This week, I am happy to share some great advice that was sent to me from fellow blogger, Katie Moore, on preparing for childbirth and your baby. Katie is an active blogger who discusses everything from maternity and motherhood to prenatal health and childbirth. Follow her blog Moore From Katie or connect on twitter @moorekm26.
Bringing a new life into the world is an experience that only a mother can have. Preparing mentally and physically for both giving birth and becoming a parent is a life changing experience. It’s imperative for pregnant women to take the utmost care of themselves while expecting and ensure they are receiving the proper health care at all times. In addition, there are plenty of things moms-to-be can do before the big day arrives to help remove some of the pre-birth anxiety and assure the day of labor goes as smoothly as possible – keeping in mind being prepared for the unexpected is a key element in being ready for labor.
Well before a mother is due, she should consider taking childbirth classes. Childbirth education teaches women what to expect, what to do and how to handle things that occur during labor and delivery. Being educated about pregnancy is important because it gives the expecting mom a sense of confidence in what is about to happen, making delivery day something to look forward too. Some childbirth classes are offered right at the hospital itself. Here, a woman can become familiar with the area she will be giving birth. It is a good idea for moms to become familiar with know what to expect on delivery day, where to go and where she will be when she is giving birth.
Moms should also have their hospital bag packed, have all the baby’s new clothes washed and put away, have the nursery prepared and have the baby’s car seat installed and ready to be used when the baby arrives. All of these things can be done well in advance to remove some of the stress from mom’s life when she goes into labor.
A woman needs to know as much about the first stage of labor as possible because this is the stage she will experience partly at home. It’s important to discuss this stage with the doctor to know what information to keep track of before arriving at the hospital. For example, a doctor may want an expecting woman to list when contractions started, how long they lasted, the level of pain involved, and the frequency. Practicing breathing techniques for different stages of labor can assist a mother with any pain she may experience during contractions.
There are other things for women to consider on delivery day. Cord blood banking, for example, is one thing expecting mothers should educate themselves on so they can decide if it is right for them. Cord blood banking refers to having the baby’s umbilical cord blood collected and stored as a potential medical resource. Mothers should also consider things like a birthing plan, which outlines an ideal delivery day experience, and includes things such as whether or not pain medicine during delivery should be administered, or who is going to be allowed in the delivery room with her.
These are all important considerations for soon-to-be-mothers. Most importantly a pregnant woman should be in constant contact with her doctor, educate herself about options she has and make sure she gets enough rest throughout the duration of the pregnancy as this will be a key factor on delivery day.
Thanks Katie! Also check out how I’ve been preparing physically throughout my pregnancy by keeping up my yoga practice! click here to see my Big Belly Salute! which shows you how to adapt your yoga sun salutation to make space for your growing baby.