Are you pregnant for the first time? Are you scared at the very thought of having a baby? Check how you can prepare for childbirth to make it easier and less stressful.
1. Get to know the different stages of labor
During pregnancy use whatever free time you have to read a lot and prepare for childbirth – being more informed and prepared will certainly make the experience less daunting. However, not everything is worth reading and it is advisable to not listen to all the horror stories that a woman experienced during childbirth. Always remember that just as each of us is different, so is pregnancy and childbirth for each of us. Each of us experiences and perceives it all differently. However, it is worth reading guides about the course of labour and its individual stages – this will help shed light to what is happening at a given moment, why we feel it this way and not otherwise. When we understand the course of labour and learn about its phases, we will be more calm which is the most important thing.
2. Learn to breathe properly
During childbirth it is very important how we breathe in the various stages of labour. If you are able to, it is worth going to antenatal classes that can help you and your partner to focus on your pregnancy, and prepare for labour and birth. Going to classes with a partner or other person has the added benefit, apart from support, that they can help with reminding about breathing and how to do this in a given phase in the delivery room.
3. During pregnancy, start preparing your muscles for childbirth
As you know, childbirth is a huge physical effort, so you should prepare yourself with various exercises. As long as there are no contraindications, you can start exercising from the beginning of the second trimester. Organized group exercises conducted by a properly trained person are highly recommended. In addition to physical activity, with the type of classes intended only for pregnant women, you can get to know other pregnant women from your area and their previous experiences.
Infusion of raspberry leaves and evening primrose oil
In the last weeks of pregnancy, it is recommended to consume two cups a day of raspberry infusion and the use of evening primrose oil. This is to improve the flexibility of the uterine muscles. Eating dates or pineapple has a similar effect.
4. Listen to the midwife and follow her instructions
If you are using one, a good labour midwife is a treasure. An experienced midwife will guide your labour as best she can and choose the right positions for a given phase of labor.
5. Make a birth plan
Increasingly hospitals require a birth plan, which they later attach to medical records. It is best to think about how you would like your labour to look like during pregnancy and to prepare its plan at home rather than in a hurry while you are already in the hospital with your labour underway. After childbirth you can then assess together with your doctor what was possible to implement in the birth plan.
6. Get to know the hospital where you will be giving birth
Maternity hospitals often organize so-called open days, when you can come to the selected hospital, learn about the conditions there, meet the midwives and doctors working in a given hospital who will be assisting with your childbirth. Familiar faces and surroundings will cheer you up and give you peace of mind when you arrive at the hospital.
7. Stay calm
Women have always given birth and will give continue to give birth. Nowadays, we have very well-equipped hospitals and qualified medical personnel, and we have very good care during childbirth. It is known that giving birth is a great experience, always accompanied by fear, but a calm approach and a few deep breaths will certainly help your baby come into the world.