Pregnancy is definitely a journey not a sprint. An important part of this journey is preparing for labor and delivery. There are lots of things you can do along the way to help mentally and physically prepare for that finish line, giving birth to your baby! By preparing both your body and mind for labor you may have a faster delivery and better overall birth experience.
None of the information in this post or on this website should be used in place of medical advice. These are simply my opinions and insights based on experience and research. This post contains brief overviews of prenatal testing. If you have specific questions concerning a test or the results please consult your healthcare provider.
How to prepare your body for labor
Pregnancy can definitely be tough on your body! There are a few things you can do to help prepare your body for labor. They may even help to make your labor slightly shorter or easier. Be sure to check with your doctor before doing anything too strenuous. Stop if you feel any pain and be sure to stay hydrated!
Most women have heard of Kegels though maybe not related to giving birth. These are exercises that are designed to help strengthen your nether regions. They may help when it comes time to push that baby out. Kegels can also help prevent or lessen the occurrence of sneezing when you pee and other incontinence issues caused by the stretching and relaxing of muscles and tendons. They are great to do both before birth and after the baby arrives to help your body return to its normal state.
Is anyone really a fan of squats? When done properly they help to strengthen your legs, buttocks, and your pelvic floor! All of these are going to be in use during the process of birthing your baby. Squatting during labor can sometimes even help to speed things along! There are many different kinds of squats so mix it up and find the ones that are most comfortable for you. Check out this guide from Healthline about 5 different types of squats to try while pregnant.
Walking is a great low impact activity for pregnant women. Exercise can help combat high blood pressure and the walking can help get your body and baby ready for birth. I finally went into labor after walking around all day at a car show! Get your husband to go with you or grab a friend to make walking more fun.
An exercise is a great tool. It can help with posture both during and after pregnancy. It also is great for helping to open the hips up to help relieve pain and to help align your body and your baby for birth. Watch this video below for some easy exercises to do on an exercise ball. It’s a great tool to use during labor as well!
Yoga can be relaxing for both your body and your mind. The stretching may help to alleviate some aches and pains and help to keep your body limber for birth. Make sure you find a class that is specifically prenatal yoga as some moves are not recommended at all for pregnant women or not recommend at some points in pregnancy. In a class full of other pregnant mamas you may even make a new mom friend as well!
How to mentally prepare for labor
While preparing your body physically for labor, preparing yourself mentally may be even more important. To a certain extent, your body knows what to do, but your mind can definitely hinder the process. Birth can be long and grueling and there will almost inevitably be decisions and choices to make along the way. Preparing yourself mentally for the process can help to create a better birth experience.
Read books & Birth Stories
Book and birth stories are a great place to start! Books about giving birth can give you the basic knowledge of what to expect. Reading birth stories or even watching birth videos on YouTube, if you’re brave enough, can help you to see the beautiful journey that is giving birth and how much the experience can vary from person to person.
Complete your to-do list
If you’re type A like me you love checking off lists. There’s a certain security that comes with knowing you have all your ducks in a row and nothing is slipping through the cracks. If you need a guide check out my week-by-week to do list with printable pregnancy checklist.
Take birthing classes
Birthing classes are an important part of preparing to give birth, especially if you’re first time parents. It will help both the mom and dad to be to prepare for the big event! No video you may have seen in high school biology can prepare you for what you’re about to go through. There are many options for classes these days but all will discuss the process of birthing a baby, complications that can arise, and most will also cover pain management options and what to expect those first few hours after your baby is born. I’ll be talking more about different Birthing Methods and classes in tomorrows post in this series, 31 days of tips for moms to be.
Create a Birth Plan
Now that you have all the information it’s time to create a birth plan. It lets you and ideally, your doula and the hospital staff know what you prefer. If nothing else it helps you remember when they start asking you questions. You will be tired and your brain will be a bit fuzzy so having a one-pager with the answers already on it can really help the process to go more smoothly.
Best of luck with the birth of your little one. Have a question? Feel free to ask it in the comments.
Be sure to pin this post so another mom to be can find it!