Preparing for childbirth always comes around quicker than you think. One minute you’re revelling in the fact that you’re going to have a baby, and the next you’re being asked what pain relief you’d prefer and where you want to give birth.
It’s common and completely natural to feel anxious about giving birth, even if you’ve experienced labour before, no two births are ever the same. It’s also easy to become convinced that something bad might happen and you might have a bad birthing experience – to find out more about birth injury diagnosis, click the link. Again, while it’s a good idea to consider that anything could happen and that you should prepare yourself for any eventuality, it’s also a good idea to remain positive and avoid upsetting yourself. After all, it’s not good for the baby!
Here you’ll find 4 ways you can physically and mentally prepare for childbirth.
Give yourself the knowledge
Empower yourself and take control. This way, you’ll feel more confident as less frightened of the unknown. Checking out different labour options such as a home birth, a c-section, vaginal birth etc and writing down the pros and cons of each is a good place to start. Research the different kinds of pain relief that will be available to you, so again you can work out the pros and cons. Some pain relief won’t be permitted after a certain time such as an epidural, and in a water birth your choices of pain relief are limited further (although the water itself is a form of pain relief), take your time and do plenty of research. Don’t overwhelm yourself though.
If you already have an idea of what you would like, consider a second option just in case things don’t go to plan – which in most cases they won’t! Having a good, well rounded knowledge of your options and the process will make it seem less daunting. Remember, knowledge is power.
Visit your chosen location
If you’ve chosen to give birth at hospital, you can arrange to visit the birthing suites and the area. Seeing the location in person will make it seem less scary and intimidating, you’ll also know if it’s right for you and your baby.
Prepare your mind
Avoid asking people about their birthing experiences. As they are usually negative. Or they have been overdramatised for effect. It sounds mean but these kinds of stories are very unhelpful and won’t help your mental preparations. We all know that bad birthing stories are out there, we’re not totally naive…but listening to positive birthing stories will fill you with confidence and be much better for your mental health than a barrage of bad memories and terrifying medical procedures.
Practice relaxation techniques
You want your baby’s birth to be as calm as possible. So practising some relaxation techniques will help you get into the right frame of mind. From breathing techniques to meditation and visualisations all of these things can help you manage the pain. Even if the birth doesn’t go to plan, you can still use the same techniques to get you through.