Every birth is different and the prospect of giving birth can be quite a daunting one. It can seem like a good idea to push it to the back of your mind until it’s actually happening, but planning ahead will help ease the anxiety and prepare you for what lies ahead.
Here are some practical ways you can prepare for labour and birth that will ease your anxiety and leave you prepared for the big day ahead.
Take a tour
Tour the hospital to know where you are going and who will be there. This will also help curb any anxiety and uncertainty you may have around what rooms you will be using, where you and baby will be staying and what basic procedures and policies are in force.
There are also practical implications to consider such as car parking, journey timescales and transportation to and from the hospital – and an early visit to the hospital will help alleviate any questions you may have.
Learn the different options
Being knowledgeable and prepared for what lies ahead is the best option, when it comes to labour and birth – especially as it’s such a big deal for you, your body and your baby! Learn about the different stages of labour, breathing techniques and pain management available to you. The best way to learn this is by taking a birthing class or watching videos of real-life deliveries.
Pack a bag!
Your midwife will advise you to have a bag packed and ready for hospital, once you are about 34 weeks pregnant. This is to ensure you are ready to go as soon as labour has commenced. Obviously you will have clothing and toiletries for both you and baby – but don’t forget to take those extra items you may need, such as phone charger, camcorder and change for snacks and parking!
Stock your freezer
Once baby is here you are going to spend the next month getting into a routine with baby… and the last thing on your mind is going to be cooking yourself a healthy nutritious meal! To help ease you back into a normal routine bulk cook meals that can be stored in the freezer now.
Things can change
Finally, it is worth remembering that, no matter how much preparation you put in, changes can happen during labour. By understanding the different birthing styles and pain management, you’ll be much more aware of what’s involved if your plans need to change.
What are you doing to prepare for labour and birth? What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given around labour and birth? Why not share your advice and plans with others by leaving a comment in the box below?