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While most women are ecstatic when they find out they are expecting, plenty of them are also dreading the delivery part of the pregnancy. But if you prepare your body for labour, you are doing the very best for yourself and your new baby.

This is mostly due to the fact that every pregnancy is different and the birth can often be unpredictable. However, giving birth can also be a transformative journey so if you prepare properly, there is nothing to be afraid of.

Read up on the process and attend classes

You should slowly start to prepare your body for labour from the moment you find out you are pregnant. Just like there are plenty of books on parenting, you can find many authors tackling the topic of the entire gestation period and the labour itself. So, read up as much as you can. Something else you will probably be doing during pregnancy is attending various classes. These will provide you with information on everything from labour to breastfeeding so be sure to find the best local classes available.

Decide on the birth plan

Once you learn a bit more about childbirth by reading books and attending classes, you can decide on the approach you think would suit you best. For example, you can have a natural birth at home or a birthing centre. This means no drugs and limited medical interventions during labour. You can give birth in a tub of warm water and choose any position you find most comfortable, from kneeling to squatting. Natural birth usually involves a midwife or a doula who will help with the delivery. On the other hand, you can go to a hospital and opt for a drug-free delivery or decide to get an epidural. Finally, keep in mind that a Caesarian section is also an option.

Prepare your body

It’s very important to start to prepare your body for labour as soon as possible. You will go through many changes during pregnancy, so adjusting your diet is highly recommended. For one, drink plenty of water. Then, you should eat small but frequent meals that are rich in protein as well as fresh fruits and veggies. Avoid refined and processed food, such as white flours and chemical sweeteners. Something else you cannot neglect is exercise. You have to stay active as regular workouts can be very helpful. Of course, consult with your physician but you should be able to go swimming, do some prenatal yoga, or at least go for walks.

Prepare your mind

Besides your body, you also need to prepare your mind. You will be hearing many stories about childbirth, some positive and some negative. All of this plus the fact that we are currently faced with a pandemic can make you really nervous. However, you should not let this affect your mental health. For one, limit your daily intake of the news. Don’t read every article you see on social media – rely only on official sources and do your best to avoid fake news. Then, make sure you get enough sleep and look for different ways to relax. Something that you can turn to is meditation or listening to audiobooks and podcasts that were made to help you relax during pregnancy.

Get your team ready

A big part of being ready for labour is having a team of people there to help you out. As your partner will probably be with you from the start, they will be familiar with all the books you read, the classes you took, and the type of birth you want. In addition to your partner, you can choose who else will be there with you for this big moment of your life. For a home birth, you can invite whoever you want. If you plan on giving birth in the hospital, keep in mind that the staff might not allow too many people in the room. Plus, make sure you notify your doula as well if you have one.

Adjust your space

If you opt for a home birth, you need to have your space ready. So, decide on the approach and equip your home properly. Stock up your fridge, create a relaxing playlist, get your favourite pillow, and think of anything else that might make the whole process easier.

Pack your bag

If you’re going to the hospital for the birth, make sure you have a bag of things that you will need. Comfortable clothes, toiletries and bath towels are just some of the essentials. Make a hospital bag checklist and ensure you’ve packed everything.

You can never know what your childbirth experience will be like but by taking steps to prepare your body for labour, as well as your mind, you will be as prepared as you can be to welcome your little bundle of joy into this world.

How did you prepare your body for labour? Tell us in the comments below.

  • Thank you! I will defs be changing up some of my ways to start preparing for labour!

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  • Definitely need to prepare your mind and prepare it for a few different outcomes on the day. Things don’t always go as planned so don’t think I want this so it has to happen

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  • Antenatal class and tour of the maternity ward. A birth plan can be nice but realistically things can change.

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  • Same. I was thrilled to learn I was pregnant, but practically right from the start I was stressing about labour. I ate healthy and looked after myself, had regular check ups etc. Not much else prep to do in my days of pregnancy

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  • I prepared by doing antenatal classes, prepping and freezing lots of food for after baby is born, trying to get lots of sleep and rest and just trying to relax/ meditate before the birth.

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  • Great tips, wish I had been more prepared. Good luck to our the soon to be mums!

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  • I just prepared by eating healthy, staying fit by gentle exercise, keeping informed, and preparing a birth plan within the possibilities and yes preparing a room and preparing a bag was also part of the plan.

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  • You never know what to expect…its good to be a little prepared..starting with some birth plan and pain relief.

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  • For first time mums its always stressfull to think when they will get labour pain as they have no idea how it feels

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  • I didn’t do the classes but having an amazing midwife that’s calm was everything


    • I had amazing support and it really did make a difference each time.

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  • I didn’t do any birth classes or anything because I was absolutely petrified about giving birth. I wanted all the drugs possible too.

    I ended up having gas and a little bit of fentanyl and it’s not the worst thing in the world and the pain isn’t that bad. The contractions hurt but honestly it’s not the worst pain ever.

    Your body knows what it has to do so just listen to it.

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  • We organised and organised again before each birth! I prepared my body and mind; both important. We prepared as a couple and discussed all plans and being flexible with birth plans depending on the progress of each birth and the recovery.

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  • Honestly, I think the best thing you can do is develop a flexible mindset. Few birth plans are followed due to the unpredictability.


    • Yes that is so true



      • Yep! I had it all planned out and the ended up with 40 hour labour and an emergency C section so nothing went how I wanted it to

    Reply

  • It’s nice having your bag packed and ready so you feel all organised.

    Reply

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