Prepare for Childbirth

Edited by Olivia, Lynn


Having a baby for the first time? Do you think you can handle it? A Native American saying goes like this: "If you lay down, the baby will never come out!" Indeed. If you don't prepare well enough, chances are, it would be a long struggle to bring the baby safely into the world.

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To finally confirm that you're pregnant can be both a wondrous and fearsome surprise for a woman. Your senses are assaulted by changes brought about by pregnancy. Your questions about the changes that have been happening in your body during pregnancy should be addressed by your obstetrician. You, on the other hand, should express and share your fears and hopes about the pregnancy with your husband, or significant other, not only to allay your anxieties, but also for your partner to revel in this miracle of life.

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How you can prepare yourself for childbirth

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When you have discovered you're pregnant, your doctor will help you understand the changes in your body. However, there are things that you should also do on your own in order to prepare yourself for childbirth. You should prepare yourself physically, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually and financially for childbirth.

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Physical Preparation

  1. 1
    Maintain a balanced and healthy diet.
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    Many pregnant women worry about their post-delivery weight, some so much so that they tend to limit their food intake. This should not be the case. As much as doctors recommends not to over-eat, they also recommend that pregnant woman eat a well-balanced and healthy diet. This is to ensure that both the mother and the baby receive enough nourishment during labor and delivery. If you have any associated conditions or illness, your obstetrician will advise you on what specific foods to avoid.
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  2. 2
    Attend and participate in childbirth classes.
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    Childbirth classes are effective. These are teaching sessions where the pregnant woman and partner should both participate, especially during the breathing exercises. It helps to promote presence of mind during the actual time of labor and delivery.
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  3. 3
    Keep a physically fit body by doing exercises.
    There are exercises recommended for the pregnant woman. Examples of these are tailor sitting, Kegel's exercises, pelvic tilts and squatting. You should confer with your obstetrician as to the recommended exercise for you since exercises are categorized into trimesters.
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  • Kegel's exercises.
    Kegels is Stopping Flow of Urine.jpg
    Kegel's exercises are exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. This exercise will help you control the pelvic floor muscles during labor contractions and delivery. It is accomplished by thinking that you are trying to control the flow of your urine. Imagine that you were not able to lock the door when you go to the comfort room. When somebody suddenly opens the door, what happens? You automatically stop the flow of your urine.
  • Tailor sitting exercises.
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    Tailor sitting is accomplished by sitting on the floor, bending and flexing your ankle towards you. Then you lean forward and relax. Another variation of this tailor exercise is the tailor press. This is accomplished by sitting with your knees and ankles flexed, and your feet pressed together. You should put your hands under your knees. You will then press against the hand, but your hand will press against the knees for about five counts. This is called counter-pressure. This type of exercise strengthens your pelvic and thighs, which is useful to relieve low back pain during the latter part of the pregnancy.
  • Pelvic Tilt Exercise.
    Pelvic Tilt.jpg
    This exercise also strengthens the pelvic muscles. It is accomplished by standing against a wall. As you breathe in, you should press the small of your back against the wall. When you exhale, relax. This exercise is best done in five minutes.

Different women have different experiences with pregnancy, labor and childbirth. There are women who experience complications early on and are advised against any movement whatsoever. As such, it is recommended that before starting any exercise, you should consult your obstetrician and clarify which exercises are best for you. You should also determine appropriate exercises for every trimester.

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Psychological and Emotional Preparation

The psychological and emotional preparation goes hand in hand. There may be pregnant women who will be facing the birth process alone, but this does not mean that they cannot prepare themselves for what will happen. Resolving relationship issues is also advised prior to the delivery of the newborn. It helps the mother conquer the ambivalent feelings that assail them during the first few hours after the baby is born.

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Supportive Partner to Pregnant Woman.jpg
  1. 1
    The first trimester is the best time for the couple to talk about their feelings towards the pregnancy.
    Usually, if there are apprehension and indecision, this is the most appropriate time to address them so that there will be no stumbling blocks in preparing the woman for childbirth.
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  2. 2
    Address and solve present relationship issues.
    If there has been conflict before the pregnancy, it would be best to address and solve the problems during the earlier part of the pregnancy. By addressing relationship, as well as trust issues earlier, the woman can be more relaxed and focused on making the pregnancy, labor and delivery safe for her and her baby.
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  3. 3
    The pregnant woman's husband or partner should try to be patient and sensitive to her needs.
    A pregnant woman's mood sometimes changes easily. One moment she's happy, and the next moment, she's crying. This is normal and is brought about by the many physical and hormonal changes that are happening in her body. Family members, especially her partner, should be more understanding and supportive during these times.
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Spiritual Preparation

Some folks would argue that this plays a minor role in preparing for childbirth. On the contrary, some individuals find this moment in their lives as an opportunity to renew their faith. Some individuals come to terms with their past shortcomings and are able to forgive themselves and others. The miracle of pregnancy and childbirth often brings a person to realize past mistakes and to looks forward to amending them through the birth of a child.

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  1. 1
    Should there be conflicting views on religious beliefs, it should be addressed during the first trimester, especially if it will affect the method of childbirth.
    Religious beliefs versus doctor's advice should be taken into consideration. The best method chosen should be based on the optimum safety of the woman and child.
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  2. 2
    For unmarried couples who as well as those who live separately, conflict on what the child's religion should be may also be an issue.
    As such, it is better to postpone the argument until after the delivery, especially when it becomes a stressful subject of discussion for the pregnant woman.
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Financial Preparation

A lot of couples worry about their financial status when pregnancy is nearing its term. It is quite understandable, as health care is a costly commodity. Some others worry about the cost of rearing a child, especially during the first few months of life. Here's what you can do:

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  1. 1
    Search the web for information that you need.
    World Wide Web.jpg
    The internet is a good place to seek information as to the service rates of hospitals. You can browse for service reviews for the hospitals in your locality to get a fair idea of which hospital can serve you best.
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  2. 2
    Talk to friends who recently experienced childbirth.
    Talk to Friends.jpg
    Friends will be able to freely share their experience in terms of how much they spent for maternal and child care. With the information you've gathered from the web and the opinions of your friends, you can better arrive at the best choice of care for you and your child.
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  3. 3
    If you are working, ask the human resources department about the benefits accorded to you as an employee in terms of childbirth and hospitalization.
    Pregnant Career Woman.jpg
    Most of the time, companies allocate health benefits for their employees
    It would be best to get the information first hand from the department that can answer all your inquiries.
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  4. 4
    From the time that you learn that you're pregnant, you should also start saving up a portion of your money for the baby's expenses.
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    A first pregnancy can reach up to 40 weeks. As such, there should be enough time to save up for health care costs. You can also buy clothes and things that the baby will need when the pregnancy reaches the sixth month. Shopping for baby's clothes is also one way of affirming and accepting the pregnancy. It will be an opportunity for the couple to anticipate and get excited for their forthcoming bundle of joy as well.
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  5. 5
    If you're comfortable with hand me downs, you may want to rethink your feelings; it will not hurt to use them.
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    Babies grow so fast. Soon enough, the clothes that you buy may not fit the baby. As such, it would be best to accept hand me downs from the newborn infants of family and friends. In fact, such clothes may be as good as new because of the fact that babies grow fast.
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Categories : Health & Wellness

Recent edits by: Olivia

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