Preparing for Labor

7 min read

Written by Pradeep

Pradeep

Preparing for Labor

The feeling of becoming a mother is precious and there are no words to describe it. This is a big life change and overwhelming as well. Having a baby can be an exciting and anxious time as well since there are many changes that take place physically and mentally. Preparing well ahead makes delivery and parenthood a smoother process indeed. This is especially in the case of women nearing their delivery time. Preparing for labor ahead of time is one way to reduce this anxiety and give confidence to the pregnant woman.

All women are different, the pain during labor for each will be different as well. Different pregnancies of the same women can be different too. During labor, pain happens due to the contracting of muscles in the uterus due to the cervix pressure etc. The whole process of delivery can be painful and stressful for the mother and hence preparing physically and mentally is very important.

In This Article

The Importance of Preparing For Labor

Labour is a time when women need a lot of stamina and strength and so it is vital for the body to stay fit. Stress can be harmful during pregnancy so exercising always helps. This is also the time when both the mind and the body are getting ready for labor. Just like the body prepares for birth by Braxton Hicks contractions, the mind prepares with the help of nesting urges. Nesting urge is a way of the mind to prepare for the coming times. The mother starts washing and folding clothes, , stacking them, arranging other products and being organized, etc.

Labor pain can be felt strongly in the abdominal area, back and groin. Few women experience pain on the thighs or sides as well. This pain is also due to stretching of the vaginal passage, birth canal, and the pressure by the baby’s head on the bladder and bowels.

Yet, the feeling of going into labor is a great one. More so, when it is the first baby. The couple who are undergoing their second or third pregnancy can have a mix of emotions. This is because the experience of fatigue, pain, having help and other experiences cannot always be exciting. They even start comparing their earlier experiences with the present ones.

7 Proven Ways of Preparing For Labor

7 Proven Ways of Preparing For Labor

Labor is a natural process where the body starts preparing for it by itself. Many changes are indicators that time is nearing. Common indications include Braxton Hicks contractions, getting false pain alarms, like labor pains, baby descending, etc. This can also be stressful, so the doctor can suggest adopting ways and means for reducing stress before or during pregnancy.

Moderate exercising on a regular basis helps in strengthening the muscles and even preparing the body for labor stress. Exercising increases the body’s endurance as well.

Here are a few ways to prepare for the impending labor.

1. Attending Childbirth Classes

child birth class

Various hospitals and childbirth centers conduct maternity and childbirth classes for would-be mothers. Some centers conduct prenatal yoga classes too. Once you have identified and registered for your delivery, you can enroll in their special programs and training classes for expecting mothers.

  • The best bet to avoid stress and prepare for labor is by taking birthing classes.
  • The classes answer any queries related to labor and delivery.
  • They even teach you to understand contractions, to stay composed at the most vital moments just before delivery.
  • Women can take a support person- either the spouse or someone from the family who can help in practicing together.
  • The classes happen either at the hospital or a birthing center.
  • It is good to take the classes a few months before the due date.

2. Learning About Labor Pain And Childbirth

Learning About Labor Pain And Childbirth

Whether attending labor and childbirth classes or not, here are a few vital aspects you need to learn to prepare for delivery.

  • Indicators of labor and the types of pain that need to be managed for labor.
  • Childbirth stages and complications.
  • Taking care of the newborn.
  • Different types of birthing styles so it is good you can pick the one that matches the childbirth philosophy.

The classes happen at a birthing center or a hospital is even online in the present times.

3. Having a Complete Understanding of the Childbirth Process And Taking Care of The Newborn

Learning Taking Care of The Newborn

While identifying signs of childbirth and reaching the hospital on time is important, the childbirth process itself is going to be cumbersome. Complete knowledge of what to aspect and how to manage will help you get through the process with better ease. Here is how having a complete understanding of the childbirth process helps you welcome the newborn baby.

