For all families, the day of receiving a new child is one of the most important of your life, and one filled with emotion, anxiety, and a life-changing delivery. So much anticipation goes into this momentous day, and preparing yourself beforehand will help ensure it goes as smoothly as possible. If it’s your first child, it will be a bit more of a learning experience than if it’s your second or third and so on, but there is always more to learn for mothers of all ages. Here are eight tips to help ensure your pregnancy and delivery are both a breezy success.
Maintaining proper nutrition is one of the best ways to set yourself up for a smooth birthing process. Eating plenty of protein and vegetables while minimizing your sugar intake helps minimize the risk of pregnancy-related conditions. Eating right also keeps your strength up – strength you’ll need plenty of once delivery day arrives.
A study found that women who consumed six dates per day in their final four weeks of pregnancy saw an increase in dilation and spontaneous labor and a decrease in the likelihood of needing prostin or oxytocin.
It’s no secret that breathing is a key to a successful birth. During labor, breathing slowly and deeply helps you to relax and also prevents tension in your muscles, allowing your cervix to dilate. Practicing breathing techniques beforehand will help make sure you’re a pro in the delivery room.
Remaining active has a number of benefits on your health during pregnancy, including:
- Improved sleep
- Increased stamina
- Improved morale
- Reduced weight
Walking, swimming, and yoga are all great ways to stay in shape during pregnancy. Yoga also helps improve that ever-crucial breath control you’ll need once labor begins.
Have a plan
Simply put, nothing prepares like having a plan. Doing so will make delivery day less overwhelming for the entire family thanks to set expectations for what’s to come. With that said, be prepared for unexpected events during labor. Not everything will go according to plan, but having one set up still helps reduce anxiety before and during labor.
If you can help it, don’t remain completely stagnant during labor. Staying mobile speeds up the labor process and also relieves discomfort. Walk, sit on a birth ball, or soak in a tub to get yourself in motion.
Don’t be afraid to make noise during labor, either. Doing so has a number of benefits to the mother, as opening your mouth to sigh or moan relaxes your birthing muscles and allows them to open up more easily.
Try different birthing positions
Birthing doesn’t only have to take place on your back in the hospital bed. In fact, labor often doesn’t happen in this way at all, as it can be quite uncomfortable and ineffective. Other often more effective positions include:
- Side lying
- Hands on knees
- Leaning forward
Try out different positions and communicate with your health professionals to find the positions that work best for you.
Keep an open mind
No matter how much you prep, there is almost complete certainty that not everything will go exactly according to plan – and that’s okay. The more prepared you and your family are to accept that and adjust to changes as they come, the more smoothly your delivery will be. Trust your support system and your ability to have a smooth delivery.
Breathe easy at the Western Wisconsin Health Birth Center
At the Western Wisconsin Health Birth Center, we believe families should have the birthing experience they desire – one that has a positive impact on mothers, fathers, grandparents, and beyond. We are proud to offer safe, empowering, natural care delivered under the premise that women’s bodies know how to give birth and should be allowed to do so without intervention when desired. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.