- Dr. Liz Homan
happy LABOR day!
Updated: Dec 19, 2019
Well, since it is almost Labor Day, lets talk about preparing for labor and delivery! There are so many things that need done before your baby arrives and feeling prepared for the birth can help bring some of that overwhelm down. Adding a new member to the family can cause a lot of anxiety and stress (spoken from personal experience) but having a few things prepared will most likely make it a smoother and more enjoyable process!
One of the best things that I did to help me feel “prepared” this second time around was to get out a piece of paper and a pen and write down ALL OF THE THINGS that I wanted to get accomplished before Jane arrived. For so long, I had this huge “to do” list floating around in my head and I felt like I was never accomplishing any of the items. Once I put it on paper, I could start crossing things off which then lead to me feeling like I was actually getting somewhere! And I put EVERYTHING on this list from making sure to do perineal stretches 3 times a week to scheduling a weekend for just Kyle and I while Anna was at my parent’s house to washing up all of the baby clothes. This list was long, I mean like really long, but with it I could see that I was making progress and that I was getting closer to welcoming our baby! I was also able to prioritize what was super important and what would be nice to have done. And even though I really wanted to get it all done before Jane arrived, I knew that if some of the items on the list didn’t get done, it would be okay, and it was. Jane arrived and there were still a few things left of the list… it happens.
Another really beneficial thing I did while preparing for both of my births was making sure to get as much negative energy out of my life. This meant that if anybody doubted our birth plan we would no longer talk to them about our pregnancy and depending on who they were, we would not hang out with them as much. And with having a home birth that some people didn’t think was safe, we actually had quite a bit of kickback… It also meant only watching positive birth videos of women giving birth the way that I had envisioned it, which lead to not watching any movies/TV shows that had birthing scenes, because let’s be honest, those are rarely positive to what birth could be! I also prepared our birthing space to be peaceful and calming. I did this by hanging up positive affirmations, having tea candles set around and having the ability to have low light options. I know you might not have as much control over your birthing environment, but you do have control over where you labor at before going to the hospital. You could also hang up a few affirmations in your bathroom to look at every day while getting ready. A few of my favorite affirmations were:
Believe you can and you will
I enjoy the birth of my baby
Each surge brings my baby closer to me
My baby is healthy and strong
Let me know if you would like me to email you over beautiful birth affirmations that can easily be printed and hung up around your space!
So we have covered a lot of the mental preparations for birth, so lets talk about some physical items now.
Leading up to labor, it is essential to try to get as much rest as possible. This means trying to get a nap during the day (hopefully your older children are still napping!) and getting plenty of rest at night.
It is also a good idea to have items ready for when you are laboring at home prior to going to the hospital. This could include hot water bottles, ice packs, birthing ball, massage oils, wholesome snacks, etc.
Another really important thing is to make sure to have your phone charged and ready at all times so that you are able to easily reach out to your support team when needed! And make sure you know where an extra phone charger is so that you can grab it when needed! It can also be beneficial for early labor to download a contraction timer so that you know when you go form early labor into active labor!
It is also smart to protect your mattress with either some sort of plastic or a woolen blanket. Who knows if you water will break while you are sleeping, and this will make it easier to clean up!
Make sure that your partner is prepared as well! This means making sure they understand that they are ‘on call’ and will need to leave work if needed. Who knows how long labor will last and you need them with you!
Another good idea is to keep your vehicle full of fuel at all times. Having the gas light come on on the drive to the hospital will not be beneficial for anyone. :)
You got this mama! Remember that your baby will be welcomed to this world exactly as they are supposed to be born! This is what our bodies are designed for and women have been giving birth for hundreds of thousands of years! It is hard to let go of control but trust in your body and in your baby! And Happy Labor Day! 😉