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Many first-time moms (and even moms who’ve been through it before) get nervous at the idea of childbirth + it’s perfectly normal. Here are some steps you can take while pregnant to help you prepare for labor + delivery + make it easier when the moment finally arrives.
Tip #1 Eat Good Food
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to eat for two while pregnant. Every woman is different, but most only need to add about 300 calories a day to their diets.
These extra calories need to come from healthy foods that offer the body more than just empty calories. Eating anything + everything while pregnant can lead to excessive weight gain that can make pregnancy, labor + delivery more difficult.
A woman who develops gestational diabetes is more likely to have a large baby + can make it hard to have a vaginal birth. Mom’s body may also not be ready for the work of labor if she is carrying excessive pounds gained from eating too much unhealthy food.
Tip #2 Improve Cardiovascular Fitness
Being pregnant does not mean being inactive. Unless your doctor specifically forbids physical activity, improving your cardiovascular health is important during pregnancy.
Walking, fitness classes + swimming are great ways to help your heart + your baby’s while pregnant. Research has recently found that women who exercise while pregnant have babies with lower, healthier heart rates.
Plus, staying active can help prepare your body for childbirth + labor. It can prevent you from wearing out as easily, which can help avoid issues with oxygen for you + the baby. Not only do you need all the oxygen you can get during childbirth, but inadequately oxygenated blood can even injure the baby.
Staying physically active while pregnant can help your body prepare for labor + delivery + make childbirth safer for you + your baby.
Tip #3 Take a Class to Prepare for Labor + Delivery
Not every woman approaches labor + childbirth the same way, but everyone can benefit from taking a birthing class. Knowing what to expect + how to help yourself is important because it can reduce panic give you practical ways to cope with fear + pain.
Birthing classes can also help partners learn more about each other, which can be beneficial when your partner is also your birthing coach. Your partner can learn what helps you when you are in pain + what you absolutely cannot tolerate while already overwhelmed.
This eliminates confusion during birth. You can take a birthing class at your hospital or birthing center, or you can find someone who offers classes in another setting. Ask questions, practice recommended approaches + go into childbirth knowing as much as you can about what to expect.
Childbirth + labor are some of the most difficult parts of a mother’s life, but with adequate preparation, it can become much easier. While pregnant, focus on staying in good health + being informed. The benefits of making good decisions while pregnant are worth the self-control + work that it takes.
Are you due after Halloween? Check out these great Halloween costumes that are perfect for pregnant women.