6 things you must know to prepare for baby delivery
Article by Cherlynn Ng
Are you feeling lost and nervous as your due date approaches? Well, you are not alone. But as the saying goes, fail to plan and you plan to fail. While trying to imagine yourself giving birth might seem daunting and even terrifying, a lot of it actually has to do with being well-prepared. Check out these 6 things that you can do in anticipation of your big day!
Join a childbirth class
Expecting a baby, while exciting, can also leave you full of anxiety and apprehension. Attending childbirth courses will give you insight of what to expect when the time comes and prepare you for the various challenges that lie in wait. You will learn things you never knew about labour, delivery, postpartum care and more.
As these classes are the closest you can get to actually giving birth, they will definitely be worth your time and commitment. Don’t be surprised at how much a little education can boost your confidence and clear any lingering doubts you have about childbirth. This is also the best time to ask any questions and address any fears on your mind.
Have a birth plan
A birth plan is an outline of your preferences during your labour and delivery. Who do you want with you in the delivery room? Will you need pain relief? This is a useful way of communicating all your wishes, concerns and choices effectively. Don’t just write down what you desire — make sure to identify what you don’t want as well.
Keep your birth plan brief and concise so that it is easier for everyone to read, and go through it with your doctor in advance. At the same time, remember that a birth plan is not set in stone as nobody can predict everything that will happen on your big day. Changes might have to be made according to the circumstances, so keep an open mind and be flexible.
Prepare your body
Labour is an exhausting process that requires strength and stamina, so it’s vital to prep your body with regular exercise. Consider taking up pregnancy yoga, which strengthens your entire body, increases flexibility, and improves stamina. Poses like a deep squat can help to loosen up and open the hips, providing control over muscles that will not tense up when under stress.
More importantly, prenatal yoga enhances your ability to stay relaxed and focused in the moment — something that you will find extremely helpful during childbirth.
Prepare your mind
Many expectant mothers are aware of how to take care of themselves physically, from what foods to eat and how to exercise. However, few remember that their mental state also plays a significant role in how smooth labour and delivery will be.
Your emotions will be heightened as your due date gets closer. Get rid of negative thoughts that do nothing but increase your angst and fear. One way to combat anxiety is to read positive stories about other people’s birthing experiences. Recording and expressing your feelings in a journal will also bring you calm and comfort.
Practice relaxation and pain management techniques
Picking up a variety of techniques to calm your nerves and manage pain will come in handy before, during and after childbirth. Examples are labour position changes, mediation, and patterned breathing. You can practice these techniques all the way through pregnancy to ensure that you are comfortable using them during labour.
These simple yet effective techniques will not only shorten your labour but will also help you stay calm and in control for when the time comes.
Pack your hospital bag
The unpredictable nature of childbirth leaves no room for last-minute packing. The last thing you want to do when you are in labour pains is fretting about what you should bring with you to the hospital and realising that you have forgotten something important when you are there.
Your bag should contain the essentials you will require both before and after birth, as well as anything that will make your stay more comfortable. In the weeks before your due date, come up with a list of what you want to pack and get all the necessities ready. There are many checklists available online for you to tick off should you be unsure of what to bring.
Remember that planning is the key to success — and this applies to pregnancy too. Now that you have covered most of the legwork, sit back and wait for your special day to arrive.
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