In this article you will learn about:
Preparing for Birth
Tips and Strategies to Help Mothers Get Ready
Creating birth plans and getting a birth care provider
There's no denying that the prospect of labor and delivery can be as nerve-wracking and exciting. As you prepare for the birth of your baby, it's important to understand that your body is getting ready as well.
In the days and weeks leading up to labor, your body will start producing hormones that help with uterine contractions and soften the cervix to allow the baby to pass through. As these hormones act, they signal other hormonal changes in your body, such as increased heart rate and fatigue. These symptoms signal that mother and baby are both nearing labor day!
Your body will show you signs of getting ready for birth too. You may experience a few Braxton-Hicks contractions—mild contractions that don't last long—which can signify that your body is getting ready for labor.
It's important to be up-to-date with any new practices or guidelines doctors may use during delivery. Ask questions about the procedure, pain relief methods that are currently used, natural or medications, their benefits, and side effects. In some cases, non-medicinal forms of relief, such as hydrotherapy (birth in warm water) or positioning techniques (such as squatting or kneeling), may also be beneficial. This helps you be fully informed and thus make decisions accordingly.
Creating Birth Plan
This is a document that outlines your wishes for the delivery. It expresses
how you want to give birth
The pain relief method you would like to have.
You must have one so your birthing team knows your wishes.
Choosing a Care Provider
Some of the most common care providers are midwives, family physicians, and obstetricians. Ask them about their experience with labor and delivery and their policies on things like epidurals and C-sections.
Journaling is a great way to work through any worries, fears, or doubts that you may have about childbirth. Also, find people who support and care about you, who will listen without judgment, and whose presence will give you peace of mind during and after giving birth.
Visualization is an effective technique that uses positive imagery to distract from any fears associated with labor. Close your eyes, focus on your breath, and imagine yourself in a safe, peaceful place where you feel relaxed and confident about giving birth. Preparation can make all the difference when approaching labor with feelings of strength and courage.