You're pregnant!! How beautiful!! How exciting!! How miraculous!!
It's all of those things and more. But sometimes being pregnant can be challenging. And let's face it, labor is called 'labor' for a reason. So here are 12 tips for having a great pregnancy and labor.
1.) Learn to reduce stress. Practice breathing slowly and deeply whenever you start feeling your body tense up. When we're stressed we release hormones called adrenaline and noradrenaline. These make our blood pressure rise, our heart pump faster, our muscles tense and our breathing shallow. Remember, whatever the mother feels the baby feels. Let's try not to stress the little one out.
One of my favorite breathing exercises to reduce stress is:
Place one hand on your heart and the other on your belly. Inhale deeply and slowly. As you breathe in , say to yourself, I. Then exhale. As you and breath out slowly, say to yourself, AM. Continue this for 10 - 20 breaths. Let the peace come over you. This is great to do during contractions. ;-)
You can put on relaxing music. I personally listen to Gregorian Chant music as I work or when I am feeling stressed. It works like a charm and it works on kids too.
2.) Eating for two? Nope not really. As a general rule all you really need is around 100 extra calories a day during your first trimester. And between 300 to 500 extra calories a day during your second and third trimesters. If you're carrying twins you'll need 450 to 500 more calories a day. And let's not forget to make those extra calories nutritious ones. You really need to focus on nutrient dense foods, foods that replenish you and your baby. To learn more about prenatal nutrition, I offer a online Prenatal Nutrition Class. This is great for postpartum recovery too.
3. ) Being labeled high risk does not mean that you will have a problem. It just means you will be looked after a little more carefully. Healthy babies are born everyday to mothers labeled as high risk. But it is important that you're vigilant about your wellbeing and care. That means eating well, resting, de-stressing, going to all your appointments and finding something that brings you joy and laughter.
If you are diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes….. read What Every Pregnant Woman Should Know About Gestational Diabetes.
4.) If heartburn becomes an issue, it'll be helpful to eat smaller meals more frequently rather than a few larger ones. Eat dinner at least two hours before bed. Also, sleep with the top of your bed higher than the bottom of your bed. Check out my blog on 18 Ways To Help Relieve Heartburn.
5.) It's okay to give into unhealthy cravings once in a while. If you're set on something that's not terribly nutritious, like cookies, eat something healthy first. Have a glass of milk or some protein. Checkout my healthy dessert page on Pinterest for some yummy ideas.
6. ) While in labor, walking, swaying, and circling your hips while sitting on a birthing ball can help labor progress by using gravity to encourage movement of the baby down through the pelvic canal. Breathing will be super important to help you get through each contraction. Check out my blog these two blog posts:
9.) Labor may surprise you with its intensity. But there are lots of natural comfort measures that can help you through it. So keep an open mind about childbirth. Childbirth is a very powerful. I always say childbirth is like a rainbow. You may want a yellow birth and do everything to make a yellow birth happen but you might end up having a purple birth. So that means you will have to adjust and go with the flow and surrender to the process. And trust that your body and baby know what to do.
1 0.) In the last couple of weeks leading up to your due date, you may want to ask your doctor to deliver early, but be patient. Healthy babies are worth the wait. Check out my blogs on Pregnancy Tips For Weeks 33 – 37 Hang In There! You are almost there!
11.) Your support person in labor should be someone you trust, feel safe with and who you can let it all hang out with. Consider hiring a birth doula. To learn more about the benefits of a doula please checkout this blog post.
12.) When you are in labor you'll need a dark, warm and quiet room. You'll need to feel safe and that you're not being observed. You'll need to be free to move around as you like. You'll need water and easy to digest snacks. Remember to take it one contraction at a time and BREATHE!
QUESTION: What are your concerns regarding pregnancy and childbirth? I would really love to hear from you so please leave a comment in the comment box below.
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