  • Offers more confidence for handling the most amazing and exciting experience of life.
  • Gives a complete understanding of the stages of labor and delivery
  • Helps in recognizing the first indicators of labor.
  • Let you know the right time to call the midwife or the doctor when labor begins.
  • Gives a better understanding of childbirth complications like slow labor and perineal tears so are prepared.
  • How to manage pain in labor.
  • The ways in which the partner can play a supporting role while in labor.
  • Basics of breastfeeding.
  • Safety of infants
  • Taking care of the newborn right from putting it in the car seat to changing diapers, feeding, and even bringing the baby back home from the hospital.

4. Packing Your Bag For The Hospital For Delivery

packing bag

The last leg of the pregnancy is crucial for pregnant women as the clock starts ticking. No one knows the right time when your baby is going to enter this world. It requires you to be vigilant and watch for signs. Keeping the bag ready in order to leave for the hospital is important.

Your labor bag, so to speak, must have the following items.

  • The birth plans
  • Toiletries
  • Hygiene essentials such as sanitizers
  • Maternity wear suitable for breastfeeding
  • Nipple creams
  • Pillows and bath towels (some hospitals do provide them, so check with your hospital before packing them.
  • Essential routine medications that need to be taken even post-delivery

5. Having a Person Around You at All Times

Having a Person Around You at All Times

During the later stages of pregnancy, it is a good idea to always have someone around you. It is not advisable to stay all by yourself, especially while relaxing or when sleeping. You can even hire a nurse or a full-time help who can help with labor and delivery. This is especially important if you are giving birth to twins. Emotional support is very important so it is ideal to have someone who can offer support when required.

6. Learning Effective Breathing Techniques For Easier Labor

breathing technique

Breathing effectively works well while in the delivery room. Some pointers to keep in mind during your labor and delivery are

  • It is important to be comfortable and lie down, concentrating on the breathing pattern.
  • While inhaling the body is filled with air, which gets into the belly, which gets support from the rib cage.
  • This helps in loosening the vaginal tissues also called Perineum.
  • This makes the childbirth process a smooth and easier one.
  • The force can be applied through exhaling and by making a sound, it even helps in counting the number of exhalations.
  • Deep breathing also helps in calming down.

7. Learning How to Push The Right Way

learn how to push

For easing the labor process, it is important to breathe slowly and provide strength to the pelvic muscles of the body. The ways in which it can be done are

  • The expectant mother can start pushing the baby by taking deep breaths for a longer time.
  • Count to 10 and then push hard with all the force and strength.
  • The hands need to be under the breast while slowly pushing the baby down while breathing.
  • It is important to keep the body relaxed, especially the head and the neck.
  • As the woman starts pushing the baby down, the labor pain will also start subsiding slowly and gradually.
  • In order to push during labor, positions like lying on one side, squatting, sitting on knees or on hands, and leaning forward help in reducing the pain and help to push the baby with fewer problems.

Delivering the baby is the most difficult part of pregnancy as the woman undergoes acute pain. It is important to stay calm, and have a supporting person next to you who can offer strength and be there for you. . Preparing for labor is very important to ease the process for you and mentally prepare you for what is to come. Once the baby is out, all the pain goes away, and you will feel it was worth having the pain for a baby who is a precious gift from God

FAQ’s

1. How to Have Easy Labor And Delivery?

In order to have easy labor and delivery, the following tips will help

  • Consume dates regularly.
  • Do Squatting every day.
  • Have adequate and regular sleep.
  • You can prefer water birth.
  • Stay upright during labor.

2. How to Prepare Your Body For Childbirth?

It is not a good idea to have oily or fatty foods when preparing the body for childbirth. This leads to heartburn but even obstructs the child-birthing process. Having fruits like apples or bananas or smoothies and yoghurt offer more energy at the time of labor. These foods also help both in case of vaginal or C-section deliveries.

3. Can You Eat And Drink During Labor?

At the time of early labor, it is normal to feel hungry. Nibbling on small amounts of high-carb foods like cereals, pasta, toast and sandwiches help as they boost energy levels.

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