts, changes in the shape and size of muscles, mental and physical changes, intense sensations and uncontrollable urges. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ As Ina May one said,⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “It is the Mount Everest of physical functions in a mammal.”⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ For a woman giving birth, she should feel safe and calm in the environment she is in whether that is at home or in hospital. During labour, your state of mind and physical well being play an important role in how well you respond to the process. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The endurance levels of a pregnant woman have been proven to be similar to that of a professional athlete. In the same way that an athlete will prepare for a marathon, so too should a pregnant woman prepare for labour. You should be mentally and physically fit, practise, pace yourself and visualise yourself crossing the finishing line. Yes it is hard work, yes you will be exhausted by the end of it but when you hold your baby in your arms for the first time, you will feel incredible. Women are incredible. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Going into labour feeling confident, positive and prepared means you are far more likely to stay in control.⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ For a first time Mum, the process is usually long enough and gradual enough to allow her to adapt to the changes within her body. For me, my first labour with Jorja was 22 hours over all but my established labour was 5 hours which is relatively quick for a first time Mum but as a Hypnobirthing Mum, it can make all the difference.