Labor is an experience that can seem extremely hard to prepare for. The truth is that until a woman has gone through the experience once, she won’t have a real personal reference, especially since every birth is different. However, there is plenty of information that can help educate and comfort you leading up to your own labor. We’ve put together a list of some of the best ways to mentally and physically prepare yourself for your own birthing experience.
Abdominal breathing is one of the most important things to learn prior to labor. Abdominal breathing helps with pain and discomfort in a number of ways. Firstly it helps to oxygenate the muscles because while waves of contractions are to be expected during labor, is has been noted that they are far more comfortable with regular Lamaze- style breathing patterns. This method of breathing also has a meditative effect throughout the birthing process, which is said to distract the mother from the level of intensity and pain she is experiencing.
Poses like dog, cat and beast pose are extremely helpful to implement into your pre-natal exercise routine. These poses help with the general intuition of movement for you and the baby leading up to labor. It also helps with providing a feeling of being more connected to your body which is very important before childbirth.
Once you have practiced some of your breathing patterns, and stretches, you can start to add positive affirmations to meditate on. Saying things like “this is normal”, “I can do this”, “pain free”, “the baby is coming”, can help you manifest positive feelings and will help you cope through the experience. Rehearsing saying these things a month or so before labor will help bring them to consciousness while giving birth.