How to Help Your Body Prepare for Labor and Delivery
By: Brooke Chaplan
As a woman’s due date gets closer, many couples begin the daunting task of preparing for the baby’s arrival. New mothers will have their hands full when their little ones arrive, so it makes sense to make this part of pregnancy a priority. It’s important for women to prepare themselves mentally, physically, and emotionally for childbirth. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Psych Yourself Up
Most women have been hearing about the horrors of childbirth since their teen years. Unfortunately, these tales of woe have a lot of expectant mothers expecting the worst well before they’ve experienced a single contraction. The psychological effects of this mentality will negatively impact your birthing experience, so try to remain calm.
Every birthing experience is different, so there is no reason to fear what you have yet to experience. Tell yourself that your body was made to do this. Remind yourself of this daily. Close your eyes and visualize your birthing experience in your mind. Use this time to train your mind and body to relax. By the time the real thing comes around, your mind and body will be able to work together from a place of positivity.
Make sure you keep up with regular doctor’s appointments and get monitored by ultrasounds often. Your doctor will have a lot of tips and experience to give you. This will also help with your delivery safety. According to medical malpractice attorney Robert Reardon, when doctors properly monitor the fetus status, there is a better chance of detecting potential warning signs of injury to you or the baby. When you are up to date on appointments, you won’t run the risk of disease or injury.
Pregnancy cravings are nature’s way of signaling the need for certain nutrients. These cravings will vary from woman to woman during pregnancy. However, many women instinctively begin eating high-carb diets during the last few weeks of pregnancy. Carbohydrates provide quick and easy sources of glucose, so our bodies love them. Eating fruits, grains, and rice will give your muscles the extra energy they need to go the extra mile during your labor.
Practice Your Birthing Positions
There’s no way of knowing which birthing positions you’ll prefer until you’re actually in labor. However, practicing multiple positions ahead of time will give you an idea of which ones feel the most comfortable. Likewise, you’ll be able to determine whether or not you need pillows or additional structural support from your spouse.
Modern science is beginning to understand the benefits of strength training during pregnancy. Strengthening the skeletal muscles will train a woman’s body to exert itself for longer periods of time. This increase in stamina will allow you to work through your contractions without becoming exhausted. Likewise, the increased muscle tone can improve the efficiency of each contraction and shorten your labor.
Pushing a tiny human being out of an even tinier hole means the possibility of tearing. Outside of having a cesarean, there is no way to completely remove that possibility. Nevertheless, perineal massages can improve your odds of remaining intact and avoiding tears.
Using the index and middle fingers, apply pressure in each direction about two inches into the vaginal canal. Performing this massage 10 minutes each day will reduce your odds of tearing. Incorporating vitamin E oil or almond oil will also improve your skin’s flexibility.
The experience of giving birth is often referred to as a miracle, and will be different for every woman and for every pregnancy. Make your delivery a positive experience and prepare beforehand so you feel ready. These tips can help to smooth your process.