The thought of childbirth can be very stressful for any Mum-to-be. So to alleviate your stress, I’ve compiled a list of tips for preparing for labour.
Here are my non-scary childbirth tips.
Expose yourself to the birthing process
I desensitized myself over the period of three to four months in my first pregnancy. I fear labour. I especially fear c-sections. I started reading about them. Then I started watching television shows such as One Born Every Minute. The first time I tried to watch it, I turned it off after I heard a woman screaming in pain in the opening credits. Over time, I realised that I could cope with anything and everything on that show. I ignored horror birthing stories from ‘helpful friends’. If you’re like me and you need to feel in control to manage labour expose yourself to labour.
Be comfortable being naked and having everyone (including the cleaner) see your boobs!
If you don’t think you could possibly do this, chances are you will just do it on the day anyway! Sorry to say hunny, but everyone will see your boobs during and after birth, particularly if you wish to breastfeed.
Be flexible with your birth plan
Otherwise if you have a strict plan and it didn’t go to plan, you might not cope as well as if you would if you were more flexible.
Buy big black knickers
I was a size 8 pre-baby. A the end of my pregnancy I was a size 10-12 but wore size 14 knickers. They were certainly not too big when you have a surfboard maternity pad (with ice) in them. I chose black as I had a few days of bleeding afterwards.
Buy three packets of big surfboard maternity pads
You will go through a lot and your old panty liners from your teenage spotting years will simply not cut it
Bring in some bed socks
Some women find their feet get cold during labour. Mine didn’t, but everyone is different.
Buy a black dress
If you have a normal vaginal delivery you will likely bleed the entire time you’re in hospital so black is best and a dress is more comfortable. Plus if you have a tear they need to check your wound so it’s easier for examinations to wear a dress. If you have a cesarean, consider wearing pants with a band that won’t dig into your scar. You can get c-section bands that support your tummy afterwards too.
Put some labour music play list together
I will share mine one day – it’s hilarious!!! Push, Push it real good – may have scored a spot on the list.
Pack labour food (aka lollies).
You don’t eat much during labour – if anything. But your support will definitely need food! And drink… Take in some apple juice for you although the nurses will probably offer you some.
Get your body ready
Have a visitors list/plan
You will likely be inundated with visitors. Try and create a list of close friends and family you’re happy to see in hospital, others will be happy to wait and see you at home. Remember, the more people hold your baby, the more unsettled they will be (or so my midwife told me), so keep that in mind. Only 5 people held our little bubby before we left hospital, and two of those people were me and hubby.
Hospital bag checklist
Have you thought about what you might pack to take to the hospital. I have compiled a list for you… p.s do not forget those lollies!!!
Most important tip….
The most important tip for preparing for labour, is that you do prepare. Many women do not do anything to prepare at all, and really underestimate the level of trauma that this process can be. Many women also cannot comprehend how beautiful and natural childbirth is for everyone. You will never feel more primal than during labour and trying to feed you bub, and you will never be able to replicate those feelings of overwhelming joy when you first see your little newborn.
What are the best tips you received for preparing for labour?
Learn how to prepare your body for labour here:
Read about the importance of your pelvic floor:
What are the Five P’s of Pregnancy?
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