15 Amazing Tips To Help You Prepare For Labor and Delivery
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Preparing yourself for childbirth can be a little scary. Here are 15 ways you can prepare for labor and delivery to make it as easy as it can be.
Nothing can ever beat the feeling of holding your newborn baby in your arms for the first time. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for these past 9 months. Maybe even longer.
Pregnancy is an exciting phase of your life when you get to prepare for your baby, shop for tiny little baby clothes, decorate a nursery and build a bond with your new family member.
Soon your baby will be here, and you’ll finally be a mom.
It’s just one itsy bitsy thing that you have to do first.
Putting together that crib with a hundred different nuts and bolts seems pretty easy in comparison to pushing a human out of your body, don’t you think?
Pregnant women are often aware of how to take care of their body, what food to eat and not to eat, and how to exercise during pregnancy.
But somehow they often forget to prepare their mind and soul for labor.
People often compare giving birth to running a marathon. And you wouldn’t run a marathon without preparing for it, would you?
What I mean is, that with the right mindset and preparation, giving birth won’t feel as scary and overwhelming as it might seem right now.
You’ve done a great job of preparing and making your home welcoming for your baby, and now it’s time to do the same for your mind, soul, and body.
How to Prepare For Labor and Delivery
1. Do Your Research
Read about labor, positive birth stories, effective birth positions, different pain relievers, etc. to prepare your mind for the delivery of your baby.
By doing your research, it will be easier for you to visualize labor, feel more confident about giving birth, and are less likely to second-guess your abilities when going into labor.
2. Talk To Others
Talk to your partner about your fears and wishes regarding giving birth, and how you want him to support you during that time.
Talk to friends and family about what life will look like during the first days after you’ve brought your baby home. And talk to your midwife or doctor about what to expect and make a birth plan.
Talking to others will help you feel prepared, and you’ll be more likely to make the right decisions for you.
3. Pack Your Hospital Bag
Pack your bag by week 36, so you don’t have to stress about what to bring when you finally go into labor. Your baby is ready to be delivered by week 38, but you never know if you have to go to the hospital unexpectedly before that.
Prepare Your Soul
4. Snuggle Up With Your Partner
Spend some quality time and snuggle with your partner before your baby arrives. It will be a long time before it’s just you and your partner again.
Use this last time during your pregnancy to go on dates, cuddle with your partner, and talk about your hopes and thoughts for the future.
5. Stay Positive
Yes, your delivery could take forever, and things can go wrong. But the stress that comes with worrying isn’t good for your baby, and it’s definitely not good for you.
Instead of thinking of all the horror stories that you’ve heard, try to think about all the women who have experienced positive labors (I’m one of them!). Your body is built to give birth, and you CAN do this!
6. Find Support
Make sure that you have the right people by your side to support you during labor. It’s most common for women to bring their partner but a close friend or family member can be just as good for support.
Having people that you trust when giving birth can make the delivery easier and make you feel more comfortable.
7. Hire Support
A doula is a person that you pay to help you and support you before, during and shortly after childbirth to help you achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.
A study made by the Cochrane Database Systematic Review showed that good support during labor has clinically meaningful benefits for women and infants and that all women should have support throughout labor and birth. The labor time can be reduced, and the need for epidurals and C-sections decreases.
8. Listen To Your Body
Trust your gut and listen to your body during both pregnancy and labor. If you’re tired, try to lie down and rest. If you’re hungry, ask for something to eat.
You are growing a person inside of you, but your friends and your partner are not, so don’t try to keep up with them. Be kind to yourself and don’t feel guilty about not being able to live your life as active as you did before the pregnancy.
Did you know?
The body reacts to labor in different ways. Many women experience nausea and vomiting during the birthing process. Others may experience diarrhea or flatulence before or during labor.
9. Don’t Plan Everything
Creating a birth plan is a great way for you to prepare your mind and soul for labor. But keep in mind that things don’t always go as you plan and anything can happen during labor.
And how you thought you wanted to get through labor might not actually be accurate when you’re going through it. Keep an open mind to avoid disappointment.
Prepare Your Body
It’s important to keep exercising during pregnancy to build up the stamina you need during labor. Don’t overdo it though.
Gentle walking, swimming or yoga is a great way to prepare your body and might actually shorten the labor time, reduce the risk of obstetric labor complication, reduce the risk for gestational diabetes, help you relax and sleep better.
Did you know?
A research conducted by the Technical University of Madrid has discovered that exercise during pregnancy can have an impact on how long expectant mothers spend in labor. (source)
11. Do Pregnancy Yoga
Breathing right is a big part of yoga and doing yoga is a great way for you to practice your breathing for childbirth. It will also relieve the tension of your lower back, neck, and shoulders, increase circulation and decrease swelling, and help you develop stamina and strength.
Yoga during pregnancy is also a nice way for you to connect with your baby and make it easier for you to accept the different phases of pregnancy.
12. Drink Raspberry Tea Leaf
Drinking raspberry tea leaf is an easy and natural way to support your body during pregnancy. Supposedly, it will help strengthen and prepare your uterus to cope better with pushing a baby out, heal faster and bleed less after the labor.
Raspberry tea leaf is full of vitamins, minerals, and oxytocin, which has a calming and relaxing effect on your body.
Note: Do NOT drink Raspberry Tea Leaf to initiate childbirth.
13. Perineal Massage
The perineum is the soft skin between the anus and the vagina. When you push a watermelon (sorry, I mean a baby) out of your body, there is a risk of tearing.
Perineal massage is done using almond oil, Vitamin-E oil, or coconut oil to stretch and increase flexibility in the perineum in preparation for birth to minimizing perineal trauma during delivery.
14. Use An Exercise Ball
By using an exercise ball, you can stabilize your core, keep your pelvis in correct alignment, and help move your baby into an optimal birthing position.
An exercise ball is a great alternative to sitting on a hard surface. A lot of women like to gently bounce or roll forward and backward on the ball.
The ball is also great after you’ve had the baby to help you stretch, for exercising or for bouncing on with your baby to soothe her.
15. Be Intimate
Some couples enjoy sex during pregnancy more, and others don’t like it at all. Sex during pregnancy is usually safe, but sex doesn’t necessarily have to mean intercourse.
Cuddle, massage or sexual stimulation are also ways to express love between you and your partner. Sex during pregnancy can strengthen your relationship, make you relaxed and is a (great) way to exercise.
WANT TO REMEMBER THIS?
Don’t forget that every birth is different and unique to each person, and no one will have the same experience as someone else. It may give you comfort and understanding to know that a lot of women before you have had success in bringing their babies into the world, and so will you.