Giving birth can often induce anxiety, especially in first-time mothers. The best way to overcome this anxiety is to educate yourself and prepare.
You can never start too early. If you are in the process of trying to get pregnant or are already pregnant, start educating yourself now.
Every pregnancy is different. It’s important to thoroughly prepare yourself so that you can determine what is best for you and your baby.
Keep reading to learn about 10 preparations for birth that you should consider during your pregnancy.
1. Educate Yourself
Educating yourself could mean taking a class or reading books. Whatever you do, don’t try to put the thought of giving birth out of your mind until the day it comes.
The thought of giving birth can be scary, but the more you know, the less scary it will be. If you are prepared, you will be more present and aware.
Educate yourself on breathing techniques, pain management, the stages of labor, and even the medical equipment that will be used.
Research different methods of giving birth and consult your doctor on options that are best for you.
It’s important to remember that being prepared doesn’t mean everything will go to plan. Labor and delivery can often take unexpected turns. However, being prepared can give you confidence and peace of mind, even when things don’t go according to plan.
2. Talk to Other Moms
Talk to your mom friends or join a group on facebook. Other moms can be a great source of information.
It’s a great way to get different points of view. For some reason, there are parts of labor and delivery that are deemed taboo and don’t get talked about very often. Try to seek information from people who will give you the honest truth.
Although a little intimidating, being able to talk about these taboo subjects will help you mentally prepare and adjust your expectations.
However, it’s important to remember that everyone’s experience is different. Often times, other people’s delivery will be very different from yours. What may work for your friend, may not work for you.
And if your friend starts to ramble on about their friend’s cousin’s birthing horror story, take it with a grain of salt and ask for some diaper bag recommendations instead.
3. Voice Your Fears
It’s okay to have fears. This is a new and unknown experience. Talk to your physician about the fears you have.
Having a professional opinion can help reduce some stress and anxiety. They can give you tips to put your fears at ease. They can also direct you to good sources of information.
4. Talk with Your Partner
It’s important that you and your partner discuss your expectations before the baby comes.
The weeks and months after giving birth are amazing, but can be tolling. Talking about your expectations can be a huge help in the transition.
Talk about who will be in charge of what, and how you will split household and baby duties. This can help prevent a lot of conflict in the future.
5. Prepare Your Body
Labor is exhausting. It requires both strength and stamina. Staying active throughout your pregnancy will help you maintain the strength and stamina you need for labor. It can also help your recovery go faster.
However, working out while pregnant is very different than working out before pregnancy. There are certain precautions you need to take to ensure that you are not hurting yourself or the baby.
You should first research out safe exercise practices during pregnancy. Every person is different, so it’s important to clear anything with your doctor first.
6. Don’t Forget the Essentials
Before the baby comes, you need to be thinking about the baby essentials. You will need to find a car seat and maybe a bassinet. Stock up on diapers, wipes, and clothes.
Don’t forget nursing bras and pads if you are nursing. Include bottles for bottle feeding and formula for formula feeding.
Don’t feel pressured into getting every last thing your friends recommend, especially before the baby comes. Like mentioned earlier, some things that may have worked for them, may not work for you.
You may never feel the need to use some things, and others you may love. You can wait to buy the nonessentials after birth if you are unsure.
7. Pack a Bag
Have a bag ready to go before your due date. If you have other children that are going to stay somewhere else while you are at the hospital, make sure to have bags packed for them too.
Having everything ready to go will make things a lot easier when the time comes to head to the hospital.
Talk to your other mom friends about what they felt was useful to have with them. You can research hospital packing lists online and see what other moms found helpful.
8. Be Prepared for When Labor Starts
Make sure to make plans for labor before you even come close to your delivery day. These plans should include things like who will take you, who will stay with your other children, emergency contact numbers, where you will be going, and more.
Your doctor will give you a clear list of things to do when you start to go into labor. This list includes everything from who and when to call, when to start heading to the hospital, and more. Make sure to learn these guidelines, so that when the day comes, you’re not in a frantic frenzy.
Also consider the route you will take to the hospital, what entrance you need to go in and the best places to park. All of these things will make the process as smooth as possible.
9. Create a Birth Plan
After doing your research, you can compile everything into a birth plan. A birth plan includes everything from where you are giving birth, to what position you are using to give birth.
While you are creating this plan, keep in mind that not everything always goes to plan. While it’s important to have an idea of what you what, you also have to be flexible if something is not working for you or the baby.
10. Organize Help for After the Birth
The days after giving birth can be very exciting but exhausting. Lining up help will be a huge help.
If you are lucky enough to have the help of family members post-birth, talk with them beforehand about what exactly you will need help with.
Preparations for Birth: Start Now!
Making proper preparations for birth will help diminish stress and anxiety.
Use the resources around you to figure out what is best for you and your baby. Proper research will ensure that you are an active part of the birthing process.
For more pregnancy help, check out our week by week pregnancy guide!