When I found out I was pregnant for the first time I was so ignorant. I knew nothing about birth or babies, or even pregnancies.
I have thankfully learned at lot since then. As I have matured, and also given birth myself twice, I have thought about all the best ways to make sure you have the birth experience you’ve always wanted. I am not talking about reading up on pain relief methods. (You should do that too.) I am talking more about how to create a relaxed, mindful approach to giving birth. This is one of the things in life we can’t control. Here are five tips to follow when your due date is approaching as well as when labor starts!
- Always breathe! This might seem silly to remind you of but I am telling you if you can just breathe calmly, it will change your breathing experience for the better. It will help you relax, focus and stay out of panic even if the pain is hard to bear. It will also provide oxygen for your muscles and your baby!
- Babies come when they are ready! I can’t tell you how many contractions I second guessed, how many times I would become upset when I thought I might go over my due date (I never did). I remember hearing story after story of my friends who just couldn’t wait for their due dates. How many times I heard a pregnant mom groan about not wanting to be pregnant anymore at 38 weeks. Just breathe (see what I did there) and allow your baby to come when it is ready. This concept seems oddly uncommon. Truly they come when they are ready.
- Create a supporting environment for yourself. The birth of your baby can be quick or a very long process. It can follow a completely normal birthing or become more complicated. No matter how it turns out, being supported by someone you trust and feel secure with, will make the whole process a better one for you. Whether it is your spouse, sister, a doula or a friend. Get yourself a “birth tribe” that will be there for you. It can be only your partner, of course, but no matter who it is, make sure to talk a lot beforehand, about how to act together. If you can, also go through a birth class together. You’ll find examples of good online birth classes in this post.
- Trust your mama intuition. I believe moms know their bodies best. If you are feeling like something is wrong, go to your Dr. If you have questions, ask your Dr. Don’t ever feel silly for something you need to double check on. It is your baby. Trust your instincts, and listen to that little inner voice.
- Stay calm at the beginning of labor. Most first-time mamas are going to labor for 12-14 hours. My step son’s birth mom experienced a 48 hour labor the first time. 48 hours! When you first start to feel that gnawing small pain in your lower back, and feel the first intentional tightening, hang tight, you are in for a long ride. Stay Calm! Try to take a nap, take a bath (if your water hasn’t broken yet) or bake some cookies. Anything that can potentially keep you relaxed for your job ahead.
These are my main tips to help you stay calm and relaxed. Of course, you’ll be better off by educating yourself about the whole birthing process, pain relief methods, and all the technical aspects of giving birth as well, but when the day comes, no matter how well educated you are; breathing, staying calm, having support from someone you trust, letting your baby lead the way, and trusting your own instincts will be important parts of how you experience the birth of your baby.
I wish you a wonderful birthing experience!
How do you plan to prepare for giving birth? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!