How to prepare for labour :
Alright so it’s the time you start researching how you can best prepare for labor and birth. In this post I will go through a few things that may help you ‘prepare’ but I don’t want this to be fooling you into thinking that you can really prepare for what’s about to happen. Birth will be the most difficult, beautiful, fulfilling, experience you will ever live through. Nothing quite prepares you for that moment your care provider will put your baby on you for the first time. It’s magical.
In saying all of this, I want to put a little disclaimer that not all births are the same. In fact, they are all so very different from each other.
Alright, first thing I would suggest is to hire a doula. I know, I know, I may be biased but this small investment you can make towards having the birth you want can make such a huge difference. Nothing quite compares to having someone there, with you, supporting you. Your doula has nothing to do with the medical side of things, she will be there to answer your questions, support you mentally, physically and emotionally. She will support your partner in the same ways as well. I’m telling you, it’s worth the investment.
Next, you should take prenatal classes. It is quite empowering to know what’s going on with your body while you give birth. During prenatal classes you will learn about different positions you can take, natural and medical pain relieving techniques, newborn care, postpartum care… And so many more subjects that will help you navigate the journey into parenthood.
In order to be prepared, you may want to have your ‘birth bag’ ready. I have another blog post on this subject where I post about things that you should have in your birth bag (hospital, birth center or home birth) You want to have certain things ready so that when the work starts, you are not running around your house looking for things you may need. I have one advice for you: overpack. This may sound ridiculous, but you NEVER know how long you may be. Take me for example, I planned on having a birth at the birth center where they keep you for about 12 hours after the birth and then you go home. Well we ended up having to stay 5 days at the hospital because my baby needed extra care. Again, you just never know.
And finally, a thing that I find very important for myself and my clients, is to have long, open conversations with your partner/whoever will be supporting you during the birth. It’s important this person knows your expectations of them. You should talk about your fears, what you are looking forward to the most and even what to do in case of complications. You want to be on the same page. You want to go in that room as a team, and come out as parents.
Best of luck and cheers to the best blind date of your entire life!