How I am Preparing My Body For Labour and Delivery; tips and tricks to help your pregnant body get ready to deliver your baby!
Yes another pregnancy post for you all! You all seemed to really like my last personal post on Unique Baby Girl Names I Love But Wont Be Using, so I decided to write another one! I actually had quite a few of you request I do a baby boy version, which I will be doing in the future! I just don't want to give away my top boy name at this time incase we end up pregnant with a boy next hehe.
SO in this post I am going to talk about all the things I have been doing in the final trimester for preparing my body for labour and delivery.
Most of these tips and tricks I have either heard other women mention or things I have read in baby prep books!
Regardless, I am eager to meet my baby and will take on whatever labour and delivery advice is throw my way! If there are things within my control that could potentially help with labour and delivery, then I am all for giving it a try!
Please Note: I am not a labour and delivery professional or expert. These tips are things I have read or researched and am implementing into my day to day up until my baby is born.
How I am Preparing My Body For Labour and Delivery
I know this is probably a given... that staying active during the end of pregnancy is super important for a better labour and delivery... which is why I am starting off with this one.
Let me start by saying, this is extremely hard! Especially because I am suffering from Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD). SPD is a disorder in pregnancy that causes pain in the pelvic region. Many days I struggle to roll out of bed, get dressed and even walk. Because of this, I have been very limited with what my body is able to do to stay active. I can do an entire post on my SPD later on if you are interested!
I was able to continue to hit the gym 2-3 times a week up until 30 weeks, which is when SPD started to get the best of me. Now I am very limited to what I can do. My midwife gave me the OK to do upper body weight lifting on days that I can't go for a walk.
If I was able to, I would be going for a 30 minute walk or bike ride daily to help keep my cardio up. Cardiovascular health is super important when it comes to withstanding the stress demands of labour and delivery. SO if you are able to, I would highly recommend 30 minutes of low-moderate intensity cardio sessions at least 5 days a week.
Raspberry Leaf Tea
Raspberry Leaf Tea have been used for centuries to treat menstrual pains, prepare the uterus for labour and even induce labour during pregnancy. Throughout history, midwifes have used raspberry leaf teas to help with some of the negative symptoms associated with pregnancy and labour.
One study showed that pregnant women who consumed raspberry leaf tea, in the last stage of pregnancy, had a more desirable labour and delivery, including natural delivery without interventions.
Research suggests that the most optimal time to start drinking raspberry leaf tea is at 32 weeks. The amount of tea to drink varies among these studies, but usually ranges for 1-3 cups of this tea a day.
I am currently drinking 1 cup of this naturally decaffeinated tea before bed every night. I have been using Traditional Medicinals Organic Raspberry Leaf Tea but this one by Earth Mama also has amazing reviews.. I ordered it off Amazon.
Learning Hypnobirthing Meditation
Hypnobirthing is something I was super interested in at the beginning of pregnancy because ultimately I would love to have an epidural free birth. The idea of an epidural scares me more than the idea of labour and delivery itself. And I think this has a lot to do with being a nurse in the intensive care unit. I have seen so many epidurals go wrong and would rather avoid it if possible!
For those of you who aren't aware of what hypnobirthing is.. it is a form of hypnosis during childbirth that creates a relaxed and holistic birthing experience rather than activating a fight-or-flight instinct.
Ideally, I would love to be able to mentally relax my body between contractions to conserve energy and allow my body to progress through labour naturally.
I have not taken a hypnobirthing class, but have been practicing mediation and relaxing my body daily. Either 5 minutes before bed, or while having a bubble bath, I put on my labour Spotify play list and attempt to meditate... and let me say, holy smokes this is hard! For someone who has a hard time sitting still, this process has been super difficult! But I know it will be worth it in the end 🙂
Some awesome resources I have been using:
- Gentle Birth Podcast
- Hypnobirthing Tips Video
- The Positive Birth Company Youtube Channel
- Hypnobirthing Spotify Playlist
- Ina May's Guide to Childbirth (this book is AMAZING if you want a natural birth)
This is a newer idea that has been researched quite a bit recently.
Apparently, eating 6 dates a day helps prepare the uterus for labour and delivery. One study found that 96% of women, who ate dates in the last four weeks of pregnancy, had a spontaneous labour - whereas 76% of women who didn't eat dates required induction.
Therefore, like I said earlier, I am willing to do anything to help this bod out!
I started eating Medjool dates everyday at 36 weeks. Sometimes I can't stomach the 6 dates because they are so high in sugar but I can usually have at least 4. I find they taste better if you freeze them! Try freezing them with some peanut butter.
Kegels are something many people tell pregnant women to practice, especially in the final stages of pregnancy.
That being said, I have been doing them since about 20 weeks because of my pelvic issues. I started seeing a pelvic physiotherapist around 22 weeks because of my SPD, and all of her exercises for me to practice included some form of kegels.
For those of you who don't know what kegels are, they are exercises that engage and strengthen your pelvic floor.
Why do them? Some studies have found that doing kegels can reduce the risk of tearing and also speed up the active phase of labour.
Not Writing A Birthing Plan
I know this goes against what many doctors tell you, but I have decided not to have a birthing plan. That being said, I do have a general plan, but I am open to changes as they are needed.
I am someone who LOVES to plan out everything... for our honeymoon I made an entire itinerary for my husband and I... but because of this, I am not writing a birthing plan.
I know that if I have a birthing plan in place and something changes, or needs to go a different direction, I will be devastated. I want to avoid this stress while I am in labour by more so "going with the flow".
Otherwise I don't have any "concrete plans", which I feel is best for myself and my personality type. I have a general plan: labour as long as I can at home, midwife comes to house, tells us when to go to the hospital, delivery in hospital. Thats it.
Thats all I have for you!
I hope you enjoyed this post on how I am preparing my body for labour and delivery!
How I am Preparing My Body For Labour; tips and tricks to help your pregnant body get ready to deliver your baby!