Childbirth. Just the sound of that word being uttered aloud or read can bring butterflies to your stomach. Most people get nervous at just the thought of childbirth. I get it; I was too. It’s new. It’s scary. You know it will be painful, but you don’t know what else to expect.
Well, we are here to bring you five ways you can prepare for your baby’s birth in today’s article. So sit back, relax, and let your worries melt away.
Ignore the Horror Stories
We all want to hear stories from other moms as our first time draws near. But, it’s important to remember that every childbirth is different. You will cause yourself a lot of unnecessary worry and stress if you think that the horrific episode that happened to your friend is sure to happen to you. Every pregnancy, baby, and birth story is different. So, don’t think about other’s experiences, remember that yours will be unique.
Go To A Childbirth Class
One of my friends decided with her husband that it was a waste of time to go to a childbirth class. In fact, the doctor told them this based on the tendency to forget everything you’ve learned. While you may forget the birthing tips, it is still beneficial to go. It’s a great place to ask questions and have some of your fears addressed, like my fear that the umbilical cord would be wrapped around the neck. Also, your coach (husband, mom, or whomever) will learn a little more about how you are going to be during the process.
Have A Birth Plan
Create a birth plan (you can get one at a childbirth class or online) to let your medical team know your preferences. It should state how you want your pain managed, what birthing positions interest you, and who you would like in the room. Give a copy to your doctor ahead of time so that you don’t have to worry about remembering any of it.
Unfortunately, you have to be flexible because nobody can plan for every aspect of childbirth. It’s helpful to plan out how you would like your room to be during the birth, but you cannot plan what happens during birth.
Prep Your Body
You are about to do the most incredible thing in life, push a human being out of your own body. Think of it in sports terms: the big game is about to be here. You have to eat, drink, and rest like you are gearing up for the game. Practically, this means:
- Eat healthy foods. Make sure you eat enough protein and avoid fatty, sugary junk foods.
- Drink water- you need to fuel your body with what it needs. And we all know our body needs water.
- Exercise! Walking and yoga exercises are considered to be the two most beneficial ways to work out during pregnancy. Walking not only keeps you in shape but can also help to draw the baby down into your pelvis, which will then prepare your cervix. Kegels are also recommended as they open and strengthen the pelvic floor for delivery. Squats can help to increase the size of the pelvic opening.
- Sleep a lot, especially as the due date draws near. Women who get enough sleep have more stamina during labor than those who did not.
- Have good posture-many people believe that poor posture affects the baby’s positioning in the womb. Poor positioning = harder labor. So sit and stand with correct body posture.
- Some midwives suggest taking Evening Primrose Oil, which can help the cervix thin and dilate to prep for labor. You can take it in capsule form or rub the oil onto your cervix during the last weeks of pregnancy. They also will suggest drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea to naturally induce labor. But before taking either of these, be sure to talk with your doctor as there are some risks.
Prepare for labor by relaxing mentally. Remember that your body was made to do this and has been preparing for it. In fact, it is more ready than you are. Many believe that thinking negative thoughts about labor can impact the level of pain you experience. So think positively and believe you can do it.
Begin working on the labor coping techniques or positions you’re interested in. Doing this will help the positions to feel less awkward on the big day.
On the day of birth, avoid clenching your jaw while in labor as it can also affect your pain. Here are a few other ways you can relax during labor:
- Keep the lights low
- Minimize noise
- Have a music playlist
- Have cards of encouraging words or Scripture verses to be read to you in-between contractions
- Bring something familiar and comfortable from home, including a pillow, a soothing scent, or comfy socks
I hope these five tips will help you prepare for your baby’s birth. The main thing you need to remember is that you cannot control everything about childbirth. Each birth is different, even if you have had a baby before. That being said, just because someone close to you had a painful birth, doesn’t mean you will have the same experience. Meeting your little one will be worth whatever pain you have to endure.
Congratulations and enjoy your bundle of joy!