With your body, with you baby, with those important in this process. How?
Daily walks can be so peaceful, they help make you in tune you with this new form, an extra perk is feeling that babe sway in your belly. Get on your yoga mat place your hands on your belly connect, savor these moments of unison between the two of you. Come to know that little one through your body.
Also make valuable bonds with those that will be present at the birth, you must feel safe and connected to each person present.
2. Be open, Be honest
This is so important! Allow yourself to be true, if there’s fear allow it to be heard. Tell you partner everything your feeling about birth and pregnancy. Allow yourself to get to know your midwife or obgyn on a more personal level if possible. You want to feel comfortable when laboring, so now is the time to make the foundation for trust and openness.
If all else fails in this area, hire a doula they're made for you to be able to be open and honest with.
Surround yourself in the ones that believe in you and what you want for your birth. Don't give energy to those that do anything but upbuild what you want on that day! You need to feel like a goddess going into this, you need to feel you are nothing but strong. You need A team just as focused on the choices you've made for your birth, so when it comes you can be confident. Even if things “go awrye” from that plan, well then you’ll have your up builders right there to keep you going.
Be it your home, at a birth center, or hospital, you need comfort. Find essential oils that calm you, get a soundtrack of calming nature, or a personal favorite of my husband and I’s is a making a playlist of songs we've accumulated over my pregnancy, make an affirmation banner (this helped me tremendously to stay centered in my second birth), these things will center you of why you are here, and they can also make a lovely keepsake afterwards.
During early labor, enjoy it, this can easily apply to those last weeks too (especially if your labor is quick), spend time with your partner. Get yummy take out, lay in the sunshine together, finish or make a playlist, the later is a personal favorite as we would add a few songs to our birth playlist in the easy moments of labor. Watch a comedy, enjoy laughter.
These moments will allow your body to do what it needs and the more relaxed you are, the better. Don't allow yourself to want it to be over too soon, you’ll look back with fondness if you get a little sentimental with it. Be present.
6. Accommodate You
Theres nothing that'll make things harder if you’re not taking care of yourself and your baby. Don't feel obligated to have visitors during this time, after all you are in labor. If someone in the room is making you feel uncomfortable, don't feel bad for asking them to leave, its okay. Its important you feel at ease, even if it hurts others feelings at the time. I personally noticed in my first birth I had too many people too soon, it made me feel as I needed to perform and that in the end stalled things. So have the ones you need, follow your intuition.
You cannot run from birth, you cannot fight birth, you are here, this is now, you are doing one of the most magnificent things you will accomplish in your life. Bring out your inner strength, allow this strength to be with your baby and body, you are strong enough. Let the waves (the contractions) carry you, know you'll come to the surface, you'll succeed.
"With my second birth I fought the waves in the beginning, they were uncomfortable and tiring. But I realized I cannot fight the tide (labor) they are coming whether I like it or not. I surrendered and it felt so good, it was still an effort, still hard, but much easier at the same time."
8. Embrace support
Allow your partner to be there for you, maybe you wont want his touch, or maybe you'll want a full on massage 24/7, but embrace the strength found in your birth partner.
Be strong together.
Find THAT thing, “that” thing that helps you progress to the finish line, the thing that makes you open up allowing your baby to make its way to you.
10. Inner voice
It's so easy to become more and more vocal. But if you can, bring that energy into deep inward moans, find a mantra to mumble, it will allow your body to do much good, and also your energy level will also appreciate it. I figured out the magic of this and stillness with my second birth and its like gold to me now!
YOU DID IT! Now is now… my last piece of advice is when you’ve got that beautiful babe don't feel rushed to share this moment. Bask in it. You have every right to this, every reason to be just you and your little family in these moments after. Be skin to skin, inculcate your bonds in these moments. There is time, everyone will meet this new little one. But first take care, of yourself, of your baby, of this moment.
Journalist: Michelle Findley