Preparing for labour is an important task. Someone very wise once told me “If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail”. Labour in all of its beauty takes a vast amount of mental, physical and emotional preparedness to be able to cope calmly and effectively throughout. There is a common theory called the “Fear-Tension-Pain Cycle”. This theories premise is that if you have fear, it increases tension, thus increasing perceived pain. If you eliminate your fears you can avoid getting stuck in this downward spiral and letting the contractions overwhelm you. So What can you do to prepare?
Here are our “Balancing from Birth to Baby tips” on preparing for labour.
- Face your fears! What about labour scares you? Are you afraid it might hurt? Are you afraid you might poop on the table in front of a crowd? Talk about your feelings! You’re not alone, lots of women are commonly afraid of these things. Talk to your partner and your practitioner’s about your fears and how you can work through them together. It’s amazing when you can let these fears go, how relaxed you will be when you enter into labour!
- Take a prenatal education class. Eliminate your fears with good old fashioned knowledge! Learn from the pro’s what to expect and what you can do during labour and after to ease your transition into parenthood (Check out our extensive class offerings balancingbirthbaby.com)
- Pack your bag. Whether you are having a home birth or hospital birth be prepared with a few things you might need to get you through 24 hours if you need to spend the night in hospital. the last thing you need is to be running around searching for a pair of clean underwear when you are trying to get out the door!
- Talk to your practitioner! Most practitioners in our area have been at the baby delivering game for a long time and are a wealth of information. Don’t be afraid to ask those important questions so you feel ready and prepared.
- Have a list (a short one) of people to call and their phone numbers when the big day comes. Do you need child care for an older child for a home or hospital birth? Will you need a dog sitter? Do you want your mom with you when you give birth? Keep these numbers in a safe but easily accessible place so they stay close by when things start to happen. You don’t want to be worrying about rover and if he’s been out to pee in the last few hours when your in the midst of labour.
- Lastly, Relax! You’ve got this! Trust in your practitioners and trust in your body and enjoy the birth experience.
Maggie Hilton RN, BScN
If you’d like to learn more about coping with labour effectively then check out our Natural Pain Management Class “Natural Pain Management for Labour Class”.
Maggie Hilton RN, BScN, is a Registered Nurse with 6 years of experience in Childbirth Nursing and 4 years of experience as a Childbirth Educator in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. Maggie is a part time instructor at Conestoga College where she teaches maternity nursing courses to nurses looking to further their careers in the maternal-child field. She has a great passion for childbirth education, especially in regards to pain management during labour. Maggie is the mother of two young children, one of whom was born at home and one of whom was born in hospital.