Though pregnancy can be an incredibly exciting time, it may also very well be a stressful one for many different reasons. One of the most common stress factors involves fear of upcoming labor. Many women grow up hearing just how painful it is to give birth, which instills a deep fear of the event. However, just like pregnancy, labor is a natural process. With the right preparation, you can ease your fears and ensure that your labor process can proceed as smoothly as possible. Preparing yourself for labor doesn’t have to result in significant amount of stress or worry.
Our professional team at My Family Birth Center is experienced and passionate in creating the most positive birthing experience possible. Preparing yourself for labor can go a long way toward improving your experience, reducing your stress, and enabling a healthy birth. Here are a few tips that can aid you in preparing yourself for labor. Many of these techniques can be exceptionally useful, no matter what method you choose for your birthing process.
Empower yourself with Information
Much of the worry that comes during pregnancy is due to a lack of information, experience, and knowledge. Labor shouldn’t be a terrifying ordeal that you have to undertake; it is simply a natural, beautiful process of giving birth to a child. One of the best parts about labor is that you are entitled to have control over the process. Empower yourself to make the best decisions for your specific situation by doing research. Learn about all of the options available to you for labor and examine the pros and cons of each option.
Consult with your midwife to learn more about the different methods in which you can give birth. Ensure that you communicate with your care provider regarding any concerns that you may have. Alleviating your worries can help you in preparing yourself for labor and ensuring the most positive experience possible. Not only can more knowledge alleviate your concerns, but it can also ensure that you are able to make the best possible decision for you.
One of the common mistakes that mothers-to-be make when preparing for labor is reading up on all of the horror stories that surround the topic. This won’t prepare you for labor; this will cause unnecessary stress and fear for the upcoming process. Keep in mind that for every labor-related horror story, there is a positive, powerful labor story. Focus on the positive stories and don’t search for the horrifying ones. Maintaining a positive outlook can be an incredibly beneficial factor in easing the labor process and ensuring a similarly positive birthing experience.
Preparing your body for labor can go a long way toward easing the process. Labor requires substantial amounts of both stamina and strength. Ensure that your body has the tools necessary to undertake labor by exercising regularly, though ensure that you follow your care provider’s instructions regarding safe ways to exercise during pregnancy. Prenatal yoga classes in particular tend to be extremely beneficial for pregnant women. However, even something as simple as taking short walks regularly can go a long way toward preparing yourself for labor. In addition, exercise helps to lower your stress levels, which creates a far healthier environment for both you and the baby. Ensure that you also maintain a healthy diet during pregnancy. Not only can exercise and good nutrition ensure a healthier baby and easier labor, but it can also minimize weight gain.
Learn Relaxation Techniques
Learn and practice relaxation techniques before the big day arrives. Pain tends to cause us to clench up, which simply exacerbates and prolongs the pain. Implementing relaxation techniques can help you to stay relaxed, which will reduce the total pain caused by contractions during labor. There are many different methods that can be implemented to promote relaxation. Breathing techniques are often used during labor and are commonly recommended by doulas to aid in relaxation. Meditation, self-hypnosis, and other methods can help you to stay calm and relaxed while giving birth.
Form a Birth Plan
Creating a birth plan is an integral part of preparing yourself for labor. This involves making decisions regarding the method in which you wish to give birth, whether you choose to have a water birth, a home birth, or another alternative. You will also decide whom you wish to be present in the room while you give birth. Active labor may prohibit you from thoroughly discussing things with your midwife in the moment. Creating a plan beforehand helps to ensure that things go according to your wishes. It is important to keep in mind that labor won’t always go precisely according to plan, so you may need to be flexible in your plan. However, creating a thorough birth plan can help to ensure that everyone remains on the same page, even when you are unable to communicate effectively.
Learn the Signs of Labor
Familiarizing yourself with the signs of labor will help you to know what to expect, as well as what to watch out for when your due date draws nearer. Several signs often indicate that labor will occur within the next day or two. A few of these signs include:
- Feeling of baby dropping lower into the pelvic cavity
- Dull pain low in the back that appears and disappears frequently
- Cramping or a sensation of building pressure in the pelvic area
- Frequent and loose bowel movements that often result in cramping
Signs that labor has come tend to be more obvious, though they are still worth mentioning. Water breaking is a strong indication that labor is beginning. In fact, even if labor doesn’t happen immediately, many medical professionals will induce the mother within a certain period of time due to the risk of infection after the water has broken. Strong, regular contractions and severe back pain are additional indications of labor.
Be Comfortable with your Care Providers
Ensuring that you are comfortable with your intended care providers can go a long way toward creating a positive experience for your birthing process. Maintain open communication with your care providers and choose a care provider that you feel comfortable and confident with. These steps are a great way to help in preparing yourself for labor and creating a positive, joyful experience. To learn more about how to prepare yourself for upcoming labor, contact our experts today!