It’s officially my due date today and I am getting both excited and nervous to meet this baby. So, I’ve been gathering information from my midwives, books, podcasts, YouTube and blog posts about how to prepare your body for labour. I’ve been doing each of these things daily now to do whatever I can to help this baby come out and help me in labour and delivery.
Apparently, holding a deep squat for a couple of minutes can open up your pelvis and allow for more room for your baby to move down. Another advantage of holding a deep squat daily is it can strengthen your leg muscles. Having strong legs during labour can help with the final pushes when delivering your baby.
Chiropractic treatment is great at managing the aches and pains you experience during your pregnancy, but it also plays an important role in creating more space for the baby to move down the birth canal. Some research shows chiropractic treatment allows for a quick labour, delivery and recovery postpartum. I’ve been enjoying going to Kaur Chiro located in Brampton.
I’ve heard from many people that breathing is an important part of helping push your baby out. Upon research, I learned about a particular type of breathing exercise called J-breathing that can help move the baby down the birth canal without too much effort. I used to think breathing during labour and delivery involved holding my breath for as long as possible and then releasing with force to push out the baby. But this can be tiring for most women and actually reduces oxygen to your baby. J-breathing works by taking a deep breath in and then releasing the breath inside of your body. So, imagine exhaling and pushing the air out through your cervix and the air helping push the baby out. Apparently, if you breathe this way during labour and delivery, you won’t be as exhausted and tired. For a better description as to how this works, check out this YouTube video.
Eating dates starting from 36 weeks of your pregnancy until the end can help in softening your cervix and stimulate contractions. Dates have a bunch of other benefits as well, but eating 6 dates a day can help you dilate faster and get you into active labour sooner. I actually love eating dates so this has been easy to incorporate into my lifestyle. My favourite way to eat them is with some red raspberry leaf tea.
red raspberry leaf tea
Not only is red raspberry leaf tea a great source of antioxidants, it is commonly used near the end of pregnancy to help strengthen your uterus and prevent excessive bleeding after having your baby. You need to drink 4 bags of this tea daily to see the benefits apparently. To me 4 cups seems excessive, so I’ve been having just 2 cups daily, but I’m hoping even that much helps me in labour and delivery.
Finally, bouncing on an exercise ball is another way to bring the baby lower down your birth canal. It’s actually also on my pregnancy essentials list as well. I enjoy using the exercise ball to do figure 8’s to open up my pelvis as well as holding the ball as I do downward dog to get a great stretch. I’ve noticed if I sit on a chair or hard surface for too long, my tailbone starts to hurt. Sitting on the exercise ball really helps alleviate the pain and pressure.
I’m hoping all these tips on how to prepare your body for labour will help me have an easier labour and delivery, but honestly, only time and experience will tell.
Update (January 14, 2020): All these tips really did help me prepare for my labour and delivery day. Read all about Partaap Singh’s birth story here 🙂