“Am I ready?” “What will it be like?” These are all questions that swirl around in a woman’s mind and gut as the time gets near. There are ways to calm your spirit and be prepared at the same time. We have gathered together 6 ways to prepare for childbirth & labor.
Take A Childbirth Class
Do it early, because they tend to fill up quickly. Learn from the best and find one taught by a registered nurse or childbirth educator. Information is always empowering and knowing what to expect can only be beneficial. It will keep you focused and give you a feeling of control.
You will learn when to go to the hospital, what options you have for pain medication, the stages of labor, how to work through contractions, and you will get all your questions answered. It is a good idea for your partner to attend with you.
Ask about breastfeeding classes.
Just because you are carrying a child does not mean you put your feet up for nine months. Exercise of some kind will help you sleep better, you’ll gain less weight, and it will moderate any anxiety.
Try walking. Recent research indicates walking can make complications less likely to occur. Aerobic exercise can even lessen labor time.
Get your body in shape by eating healthy foods. Select superfoods like lean meats, lentils, yogurt, salmon, nuts, veggies, and whole grains.
Don’t Forget To Relax
Meditation, yoga, and deep breathing can train your mind to be relaxed when the big day finally arrives. Mindfulness meditation helps you to manage your fears and reduce postpartum depression. Use the app Headspace or Calm.
Have Your Hospital Bag Ready To Go
This is kind of fun to do. Pack your charger for your cellphone, insurance cards, any paperwork for the hospital, an outfit for the baby to go home, comfy clothes for you to wear home, toothpaste and toothbrush, hair brush, deodorant, moisturizer, maxi pads, pjs, music and headphones, hair clips or ties, and an extra tote for any gifts.
Have A Simple Birth Plan
Think of the plan as preferences or wishes. They may or may not be possible in all cases.
- Do you prefer massage during labor or just verbal coaching? Both?
- Who do you want with you?
- Do you want medications for pain?
- Do you want to be able to try different positions?
Discuss all this with Birmingham Obstetrics & Gynecology as well as what other options you may have for labor. Be flexible as things can change on a dime.
If you are really fearful, speak up and let someone know. This is really the easy part. Next comes parenting.