Whether you are in your first trimester of pregnancy or third, you should begin preparing your body and mind for a healthy labor process. When you prepare your body, you can improve the chance of the delivery of a healthy child while keeping your own health in mind. When you prepare your mind, you can ease worries and apprehensions that you currently have about the labor process.
Learn three ways to prepare your body and mind for a healthy labor process as a birthmother.
1. Don’t Shy Away From Exercise
Many women worry that exercising while pregnant would be harmful to their health or the health of their unborn child.
However, studies have shown that exercise during pregnancy benefits the health of mother and baby and that performing specific exercises during pregnancy can actually help encourage a safe, healthy birth.
Exercises That Support Mom and Baby Health
Just 30 minutes of exercise three days a week can support not only the good cardiovascular health of a pregnant woman but also the heart health of her unborn child. Exercise during pregnancy can also help prevent gestational diabetes development.
Brisk walking, swimming, and yoga are good low-impact exercises to perform during pregnancy. However, due to your shifting center of gravity, avoid any exercise that requires careful balance, such as bicycle riding outdoors, to prevent a fall that could injure you or your unborn child.
Exercises That Support Healthy Labor
Specific exercises can help make the delivery process quicker and easier. Squats help expand the pelvic outlet by up to 1/2-inch to make labor easier, and pelvic tilts strengthen abdominal muscles to help you push your baby out of the birth canal during delivery and ward off back pain during the labor process.
To perform squats, press your back on a wall with your feet shoulder width apart. Gradually lower your hips till your thighs are parallel with the ground. Stay in this position for about five seconds, then stand up. Continue five to ten times.
To perform pelvic tilts, get on your knees and hands, arch your back upwards, and pull your stomach in. Hold for a number of seconds, then release. Repeat three repetitions and progressively work to 10.
Be sure to consult with your OBGYN before beginning an exercise routine during pregnancy to ensure you have no health conditions that make skipping exercise the healthier option.
2. Consider Prenatal Massage
Another way you can encourage a healthy labor process is to obtain regular prenatal massages. Studies have shown that women who obtain regular prenatal massages experience fewer birth complications during labor and are prone to delivering babies with fewer birth problems, such as low weight.
In addition, prenatal massage helps ease pregnancy-related aches and pains and lowers your body’s production of stress hormones. When production of these hormones lowers, you will naturally feel more relaxed.
While prenatal massage therapists vary in the specific massage techniques they use, the American Pregnancy Association suggests choosing a massage therapist that performs Swedish massage. This massage technique is ideal for supporting a healthy pregnancy and childbirth. During this massage, mild pressure happens to specific areas of the body to improve blood circulation and relieve muscle tension.
Ideally, you should obtain a prenatal massage twice a week to obtain all massage health benefits. However, if you lack the time to dedicate to bi-weekly massages, obtaining one any time you can squeeze one into your busy schedule during pregnancy is still beneficial to you and your unborn child.
3. Take a Childbirth Class
If you have never given birth before, then you likely have many questions and concerns about the entire childbirth process. The best way to obtain the answers to these questions is to attend a childbirth class. While all childbirth classes vary slightly in the topics the instructors, who are often experienced healthcare providers, cover, most classes typically cover:
- Delivery methods. You will learn about traditional vaginal births, water births, home births, cesarean sections, and other delivery options so you can choose the method you feel is the best fit for you and your baby.
- Stages of delivery. When you learn about the stages of delivery before giving birth, you will know what to expect, which can help ease worries on delivery day.
- Pain relief options. You will learn about epidurals, spinal blocks, and other pain relief medications that can help ease pain during delivery.
- Relaxation techniques. You will learn various ways to relax during delivery, such as listening to soothing music or performing special breathing exercises.
- Possible delivery complications. Not all deliveries go as smoothly as everyone hopes, so you will learn about problems that could arise during childbirth and how your healthcare providers are prepared to handle them.
After you complete this class, you may experience a great sense of relief when you know what to expect on delivery day and how you can tailor the delivery experience to your unique desires and needs.
If you are pregnant, then you should begin preparing for a healthy birth process now. Keep these tips in mind, and contact the trusted staff at Arizona Adoption Help if you need additional guidance to help you prepare for a healthy labor process.