Preparing for Labor and Delivery

Posted on June 15, 2009. Filed under: Birth, Pregnancy | Tags: , , , |

I am writing as a guest blogger on www.empoweredmommies.com

This months focus for Empowered Mommies is Preparing for Labor and Delivery so that what my first blog post was about. I thought I would be so kind as to link it up for you but also share it here on my own blog…

This month’s focus is on preparing for labor and delivery. As a doula, I always discuss ways to prepare for the big day in the prenatal appointments with my clients. I think that the best way to approach it is to break it down by trimesters.

First Trimester

Read these books:

Learn about the Brewer Diet

Continue exercising if you already do and start exercising if you don’t. Walking and prenatal yoga do amazing things for the pregnant body.

Second Trimester

Hire a doula

Explore childbirth classes and relaxation methods such the Bradley Method, Hypnobirthing, Hynobabies, and Lamaze. Pick one and enroll.

Continue the Brewer Diet and exercising

Start researching where you want to give birth and make a decision. Interview midwives and OBs. Check cesarean rates for the OBs and the potential hospitals. Do hospital tours. If planning a homebirth be sure to look into getting a birth pool.

Learn about the risks of pain medication in birth. Learn about the risks of routine interventions.

Start learning Optimal Fetal Positioning techniques and exercise suggestions.

Third Trimester

Use birth ball when sitting and do pelvic tilts three times a day/twenty times each to help strengthen and loosen you pelvis

Discuss your fears and concerns about your birth with your doula and midwife. Any mental hang ups can affect labor so it’s best to clear your head before it happens.

Learn to trust birth! Let go of your fears and trust your body. Trust that you will know what to do.

Finalize your birth plan. I think that by putting it in writing you are solidifying in your mind what you truly do want. Make sure that your partner understands every aspect of your plan so that he or she can help advocate for you if need be.

Read Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation by Pam England and Rob Horowitz (Paperback – Jul 1, 1998)

The Final Few Weeks

Relax and enjoy the time with your partner. Soul search and take care of yourself. Birth is not something that can be planned but with a little planning we can birth the way we want to and on our own terms whether it’s a hospital birth, home birth or even an unassisted birth. The key in all of these situations is to be informed and to know your options because sometimes things don’t go the way we want them to. If you understand what is happening and  have a solid support team that you trust then you can have the best birth possible for you and your baby regardless of the circumstances.

Good luck!

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