After 9 months of pregnancy, it’s finally time to welcome your little bundle of joy into the world. It’s both an exciting and daunting task to go through labor and delivery. The anticipation of meeting your baby for the first time is a wonderful feeling, but going through labor can be a bit scary. Luckily, there are ways to make labor easier for both you and your baby. Take a few minutes to discover these secrets for a more comfortable and enjoyable labor.
10 Tips to an Easy Labor
1. Exercise During Pregnancy
Staying active and fit is important, especially when the big day comes to welcome your baby into this world. Be sure to find appropriate ways to exercise during pregnancy to keep your body healthy and strong. Studies prove that doing pelvic floor or Kegel exercises can help reduce labor pain. Odds are you’ll spend less time pushing if you have strong, well conditioned pelvic floor muscles. For best results, do 25-45 kegel exercises three times a day. Learn how to do kegel exercises. Squats and pelvic tilts are also great for strenghtening pelvic muscles. So, flex that muscle, squat and strengthen Mama! 😉
2. Diet and Proper Nutrition
There’s no better time than the present to start eating healthy. Not only does YOUR body need proper nutrition, but your baby needs it too!
Follow the tips below to ensure your body will be healthy and strong throughout your pregnancy and during labor and delivery:
- Drink plenty of water
- Cut back on processed food with preservatives
- Avoid or limit caffeine intake
- Eat plenty of fruits and veggies
- Be sure to get enough healthy fats from natural sources (avacado, nuts, coconut oil, etc..)
- Eat more whole grains
During labor, muscle contractions and accelerated breathing can cause dehydration. When you go into labor at home, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water to avoid getting dehydrated once you get to the hospital.
One of the easiest ways to induce labor is through meditation. Practicing yoga, mindfulness and meditation can help calm and relax the mind. These practices also help strengthen the body’s inner core in preparation for childbirth. Be sure to look for prenatal yoga classes or videos, which respect your unique state.
4. Breathing Techniques
We’ve all seen videos of women in lamaze class breathing like crazy people. But believe it or not, there’s actually some science behind this technique. By focusing on your breath you’ll feel more comfortable, while speeding up the labor process. Deep cleansing breaths followed by steady, slow breaths encourage your mind to focus away from the pain.
Envision something soothing to you and practice visiting this “happy place” in your mind. If you do this throughout your pregnancy, once labor starts, it will be a welcome escape from the contractions. Visualizing ocean waves, a beach or any other wonderful world of your creation will help relax your body and focus your mind.
6. Labor Doula
Having a Doula or childbirth specialist will provide you with a physical and an emotional support system throughout your pregnancy. A doula may help ease your worries about childbirth and help you find ways to be more comfortable during labor, naturally. Doulas often use massage and hypnotherapy techniques, which help to relieve tension.
Massage therapy increases the production of oxytocin, which helps to move along contractions and increases pain tolerance. Research shows that women who get a massage during labor from a doula or partner feel less anxiety and pain as compared to those who weren’t massaged.
8. Creating a birth plan
One of the easiest ways to make yourself more comfortable with upcoming childbirth is to create a birth plan. Planning ahead can take away some of the unknowns. If you choose to use a doula, she can help you come up with a birth plan that will help you feel relaxed and at ease when the time comes to deliver your beautiful baby.
9. Childbirth classes
Taking a childbirth class will make you feel empowered to take control of your own labor and delivery. Knowing yourself and role playing the phases of childbirth will help your mind and body when the contractions begin.
10. Listen to the medical professionals
It’s important to listen to your doctor throughout your pregnancy. It’s equally as important to listen to your nurse in the hospital or birthing center. These medical professionals are experienced and well versed in childbirth. Be open minded and listen to their suggestions. Just remember, they’re there to help you!
Now relax, breath and push that baby out Mama!
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