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.
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. To learn more about prenatal nutrition, click here.
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.
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.
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. Check out my blog on Gearing Up for Labor? What You Should Pack And Bring To The Hospital…
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 whether or not you'll use medication. Check out my blog on Real Labor Tips for Dads From A Doula - Childbirth Educator
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.
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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