When we think of preparing for the arrival of a baby, we often think of things such as getting the baby’s room ready, packing the hospital bag, and choosing the perfect outfit for baby to come home from the hospital in (if you’re having a hospital birth). And while these are all very important things, oftentimes we neglect to prepare the one thing that needs the most preparation – our body! If you don’t take time to prepare mentally and physically, you may go into labor and birth feeling unprepared, afraid or stressed.
To prepare mentally and emotionally for labor, take some time to evaluate how you are feeling. Are you feeling nervous, stressed or anxious? If so, think about why you are feeling this way and how may you be able to relinquish these fears before labor begins. You may find it helpful to visualize your ideal birth experience and what you will feel when your baby is born. You can also create a vision board, repeat a mantra, quote or bible verse that steadies you, or talk about your feelings with your partner or doula.
There are also several easy things you can do to prepare your body physically. Walking can help tone your uterine muscles, help bring baby into the proper position and make you feel refreshed and accomplished. Drinking lots of water will help you have more energy and stamina as labor begins and it also decreases your need for IV fluids. Utilizing tools such as the birth ball can help stretch out sore muscles and help baby properly align into the pelvis. It is also important to see your chiropractor and massage therapist to help you relax and ensure your body is loose and in optimal alignment.
Remember, labor and birth are normal, physiological processes. If you surrender to your body’s natural abilities, you will be ok! Be comfortable, relaxed, steady and safe. Your body knows what to do and so does your baby.
If you would like to learn more tips about preparing for labor and birth, book a consultation with me and I will walk you through what you can do to help prepare yourself for this exciting journey.