Are you expecting your first baby & don’t know what to expect from giving birth?
Here Are 5 Ways To Help You Prepare For Labor!
I don’t know about you, but once the excitement about the being pregnant part had weakened off, I had to deal with some anxiety. Thinking about labor and delivery really scared me and sometimes even stopped me from enjoying the actual pregnancy.
One morning, I decided to stop worrying and just try to gather more information about labor and the actual process of childbirth. So many women before me were able to give birth, so why should I be scared. Of course, there will be pain and despair, but there will also be excitement, relief, and pure joy.
After days and weeks of research, my fear was almost gone. Of course, I still don’t know for sure what is going to happen and how I will be able to deal with it, but I will deal with it somehow.
Today I would like to share the five personal ways on how I prepare myself for labor and delivery.
5 Ways To Prepare For Labor & Delivery
1. Create A Birth Plan
There is no guarantee that your birth will work exactly as planned. It’s most likely going to be the exact opposite. Every birth is different but special in its own way.
Anyway, you should still put enough thought into the way you want to give birth. A birth plan is a very useful way to communicate all your wishes, concerns, and choices with the people that are attending your birth. Especially second-time mums, who had a very traumatic first experience, can write down what happened the first time and what she is expecting to change this time around.
Depending on how long your labor is going to take, the hospital staff may also have a layer change. A birth plan will prevent you from explaining your wishes and concerns to every new person that enters the delivery room. You can focus on your own well-being and relax while everyone else will hopefully respect your decisions.
Just try not to be too focused on your birth plan. There can always be complications during labor where doctors may have to act in contrast to your wishes to ensure your own and your baby’s safety.
2. Prepare Your Mind
First of all: With every bad experience, there is going to be a positive story of a mum to tell. So make sure to focus on these!
A birth should and can be empowering and joyful. Lots of other mums told me it really helps to have a positive mindset. If you believe your birth is going to be positive and empowering, it can and probably will be.
Just think about all the exams you went into nervous and self-conscious, although you studied hard for them. Most of the time, your anxiety got in the way and your grade reflected that exact fear. The same goes for your birth. If you start your labor with bad emotions and negative thoughts, it’s probably going to be a bad experience.
Try to focus on meeting your baby and all the excitement that comes with it!
3. Prepare Your Body
The whole labor process often requires a lot of strength. Gentle exercise during your pregnancy can be a great way to prepare your body for labor.
There are many classes offered, like Pregnancy Yoga or Swimming Lessons. If you are on a tight budget, are too busy, or just don’t like the thought of exercising with a group of people, you can always look for some pregnancy workouts on YouTube or Pinterest and do it in the comfort of your home.
I personally try to do some Pregnancy Yoga on YouTube once a week. It does not only keep me in shape but also helps to get the baby in a good position for birth. Some videos even teach you positions to help you through labor and provide some relaxation and breathing techniques.
Exercising during your entire pregnancy will also benefit you after birth. You should be able to get back into shape much quicker since you didn’t lose all your muscles. It will also help with your flexibility and stamina.
4. Empower Yourself
My personal favorite way to prepare for labor is to do my research. Understanding the whole labor and birth process itself and also what to expect really helps me get over my fear.
Knowledge is power, so I try to gather as much knowledge as I can to feel prepared and empowered during my own labor.
Have you ever been in a situation where you weren’t absolutely sure about how it works or what to do next? It’s such an uncomfortable and annoying feeling and most of the time ends in despair and frustration. I absolutely don’t want to feel that way while giving birth!
So my tip for you is to read as many positive birth stories as possible. Maybe even watch some birth videos online. We also decided to attend a Childbirth Class at the end of my pregnancy. You can even attend one online if there is no place around you that offers a course like that. Try to talk to other mums and ask any questions you may have. I also have a midwife that I see every month as well as my gynecologist.
Just do your research so you know what to expect during your labor and delivery.
5. Herbal Tea and Massages
During my research, I stumbled over quite a few herbal and natural remedies that are supposed to help with the actual labor and delivery part. I decided to list the following two since I am planning to give them a try myself:
- Raspberry Leaf Tea
Tea has a long tradition for use in pregnancy. It is supposed to tone the tissue of the womb and assist the contractions. Mainly because of the rich magnesium, iron, and vitamins in it. Pregnant women are supposed to start drinking Raspberry Leaf Tea in the last trimester of their pregnancy.
- Perineum Massage
The Perineum is the area between the vagina and anus and therefore a very important part of your body, especially during childbirth. During birth, it stretches to allow the baby’s head to go through.
So you should definitively take care of this area with a regular perineal massage. There are some oils, you can find on Amazon, specially designated for that area. Just gently stretch the perineum with your fingers and rub the oil into the skin.
This method may not guarantee that you will not tear during labor, however, it won’t hurt you either. Start massaging this area in the last few weeks of your pregnancy and try to do it once or twice a day.
I hope I was able to help you feel a little bit more comfortable about your upcoming labor and delivery. Just make sure to do your research and prepare yourself in a way that helps you feel more secure about your childbirth.
If you would like to know more about that topic, make sure to check out the following posts as well:
Here are some great websites for even more help: