Preparing for the birth of your baby can be overwhelming. If it is your first baby, it is often a deep dive into a whole new world. Your body is changing, your life is changing, your hormones are all over the place, it can be a lot! Something to keep in mind is that if it is stressing you out, it is not serving you.
Here are 3 tips to help guide you as you navigate your path, prepare for birth, and manage the stress that may come along with it.
Birth is a marathon and your exercise routine is going to help you get strong and build stamina for birth. It will also help you reduce stress, tension, and the aches and pains that pregnancy can cause.
One of my favorite benefits for moving your body is that you sleep better and feel more refreshed. Sleep can often be elusive during pregnancy, so having a movement practice can really make a difference in how you feel.
Your movement practice during pregnancy will also be key to how your body heals postpartum. Move your body regularly throughout your entire pregnancy and healing with be a little bit easier and efficient.
Low impact exercise like prenatal yoga, walking, and swimming are amazing during pregnancy. The best part is that you can do these movement practices to prepare for birth no matter your experience or fitness level.
It is normal to do next to nothing your first trimester (hello exhaustion and nausea!), just ease into your movement when you are feeling up to it (usually around the 2nd trimester). Find a movement practice that you enjoy and makes you feel good throughout your pregnancy. Make it a priority. It is your time to carve out space for you to connect with yourself, your baby, and your pregnancy.
Reducing stress is key to having a healthy and more enjoyable pregnancy. Finding ways to cope with stress, by using relaxation or meditation techniques, will be an integral part of your journey to prepare for birth.
These will be tools that you can use during pregnancy, during birth, and for the rest of your life.
We already know that practicing meditation or relaxation techniques help reduce stress and tension, result in better sleep, and improved mental clarity. But did you know that it will also give you tools that you will be able to use to cope with labor?
By being able to remain calm and relaxed as possible, birth will be more enjoyable and a lot more manageable. Just know that it is important to practice your meditation and relaxation techniques throughout your pregnancy.
Ultimately, you will not use what you don’t practice. Sneak it in when you can. A few minutes here and there will make more difference than practicing just once a week. (PS. I highly recommend the free meditation app Insight Timer.)
Educate yourself about the process of birth and what comes after. Take a childbirth class (research your options on childbirth classes), read a book, listen to a podcast, and find ways to hear positive birth stories (you do not have to listen to peoples horror stories!).
Prepare for birth so you know what to expect.
Educating yourself about pregnancy, birth, and postpartum can reduce some of the fear of the unknown. It will help you know your options and empower you throughout your pregnancy, birth, and well beyond. If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any. By educating yourself you are giving yourself more tools to help navigate and empower you on the journey.
My number one advice as you dive into to all things pregnancy and birth is, if it is stressing you out it is not serving you. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Just do what you can to prepare for birth. That is enough mama!