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Follow Miranda's example for a magical birth

Fear of pain is one of the most common worries among pregnant women

19 JANUARY 2011

Miranda's top tips for a stress-free pregnancy

Looking at Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr cradling her baby with a blissed out expression, you wouldn't imagine that her labour just a few days previously had been "long, arduous and difficult".

The new mum said that her husband Orlando Bloom helped her through the process.

"He was with me the whole time supporting and guiding me through it," she revealed. "I could not have done it without him."

If like Miranda it's your first pregnancy, you can be forgiven for experiencing anxiety and even fear as your due date approaches.

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Amid the excitement of buying the crib, choosing a name, and ooh-ing and aah-ing over that darling first babygro you may be doubting how you'll get through the experience.

Will everything be all right? Will there be complications? Will the baby be healthy? Do I know how to spot a false alarm? What are the possible risks of anaesthesia or episiotomy? And, perhaps more than anything else, just how painful is the birth really going to be?

Firstly, so that you are in peak form when the moment arrives watch your diet through your pregnancy, and take regular light exercise such as swimming or water aerobics.

The Antipodean beauty practised yoga as she prepared to welcome her baby. But remember to check with your own doctor what's going to be best for you.

It's also absolutely essential that you reach the magical moment as well-informed and feeling as calm as possible. Countless generations of women have been through it all before, so whatever your fears and questions, you aren't the only one.

Asking your doctor or midwife any questions you have, from the simplest to the most embarrassing, is the first step towards peace of mind and, that's what your baby needs. 

The model also had a strong support network of women with whom to share any fears including her mum Therese and Orlando's mother Sonia. Don't forget to talk to other expectant mums or friends who've had babies about your worries.

But be careful not to dwell on any negative tales you hear: remember we all have a tendency to focus on the negative aspects of any experience, and we all have different pain thresholds.

 

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Magazines and books can be really helpful. Pre-natal classes that teach breathing techniques are also an excellent source of information and a chance to share doubts.

The classes should also help you feel better physically and emotionally, and keep you smiling even if you're not blessed with some of the advantages of Miranda's jet set life.

Relaxation is key to maintaining calm, especially when contractions start – usually the most painful part of the birth process – and before you're given your epidural or spinal anaesthesia, if that's what you've agreed with your doctor.

Try and keep stress at bay and control life's daily irritations: by keeping fit, healthy and calm, you'll be doing your best for yourself and your baby.

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