Are you excited to finally see your baby? Well, before you can do so, you still have to undergo a painful process — childbirth.
For first-time moms, childbirth can take longer than 2.6 hours. It’s longer now than it was 5 decades ago.
Thankfully, there are ways to make childbirth less painful.
How to Prepare for Childbirth and Labour
1) Empower Yourself
During pregnancy and childbirth, knowledge is key to make informed decisions. However, you must avoid getting too much information as it would surely scare you.
Instead of reading tips from various channels online, you should take a class, which is taught by a registered or certified childbirth educator.
Make sure that your partner accompanies you during the class.
The goal of attending this class is to learn the basics of childbirth and the labor process. In this class, you will know when to go to the hospital.
Talk to your doctor about pain medication options. Don’t Google them.
By attending a childbirth class and talking to your doctor, you can somehow alleviate stress and provide yourself with a sense of comfort while you wait for your baby to come.
During your discussion with your doctor, many topics may come up. One of them is cord blood. Should you save it or donate it?
The best time to talk to your doctor about saving or donating umbilical cord blood is between the 28th and 34th week of your pregnancy.
You should also find out if the hospital where you are planning to deliver your baby collects cord blood.
When you choose to donate cord blood, you don’t have to pay anything. Instead, the overall cost will be covered by public cord blood banks.
However, if you wish to save the cord blood for future use, then that’s the time you will have to pay for the collection, testing, and storing.
2) Pick the Right Birth Setting and Care Team
Childbirth is messy and emotional at the same time. In that case, it is ideal that you surround yourself with people that you trust.
Where you deliver will have more impact on your birth outcome than your actual conditions.
While waiting for that day to come, you should find time to explore your options. Consider the labor you want to have.
Many pregnant women would want to work with a midwife for their care. The reason for this is that midwives offer a more personalized birthing experience.
Compared with doctor-led birth care, midwife-led care offers better outcomes, according to this review.
Choose to have continuous labor support in the room while you’re in labor. It can improve the outcome of your health and satisfaction.
3) Learn How to Focus to Have a Mindful Birth
Creating a space for mindfulness must be part of your birth preparation. It can help in cultivating a mindful relationship with your partner and your family.
Keep in mind though that mindfulness may not provide you the birth experience that you want. However, it will help you make the overall birth experience positive.
Mediation has been a long-established way to soothe you and your baby not just during pregnancy but also during birth.
It teaches you and your baby how to react positively to any stressful situation. It’s the safest way to reduce anxiety and stress without relying on medication.
When you learn to meditate, it can strengthen your entire body while giving you the stamina that you need for a better childbirth experience.
It helps your mind and body relax while delivering your child. It allows your body to go about its business of birthing.
4) Prepare Your Body to Destress
As mentioned, childbirth is stressful. But you can make it less stressful by preparing your body before that day comes.
During pregnancy, there are several exercises you can do. With moderate daily exercise, you will feel your best throughout your pregnancy.
Exercise can help you sleep better. You’ll also be less anxious.
Most of all, you can avoid gaining a lot of weight.
You don’t need to carry out strenuous exercises. Walking for 30 minutes each day can do the trick.
This exercise is one of the best workouts for pregnant women.
In this review, researchers concluded that regular walking, while you’re pregnant, can lower your risk of complications, such as low birth weight, congenital abnormalities, and many more.
There are also prenatal workout classes that you can join. For instance, you can participate in prenatal yoga. If you can handle it, you can attend a weekly class.
Yoga can help you relax, breathe easy and be flexible through your pregnancy and during labor. All in all, yoga can improve your labor experience.
Another way to destress is to undergo complementary therapy, like acupuncture.
But you need to go to a certified acupuncturist who is fully qualified and uses disposable needles at every session.
A fully qualified acupuncturist knows the acupuncture points that are safe in pregnancy. He/she can also change your way of thinking about pregnancy and childbirth.
In that way, you will start to chill out. Labor can start off naturally. You will feel more relaxed and focused on your baby.
Acupuncture, along with yoga, can help you relax during childbirth, which is vital to get the proper hormones flowing for better couture.
You may also try a hypnobirthing course. But it can be expensive. However, if you can afford it, this course is worth every penny.
The course involves positive affirmations and hypnobirthing.
When you give birth, you will be more relaxed and happy. You won’t be concerned about giving birth. It can help you avoid panicking while in labor, even though it’s long hours of labor.
How to prepare for childbirth? There are plenty of ways to ensure that your delivery experience will be better than you expected.
But remember though that the journey is just the start of your long experience. The real work starts after the delivery.