Nikita Johnson, CEO/Director of Client Care, Student Midwife, Certified Doula, Ob/Gyn Surgical Technologist, Certified Nursing Assistant, Patient Care Technician, Placenta Specialist,
6 Ways to Prepare for Labor & Birth
It isn’t always easy to know where to start when preparing for your birth. There is a lot of information out there, much of it being non-evidence-based and biased in favor of giving birth under the conditions that the medical-industrial complex imposes. Finding the right information to prepare yourself is vital to having an empowered birth experience. You have the power to birth differently! Your birth is yours, and how you choose to experience it is entirely up to you. These are a few of the most important ways you can start preparing yourself to have a successful labor!
1. Take a childbirth education class. This one should be at the top of every mother-to-be’s list! This is an extremely important one, as it prepares you to know what to expect through all of the stages of labor. And yes, you need to bring your birth partner with you! Attending a hospital birthing class is not adequate, as these usually only teach you how to be compliant rather than informed and empowered in your options. Most comprehensive childbirth classes cover nutrition and fitness, the role your partner will play in the birth, labor phases, bringing the baby home, and planning for postpartum. Having this knowledge will help reduce some of the anxieties you may be feeling leading up to giving birth! DMV Birth Doulas hosts Monthly In-Person Childbirth Education Classes. Click here to learn more.
2. Prepare your Birth Partner In addition to having your birth partner attend childbirth classes with you, you can talk with them about some of the things that you will need from them in labor. You may have specific preferences about what kind of role you would like them to play in the birth space. Your partner has the role of being another advocate for your birth as well as your doula. Making sure that everyone on your birth team has read over your birth plan and is on the same page will help everything go a lot more smoothly.
3. Daily movement If you were active before you got pregnant, then you are perfectly capable to continue during your pregnancy, although you may have to make some modifications. Even if you weren’t super active before, you can take this time to improve your health! Daily movement helps align your baby optimally within the pelvis and can potentially even shorten the length of your labor. Take a walk through your neighborhood or do some prenatal yoga at the house to ease some of your aches and pains from your growing belly.
4. Work with a chiropractor Working with a chiropractor throughout your birth, but especially in the third trimester can greatly improve your comfort levels by helping make room for your baby within the pelvis. Finding a Webster Certified Chiropractor is an added bonus, as they specialize in prenatal adjustments and helping babies get into the best presentation for labor. Chiropractic care in pregnancy is one of those best-kept secrets that are worth having! For info on chiropractors in the DMV area, visit here .
5. Hire an experienced doula you connect with. One of the most important investments you can make for your birth is hiring a doula . Doulas are invaluable to your birth experience in countless ways. Starting from the beginning of working together, they will make sure you and your partner feel prepared and ready for the adventure of giving birth that lies ahead. They will work to help you build your birth plan, answer questions, assist with prenatal nutrition and teach you tools to effectively advocate for yourself during your labor. Doulas can also fill the gap in any unanswered questions you have that may not be answered during your prenatal visits with your doctor. When you go into labor at the hospital or birth center, your doula is there working only for YOU. Doulas have the skills to be strong advocates in the birth room. Their priority is taking care of you and making sure that your birth preferences are respected. Studies have even shown that doulas can reduce the cesarean rates for their clients anywhere from 28-59%! You deserve to have a professional at your birth who is knowledgeable in all variations of labor, can offer emotional and physical support, and can help you navigate the system that was not designed to keep you empowered and informed. Once you have given birth, your doula will continue to be there for you as a part of your postpartum support system and can offer you resources to help you succeed at breastfeeding and staying on top of your mental health. Hiring a doula is a precious gift that you can give yourself during your pregnancy, and you deserve to have a support team that will uplift and empower you and does their best to help you have the birth you always dreamed of. We offer a wide range of payment plan arrangements to ensure our clients can have access to evidence based support. Schedule a consultation to learn about your options.
6. Eliminate negativity In order to prepare yourself mentally for the task of giving birth, it is vitally important that you eliminate any negative voices that make you doubt your ability to birth your baby. When someone close to you doesn’t believe in your strength, remind them that you are capable! If those negative words are coming from someone on your medical team, it may be time to find someone who is willing to support you in your birth. A family member may speak negatively over your birth out of fear for you and your safety, but you can alleviate their fears by reminding them of the evidence to support your decisions. Your mindset matters more than you realize in birth, and that is something that only you have control over. Speak positively to yourself and manifest the birth you want by praying it into existence! You will remember your birth for the rest of your life.
This is a special time you get to connect with your baby and your body in a way you never have before. Making intentional choices about how you bring your baby into the world will be one of the most empowering things you can do as you step into this new role of motherhood and welcome your new baby into the world.
Blogger Credit: Juniper Christine