words Alexa Wang
Pregnant with your first child? Congratulations! This is a hugely important time in your life, and you are sure to be excited, yet also have a lot of stress and anxiety. Understandably, a lot of this will come down to giving birth, as this is a highly emotional and painful process to go through.
No amount of research or classes will truly prepare you for childbirth, but there are a few tips that will hopefully help on the big day and alleviate your stress. Then, you can begin to look forward to bringing your baby home and start to enjoy life as a new parent.
1. Write A Birth Plan
Like most things in life, having a plan is smart, so you and your support network will know exactly what needs to be done on the big day. Additionally, having a birth plan in place will be helpful for reducing stress, as it allows you to feel some level of control. This plan should include aspects such as:
- How you will get to the hospital
- What you will have in a pre-prepared bag
- Who will inform your family
- Who will be with you during labour
- The birth environment
- Medication preference
2. Antenatal Exercises
Giving birth is, obviously, a huge physical challenge, which is why you need to take steps to get your body ready. Gentle exercise throughout pregnancy is good for your physical and mental wellbeing, so look into antenatal exercise classes or consider daily walks, yoga or any other form of gentle exercise.
3. Relaxation Techniques
It is important that you have relaxation techniques that work for you, both during the pregnancy and during labour. What works for you may not work for someone else, so you might need to try a few different methods. Breathing exercises, positive visualisation and meditation are all highly effective strategies to try.
4. Be Mentally Prepared
It is easy to fear the worst and listen to the many horror stories you hear about childbirth, but this will not help, and you need to keep in mind that most births are positive experiences for both the baby and mother. Although it is highly unlikely, in the event that something does go wrong and you suffer some kind of injury, then you could be entitled to birth trauma compensation, which can be helpful for financial relief and closure.
5. Know That You Are in Good Hands
It is also important to remember that you are in good hands and that the team who will be handling your delivery will be well-prepared, whatever happens. This will prevent you from being embarrassed or self-conscious, as this is their job, and they will have seen it all over the years – it is hard to shock a midwife!
As you get closer and closer to your due date, it is completely normal that your stress and anxiety levels will go up. While there is no way to be fully prepared for giving birth, these tips should help to reduce your concerns so that you feel more confident when the time comes.