Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a fun weekend! We spent this weekend getting stuff checked off of our to do list. We have a big weekend coming up this weekend, so we spent the last few days trying to be as productive as possible. Now it's back to the daily grind of the week!
So just because I'm done with the whole pregnancy part with Kai, doesn't mean I want to just stop writing about it and offering advice to you all who might be looking for it. It is such a significant time and I truly loved being pregnant. I actually really really miss it! It's almost been a year since I found out I was pregnant with Kai, and I've been getting nostalgic about it. So today I wanted to list out a few things I personally did to help prepare me for labor that I feel like really helped me prep for what was to come during that intense day! I was going in to the whole thing blind as a bat since I am a first time mom, an only child, and really the first of my close friends who has had a baby. I had no idea what to expect and how to prepare for the most intense day of your life, but after doing some research and reaching out to a couple other new moms, here is what I came up with that helped significantly!
1. Pack Your Hospital Bag at 34 Weeks
Start packing your hospital bag at around 34 weeks. Caleb wanted to pack them sooner (around 30 weeks ha!), and I personally felt that was way too early. I knew that if I started packing it earlier than necessary I would start to get really anxious and stressed. Also the key to this is START, not fully pack. There's some stuff you still need on a daily basis and don't want to be living out of a bag for the next 6 weeks. So put anything in there that you specifically bought for your hospital stay and make a checklist of everything you will need to add once labor begins. It really doesn't take that long to pack the rest! Don't forget to pack a bag for baby, too!
2. Make Padsicles
I put up my Padsicle recipe in this post. Having these made and ready to go for when you come home from the hospital is so nice. They take about a day to freeze and you'll want them right away. So have a bag already done in your freezer waiting for your arrival home!
3. Do Perineal Massages
Use some coconut oil and give yourself a perienal massage. I know it sounds weird and it's not really the most comfortable thing in the world to do but this will hopefully help you to tear less during delivery. I still tore (forceps + big baby head but oh well), but honestly I think it would have been worse if I hadn't kept up with this. I started doing them at 30 weeks about once a week. Then I upped the amount as I got closer to my due date and got more comfortable with them. By 37 weeks I was trying to do it about 3 times per week.
4. Do Prenatal Yoga
Even if you haven't done any prenatal yoga this far, it's never too late to start. The breathing technique and poses are things you may want to do during labor to help manage the pain. I used my yoga breathing technique during all my contractions prior to getting my epidural. I was able to tolerate them so well because of my breathing. Cat cow pose also really helps with back pain! I struggled with a lot of nerve pain early in my 3rd trimester too but noticed whenever I would do yoga I would help Kai move away from areas that were hurting me and I would be so much more comfortable.
5. Take a Birth Class
We wanted to take a birth class at our hospital but because my due date was in January there wasn't much available in December due to the holidays. We ended up doing the online Lamaze class. This ended up working out better for us because we could do it at our own pace in the comfort of our home. We also got access to all their online information via their app, and I was able to reference it while at the hospital by looking at it on my phone. It's not the most informative class in the world but at least it helps you understand the stages of labor more; like the difference between active labor and transition.
6. Write Out Your Birth Plan
If you want to make a birth plan, start writing it around 30 weeks. That way you can get any questions you have answered by your doctor before you go in to labor and have time to do any research that might be necessary. There are so many options when it comes to giving birth, so it is best to figure out what you want and what your most comfortable with early on. For me, my only plan was the to give birth to a healthy baby, so this was an easy one for me!
7. Read at Least One Parenting Book
I've had a lot of new moms come to me and ask what parenting books I read prior to giving birth because they were in a panic about not knowing what to do when the baby is finally born. We get so focused on pregnancy and how to keep the baby safe while they are inside us that sometimes we forget we also need to figure out what to do with them when they are finally here! For me personally, it was nice to having my reading done well before it was time for Kai to be born so that we had a plan from day one. I wanted to try to avoid switching things up too much once he was born because I know consistency is key for setting a good foundation. If you want my recommendations on great books to read before the big day comes they are Babywise, Bringing Up Bebe, and The Danish Way of Parenting. I wrote book reviews on all 3 of these books here, here, and here.
That about covers it aside from all the fun things you've been doing during your nesting phase of actually getting ready for you baby to be here! Is there anything else you've been wondering about with labor? If so, leave me a comment below or shoot me an e-mail! Trust me, there's no secrets or weirdness when it comes to labor once you've been through it so please just ask away! I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead!
I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find posts on motherhood, home life, travel, & fashion/beauty as well as City Guides for places all around the world. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
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