Updated: Jan 4
You’ve read the books, set up the nursery, bought bottles and diapers, and are totally prepared for the baby's arrival. But what about going through labour and birth? Are you prepared?
Preparing to give birth can feel either pointless or straightforward.
What’s the point in preparing, don’t you just show up and have a baby? Or perhaps you have prepared a hospital bag, and gone to your prenatal appointments and classes; you think you are definitely prepared...right?
There may be more to it than you think.
One thing you need to be is physically prepared.
Going through labour and birth is physically demanding! You wouldn’t show up for a marathon without training. So why show up to labour and birth without training? This doesn’t mean start weight training and running, tomorrow- especially without a personal trainer. This is not the time to get into peak physical condition. But it is the time to keep your body moving and focused on gentle conditioning for labour and birth.
Going through labour and birth will require you to be able to have the strength and flexibility to assume positions such as squatting or being on your hands and knees. Additionally your heart rate will elevate and you’ll be breathing deeper and faster, so effective cardio health can be helpful.
I suggest going for frequent walks. You can stay at a comfortable pace or try a more brisk walk focusing on squeezing your bum and leg muscles with each step. You can start this habit at any point in pregnancy and especially after 38 weeks as it may help encourage labour to start.
Another suggestion is to try prenatal yoga. This can encourage muscle tone, cardio, and flexibility. Try looking up some studios near you, renting a DVD from the library, or looking on YouTube for prenatal yoga videos. This is a great practice to incorporate all through pregnancy, and especially in the third trimester as labour gets closer.
I hope this information and suggestions are helpful for you in preparing your body for labour and birth.