If you’re reading this, you are probably preparing for childbirth; congratulations! Having a baby is one of the most amazing and life-changing experiences a woman can go through. However, it tends to be stressful and sometimes a little scary.
Whether you’re a first-time mom or you’re on your tenth baby, there are nine things you can do to make preparing for birth a little easier on you. This list is excellent for moms planning on having a medicated birth, as well as moms preparing for natural childbirth. There is something for everyone here!
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9 Things You Need To Do When Preparing for Childbirth
1. Pack Your Hospital Bags Early
Don’t wait until the last minute to pack your hospital bags. You never know if you’re going to go into labor early or not. Also, if you pack early, it gives you more time to remember other things you might have forgotten to pack and add them to your bags.
A good time to start packing your hospital bags is between 30-34 weeks. HItting 30 weeks is an exciting milestone, and you can celebrate by starting to pack your bags and nest a little bit! Here’s a hospital bag checklist to give you an idea of what you will and won’t need to pack!
2. Take A Childbirth Prep Course
You don’t realize how much you didn’t know until you take a birthing class. They are so helpful and informative, making you feel more confident about giving birth.
Birthing classes are great for anyone, regardless if you plan on having a medicated or natural birth. They have tons of helpful information about what to expect for mom in delivery, postpartum care, and newborn care.
However, if you want to try for a natural, unmedicated birth, it is crucial you take a birthing class! They will help teach you some techniques for pain management that can help you succeed at your goal. It can make the difference between a painful, traumatizing birth and a minimally painful, positive birthing experience.
The Mighty Mama Movement is one of our most highly recommended online birth courses. It has SO much helpful information for pregnant mamas, whether this is your first baby or your fifth! They will teach you how to have a natural childbirth without the pain.
The best part about the Might Mama Movement course is that you can take a FREE Mini Birth-Prep Webinar before taking the course to make sure it’s something you’re interested in. They pride themselves in helping moms have a “practically pain-free birth,” and they mean it! Birth doesn’t have to be a painful, traumatic experience like you see in the movies.
Childbirth classes, such as this one, include so much helpful information on labor, delivery, newborn care, and postpartum care. A few things they cover are relaxation techniques and comfort measures, the stages of labor, breathing techniques, the birth process, coping with contractions, labor positions, medical interventions, and so much more!
If you want to check out their free webinar first, click here!
If you know you want to take the “Practically Pain-Free Birth” course and you want access to the course ASAP, click here!
3. Write A Birth Plan
If you’re a first-time mom, you might not know what you want. That’s why a birthing class is so great! If you have had a baby before, you likely have preferences for things you did or didn’t like the first time around. Write a birth plan and go over it with your doctor ahead of time, so they know what your preferences are.
Birth plans are great for anyone, but they are especially great if you want an unmedicated birth or have any specific preferences for your birthing experience and care for your newborn. A few things you might include are medication preferences, induction and intervention, postpartum care, and newborn care and procedures.
When you’re in labor, the last thing you want is to keep telling nurses and doctors over and over what you do or don’t want. That’s why having a printed-out birth plan can be handy. You can simply give them a copy when you get there and be done with it.
4. Start Doing Pre-Birth Yoga
The end of pregnancy is rough on your body. Everything starts to hurt. Doing some prenatal yoga can help ease some of those aches and pains and help get your body prepared for birth.
Make sure you find pregnancy-safe yoga classes or videos, as some positions are unsuitable for pregnant women. But pregnancy-approved yoga can make a world of difference in how you feel. You can start this as early or as late into your pregnancy as you want.
Along with yoga, look into a prenatal chiropractor or massage therapist to help your body get ready for birth.
5. Find Your Favorite Positive Affirmations for Labor
There is so much research out there that shows positive affirmations actually work. Repeating positive affirmations every day can help change your mindset. And what better time to get into a good mindset than when you’re preparing for birth?
There are tons of positive affirmations for labor and delivery that can be helpful to practice throughout your pregnancy. Affirmations can bring you peace, lessen your anxiety, and help get you through labor.
Make a list of some affirmations that really resonate with you, and repeat them as often as possible.
To make things easier, grab a copy of our printable positive affirmations and hang them at home, at work, and in the hospital! Affirmations are a huge help in having a joyful birthing experience.
6. Practice. Practice. Practice.
Anything you can practice for birth, do it! This is another great reason to take a childbirth class. The instructor can teach you things you can practice before labor to make your delivery smoother.
