Preparing for Your Birth
No words can describe the joy of childbirth to an expectant mother. It’s scary, intense, and one of the most anticipated moments of your life. But, once that moment arrives you will feel a happiness like no other. Some mothers compare it to the end of a marathon – you never believe you can do something so intense and feel so wonderful afterward.
Of course, no matter what you read and what people say, you will feel some anxiety over the actual birth. Every mother goes through this, and every mother handles it differently. But you can prepare your body and your mind with these techniques during pregnancy.
Exercise and strengthen your body. Think of childbirth like a marathon – your body is doing an incredible feat and needs to be prepared physically. Of course, you don’t have to do hard exercise during pregnancy (actually, you shouldn’t do anything strenuous after the first trimester). But walking, yoga, and occasionally a few squats to strengthen your core will help condition your body for the hard work of labor.
Take a birthing class. Birthing classes will teach you everything you need to know before your due date, including how the body works during labor, what you should expect from the doctor or midwife, and ways you can ease labor pains. Birthing classes also help you meet other expectant moms who you can talk to about your feelings and questions about certain aspects of pregnancy and childbirth. It’s always good to have other mothers who have been there before you by your side.
Have a practical birth plan. You can find many different birth plans online, but many of these do not prepare you for everything you need during the process. Your birth plan should include only essentials. Care providers will be much more likely to follow the plan if it is concise and provides enough instruction. Include in your plan a list of things you want to bring with you to the hospital, or things you need by your side at home.
Involve your birthing team in the planning. You will want a familiar team by your side during labor. They should be aware of your birth plan, and people you can trust to follow it and comfort you during the scary parts. Your birthing team should include a primary care provider, a partner or close friend, and your parents if you wish for them to attend. Your care provider will preferably be someone who’s worked with you throughout the pregnancy, so they know what you want and will respect your wishes.
Be excited about your childbirth! As a birthmother, you’ll be sharing this joy not only with your family, but with the adoptive family who will support and encourage you along the way.