Whether it’s your first time giving birth or you’ve done it all before, every time will always be unique and a little bit unpredictable. Your birth experience might be a complete unknown, but to make things a little smoother and easier for you, you can prepare ahead of time to get yourself ready for whatever may happen.
Read on for some useful ways you can prepare ahead of time for labour.
Try practicing meditation for a little calm
Meditation and mindfulness practices have grown a lot in popularity in recent years, and while it might seem like an odd tool to add to your labour preparation, it can be a great way of helping you find a little calm, reduce feelings of anxiety, and suit both mother and baby together.
Focused breathing techniques are a great way of reducing your heart rate and blood pressure, both essential to minimise the risk of complications during birth. It also has the added benefit of helping you stay focused and relaxed, making your birth a much more enjoyable experience for you and those around you.
Have a plan but don’t get too attached
A written birth plan ahead of your labour can be a helpful thing to have and can help you prepare for it, by giving you some insight into what you can expect to happen. It’s also a useful way of communicating your hopes and needs for birth, and by talking things through ahead of time, it can also help to reduce any nervous feelings or worries.
However, every birth is different, and there’s never a guarantee that everything will happen according to plan! It’s good to allow a little flexibility in case of any complications, delays, or other unforeseen factors that might come up on the day. While you’d naturally hope nothing untoward will happen during your birth, it’s also good to keep in mind resources to help you address potential medical negligence in childbirth.
Have a support system around you
Having a good network of people to support you throughout your birth will certainly help set your mind at ease, both before and after. There are a variety of options for finding support for women nowadays, from professional doulas who are trained to help mothers with both emotional and physical support and guidance through the birth process, and other medical professionals, including your midwife.
It’s also great to have support from trusted friends or family, whether they’re beside you during the labour itself, or on hand to provide useful things like freshly cooked meals, childcare, or simply a friendly chat. Don’t hesitate to ask for what you need, or say no to things that feel intrusive or unnecessary.
If you have anxieties about birth, or have had difficult experiences previously, it might be helpful to seek some professional support with your mental health to ensure that you can feel comfortable, happy and confident in the approach to your upcoming labour.