A few examples of things you can practice ahead of time are:
7. Do Some Postpartum Prep
The postpartum stage, or the fourth trimester as some like to call it, can be hard! Healing from a vaginal birth is hard, and healing from a c-section can be even more challenging. Every person is different, but one thing for sure is that you need time to heal afterward.
Anything you can do in advance to make your postpartum life easier, you should do it! A few things you can do ahead of time are:
Make freezer meals – this makes making dinner so much easier!
Buy postpartum supplies in advance – pads/depends, stool softener, Dermosplast spray, etc.
Get your breast pump beforehand – once your milk comes in, you’ll want that pump ASAP.
Hire someone (or have someone help you) deep clean the house right before or while having the baby.
Stock up on household essentials – toilet paper, paper towels, paper/plastic utensils, etc.
8. Consider Getting A Doula
A doula is someone who will be there for you throughout your entire labor experience and coach you through it. This is different than a doctor or a midwife because they typically don’t show up until right before the baby is ready to be delivered.
A doula has had training and experience, so they can be a huge asset in having a less stressful labor and delivery. You can even hire them for some postpartum help, such as breastfeeding help, newborn routine and sleep, and postpartum healing for you.
If your partner is someone who is willing to take a class with you, learn all of the pain management techniques, learn the ins and outs of childbirth, and would make a good coach and support person, you may not need a doula. But doulas are simply great at what they do, and they know lots of little tricks and techniques from their experience.
If you’re considering a natural birth, a doula can be a tremendous help with pain relief, stress management, and getting you the best possible birth experience.
9. Prioritize Self Care
Leading up to your due date can feel like a rat race trying to get everything done, but make sure you’re taking time for yourself. Not only for your physical health but for your mental health too.
Many women trying to induce labor naturally will try all of the physical activities to help start labor, such as walking, going up and downstairs, bouncing, etc. While these exercises can help induce labor, you will hear plenty of moms say that as soon as they gave up trying to force it, it happened on its own. Or, plenty of moms say they went into labor in the middle of the night while lying in bed. Relaxing is another way you can induce labor!
Get plenty of sleep, kick back and relax, get massages, get pedicures, go to the spa, get a facial, etc. Being relaxed and staying calm is the best mindset to have leading up to labor.
3 Most Important Things To Remember About Giving Birth
1. Your Body Was Made For It
Sometimes, our generation forgets that our bodies were MADE to give birth. Our bodies know what they’re doing. If you’ve ever watched an animal, such as a cat, giving birth, you will notice that they are calm the entire time. Sometimes they even purr! And the crazy part is that they don’t even know what’s happening. Nobody has told them what’s coming. Their bodies just instinctually know what to do.
It’s the fear and the panic we feel as labor progresses that makes us have such a bad experience. Thanks to movies, media, and hearing other people’s stories, we go into labor expecting it to be excruciating and stressful. Just remember, women were built for giving birth.
2. It Doesn’t Have to Be Painful and Traumatic
Movies, media, and other people have put it into our heads that birth is something to fear. It doesn’t have to be! Take a birthing class, and you will soon realize just how great of an experience it can be.
3. The Key to a Positive Experience is a Positive Mindset; Fear and Panic Will Increase Pain
Your mind is a powerful thing. It has so much control over your experiences. Relaxing releases pain-relieving hormones, while panic releases hormones that will increase pain.
Our bodies are amazing, and they know what they’re doing. Staying calm, relaxed, and confident will make your labor experience so much more enjoyable. Look into childbirth classes so you can feel prepared and ready for your labor and delivery.
Final Thoughts On Preparing for Childbirth
We hope these tips, tricks, and things to remember will help you feel a little bit more prepared for your birthing experience. No matter what, you will soon have your baby in your arms, and all of the stress leading up to that point will be gone.
Here are a few more resources you might find helpful as you prepare to meet your new baby:
- The Postpartum Cure: The All In One Plan for Fast Postpartum Recovery
- The Ultimate Guide to a Natural Childbirth + 10 Moms Share Their Stories
- Super-Cute Printable Nursery Art for Gender Neutral, Baby Boy, and Baby Girl Nurseries
- Managing Postpartum Depression: What You Need to Know
Kayla is the content creator over at motviationformom.com. She is a wife and mother who loves to share all of the tips, tricks, and life lessons that she has learned over the years with all of her readers. Her primary focus is on children’s education, motherhood, and healthy family relationships!