The art of being well-prepared
Would you run a marathon without training first? Would you climb Mount Kilimandjaro without knowing what to expect? Giving birth is surely the biggest physical and psychological test you’ll ever undergo, hence it’s best to be prepared. Here are a few tips that we hope will help you better experience this special moment.
1. Get informed
What is the cervical mucus plug? What should you do if your water breaks but you don’t have any contractions? Which positions can lessen the pain? What are the risks associated with epidural? What are the different stages of labour? To learn the answers to these questions—and many more—take part in prenatal courses. Some are offered free of charge through your municipality, so why go without them? Or you can opt for private courses for a more personalized approach. (These courses aren’t free, but you can request a receipt to later claim the cost from your insurance provider, if applicable.) Read books, and have discussions on internet forums regarding childbirth; watch movies and documentaries; ask questions to women who have already given birth… The more informed you become, the more confident you will be when comes time for you to give birth.
2. Get moving
Being pregnant doesn’t mean you should stop all physical activity. (Unless you’ve been instructed otherwise, of course!) Our suggestion: swimming. Why? In addition to learning the importance of breathing, preparing and simulating pushing, you’ll also learn to relax, which is very important during labour. Practicing this sport also ensures better blood circulation, lymphatic drainage, and joint pain relief. What’s more, the movements required strengthen certain muscle groups solicited during pregnancy and childbirth. Are you convinced? Type “prenatal swimming” into Google, followed by your city, and you’ll quickly find courses offered at a public pool near you.
3. Make judicious choices
During your pregnancy and labour, you’ll be called upon to make certain decisions: doctor or midwife? Hospital, birthing center or at home? Lying down, standing, or in a pool of water? Epidural or natural birth? Take the time to evaluate the different options available to you and do what pleases you, not your parents or your partner! You’re the one who will be giving birth; hence, it’s best to put in place all the elements and the environment that will put you at ease and that will enable you to live this intense moment exactly how you wish to experience it.
4. Surround yourself well
It is highly likely that you want to give birth with your partner present. But have you also considered enlisting the services of a doula? Whether you wish to have a natural birth or not, a doula offers personalized services tailored to your needs and lends her support to both you and your spouse, as well as your unborn child. She is the one who, during your delivery, will reassure you and guide you, in addition to helping your spouse to be fully involved. (Because, let’s be frank, our poor little sweeties are often at a loss for what to do while their beloved in pain!)
5. Tame your fear
Although women have been giving birth since the dawn of time, and that it is one of life’s most natural acts, fear is often associated with childbirth. You have undoubtedly heard horror stories, which have caused you to have exaggerated fears about the big day. However, there are tonnes of wonderful childbirth stories. Some women even reach orgasm when giving that final push. Labour is far from being a nightmare. The proof: we usually go through it a second time, and even more times than that! Several methods, such as the Bonapace program, self-hypnosis, or acupuncture, coupled with confidence in your ability to give life, can help tame your fear. Get informed and trust in yourself!
We want to know: How did your delivery go? Share your experience with us in the Comments section below!