I’m very into childbirth since the first day I learned I was pregnant. I can’t wait to live that moment and to meet the tiny creature growing inside of me. What a wonderful privilege we have to create life… It’s something I will never take for granted regardless of the ups and downs that come with pregnancy.
This being so, my great passion for childbirth came with great preparation. To me, it’s just like prepping for a marathon. I mean, you rarely get up in the morning and think, yep, today I’m running 42 km, and I hope it’s going to go smoothly. My feet won’t be torn apart, my hips won’t hurt, I won’t be hungry, and I most definitely won’t be out of breath. If your friend came to you with that kind of idea, I’m pretty sure you would look at her sideways, thinking it’s quite a risky plan.
You see, that’s what childbirth is to me. It’s impossible to get to the birth room and hope everything will go as planned if you haven’t put any effort into it. And yes, I know some women can give birth as easily as cats, but it isn’t the majority of women. So, for most of us, we have to plan things. And when I speak preparation, it includes the caesarean section, physiologic birth, and birth with an epidural.
I’m ready for anything, but I’m mostly prepared to meet my baby no matter which type of birthing will come to me. Yet, how do you prepare?
Here are tips I learned, and applied, all through my pregnancy to prepare myself for my great marathon with this sweet little baby.
I already mentioned this book before. However, after reading it many times through my pregnancy, I believe that it’s a useful tool for childbirth preparation. It answers all of your questions and lays out your options in the birth room, during the process, and before and after. Truly, it touches on every single important point of childbirth.
Since I have particularly wanted a natural childbirth, I followed classes of hypnobirthing online with “The Positive Birth Company.” I really like the overall philosophy. You’re not being hypnotized, the goal is to change your mindset and opinion on childbirth. By changing your perception, your body becomes more receptive to apply relaxation techniques that’ll eventually help you keep your cool on your big day. It’s a cycle, the more control you have over your body, the better. The class will give you techniques to help you in between contractions and to go back to chill-mode. The next contraction will be easier, and so on.
I read many childbirth stories online, and regardless of the way things will turn out, natural birth, with an epidural, with tools, or even with a caesarean section, the hypnobirthing class, and its many coping techniques will help you face any situation.
In my case, it was the icing on the cake to remind me of the basics. I took these courses with my midwife, which refreshed my memory with my basic learnings on childbirth. If you read the Positive Birth Book at the start of your pregnancy and follow prenatal classes, these will tie the bow nicely. In case you don’t read the book, this is an excellent overview of everything you need to know about childbirth and the few weeks after the baby is born.
My midwife recommended this one (and I recommend you talk about it with your doctor before taking it). I started drinking raspberry leaf tea at my 32nd week, one tea pouch a day. Then, I increased the dose every 2 weeks, adding one tea pouch. So, at my 34th week, I was taking 2 pouches a day, at my 36th week, 3 pouches a day, and on my 38th week, 4 pouches a day. The benefits in the raspberry leaf tea have to build up in your body before giving birth, which is why you have to take it on a long period of time beforehand. It helps invigorate the uterus and make contractions more effective, which would significantly affect your childbirth by reducing labour time.
EAT 60G OF DATES A DAY
It seems eating 60g to 70 g of dates a day starting from the 38th week of pregnancy would help the cervix dilate, and so help you give birth faster! There are a few studies regarding the speed at which dates can help you push out baby faster, but researchers have mixed feelings… In fact, baby really gets out when he/she’s ready, but if dates move up the birth date by a few days, I’m not against trying it!
For my baby to have an optimal position, my midwife recommended that I do some prenatal exercises. Since my baby was on my right side, head down, she recommended I do exercises to get him on the left side, head still down. If my baby were to be on my left side, the angle in which he will go through my vagina would encourage childbirth faster. The idea here is really to make your big day more manageable. If your baby is optimally positioned, you will have one less thing to worry about when your big day comes. I used the “Spinning Babies” website to inform myself of the right exercises. In less than a week, my baby was on my left side. One more win!
My midwife recommended a natural oil blend called “Gentle Birth” that I should take 3 times a day with every meal. This blend helps moms to give birth faster. It’s always difficult to know if it works for sure, but I read many stories online, and women that took it did have faster childbirth. So, I thought I had nothing to lose trying it!
There you go, now you know all of the tips I applied to my own childbirth prepping… And it worked, I will share my birth story very soon!
This post was translated from French to English by:
My name is Sophie, a passionate language learner, and a full-time dog mom. Long walks, soothing cups of tea, Japanese learning and the search for beauty are my everyday life. Slowly but surely is how I do things, contemplating the peaceful ways of time and the enchanting notion of living the moment.