When approaching labor and delivery, many women may begin to feel anxious, scared or simply nervous about what’s to come. While everyone’s situation is different, there are a few things I love to encourage expecting mamas to do to prepare for labor and delivery.
- Hire a doula
While a doula doesn’t provide medical care, they are a great resource to have for your birth! She is a person trained to provide advice, information, emotional support and physical comfort to a mother before, during and after childbirth. A doula can also help advocate for you when you need help, and can help assist in pain management techniques during labor.
- Take a birthing class geared towards natural birth
Being prepared for what is to come starts with knowledge. Going to a natural childbirth class is a great way to learn about everything that is happening, and to educate yourself in making informed decisions. You can also learn about pain management techniques, and ways to mentally and emotionally prepare for labor and delivery. Make sure to ask your care provider for a class they’d recommend!
- Exercise regularly
Not only does staying active help with things like swelling and discomfort, but being physically fit can really help when it comes to a natural birth. I encourage my mamas to walk around 30 minutes a day, and some form of stretching a few times a week.
- Write a birth plan
At the end of your pregnancy, I highly encourage writing a birth plan that outlines your labor and delivery preference. An ideal birth plan will include your expectations for things like who you want present during active labor, what positions you’d like to try during contractions, which foods you’d like to eat during labor, where you’d like to give birth, and preferences for postpartum.
- Practice pain management techniques
I know I’ve mentioned this some in other points, but having a good set of pain management techniques in your pocket will really help with labor. Practice some of the positions with your partner beforehand so you know what you’re doing when the big day arrives. You can also try things like q massage, a birthing ball, Hypnobabies, TENS unit, essential oils, acupressure and music.
And most importantly, remember that at the end of the day your baby will soon be in your arms! You’ve got this, mama.