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BIRTHING TIPS FROM MARATHON MAMAS

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Mums who run give us their top tips for labour...

17 birth tips from mothers who run marathons - they can be quite similar!

They’re both events which require preparation, physical exertion and more sweat than a Beyoncé video, so it seems only right to quiz marathon-running mothers about how the two experiences compare. Here is what they said…

PREPARATION

‘For both, advice from others is great but only if it's practical and useful. You don't want to hear about people's horrific experiences, you want tips and tricks that are going to make it easier and better - not that are going to scare you.’

SUPPORT FROM OTHERS

‘My husband helped me through labour and watched me run one marathon, seeing me three times en route (a marathon of his own!) but frankly didn't offer much actual help in either apart from knowing he was there. There is very little supporters can do in either situation except cheer you on!’

‘Yes, you're looking forward to your little one arriving or crossing that finish line but both are bloody scary and incredibly demanding physically and mentally, and having people around you to reassure you before both events is really important.’

‘During both they need to remind you of how amazingly you're doing and to keep going... Even when you think you've run out of energy they can give you that burst you need to push through to the end.’

THE BODY

‘During labour, sitting on the loo puking in the basin was a low. But so was peeing behind a car at mile eight in Greenwich.’ 

‘There can be a loss of dignity in both: My friend shat herself in Richmond Park on a training run - too much Lucozade Sport.’

THE MIND

‘Have some kind of mantra (cheesy, but it's a good distraction).’

‘I did a playlist for both and that really helped me focus. Music has an amazing way of transporting you somewhere else and helping you to zone out, which is essential to be able to do in both!’

‘With both, it's best not to focus too much on the long stretch ahead and to get through one mile or contraction at a time. And always remember that each one is one closer to it all being over!’

‘People say you can hit a wall around mile 20 when running a marathon, and labour is no different. It's great having distractions and people there to support you but it's also important for you to try to block out everyone else for a few miles or contractions. Otherwise you risk burning out too early - a lot of it is a mental battle as well as physical.’ 

‘I quite like to embrace the pain- but that's not one for everyone.’

‘Remember and believe in your preparation.’

THE FINISH LINE

‘Obviously the feeling at the end is like no other. You can't explain that sense of relief, exhaustion but also absolute exhilaration and of course pure happiness. You're also pretty proud of yourself too... And quite right!’ 

‘After a marathon you can sleep. And everyone tells you how fab you are. And you get an actual medal. After a baby everyone just tells you what to do. ‘Have you tried the rugby ball hold? ‘Yes I have and he still won't feed, now eff off and make me a cup of tea.’

THE NEXT DAY

‘The day after labour, everything hurts. The day after a race, everything hurts. In both cases sitting on the loo is tough, but from running it’s because your thigh muscles hurt not because you've got a broken fanny.’

AND HOW THEY’RE NOT ALIKE AT ALL:

‘There really is NOTHING like labour, and you can do all the prep in the world but it may not help you on the day.’

‘Labour didn't end up with a long session in the pub!’

 

With thanks to Tash Lenton, Edith Massey, Anna Sudbury and HY.

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