5 ways to prepare for labour and birth

5 ways to prepare for labour and birth

These weeks are absolutely flying by, and next week I’ll officially be in my 3rd trimester! I like to think I’m a pretty laid back, go with the flow sort of person. However, when it comes to giving birth, being as prepared as possible really helps me. I know it’s impossible to plan everything in this situation, but here are 5 ways to prepare for labour and birth:

Mind

Hypnobirthing preparation

As mentioned in a previous blog post, I’ve invested in the hypnobirthing digital pack from The Positive Birth company. I’m around halfway through the course now, and I am SO pleased I made the decision to get it. Even though I had 2 previous straight forward births, it has been insanely interesting to learn about all these different relaxation methods, as well as the science behind giving birth. Within the pack there are various relaxation techniques. These have really helped me fall asleep at night, as well as giving me a (generally) restful sleep, which I most definitely need right now.

iPad showing positive birth company main screen

Getting organised

With my first baby, I’d already had my hospital bag packed for around a month by now, I was very keen! I think I left it a little later with number two, and this time I haven’t even got a changing bag yet, to take! However, in the next couple of weeks I’ll be putting together a list of everything I need, and get on with buying a changing bag too! I aim to have it all packed and ready by 35 weeks at least, just so it’s something I don’t have to worry about. I will however, have to hide it from the kids, as I can imagine them deciding to unpack it for me!

Body

Eating dates

Now bear with me here! This may not be one of the things you expected to come across when reading an article entitled 5 ways to prepare for labour and birth. I first heard about the benefits of eating dates in preparation for labour and birth during my last pregnancy. I thought it was slightly crazy, to be honest! Then I found a study that was really interesting. You can find the link to it here , but here is a quick summary of it:

Women who ate 6 dates a day in the four week run up to their due date were significantly more dilated upon admission to hospital and also more likely to:

Go into labour spontaneously
Avoid pitocin (a hormone used to speed up labour if a woman fails to dilate)
Have a shorter first phase of labour
Have intact membranes upon admission to hospital

Box of medjoul dates

How amazing is that?! So, in my last pregnancy I religiously ate dates every day in the run up to giving birth. I particularly liked having them on a morning in my porridge, however I’ve found some tasty recipes that I’ll most certainly be trying this time around :
Walnut and Date Brownies
Chocolate Orange Energy Bombs
Crunchy Cocoa Chia Brownies

After eating all those dates, my last labour lasted only 3 hours, from my first contraction to giving birth (read more about it here). So of course, this time around, I daren’t not eat them in preparation!

Decorative box containing dates

I was really kindly sent some dates from The Date project to review. They do amazing things, and were established in 2015 by a few inspirational SKT Welfare volunteers. The idea was simple: raise funds for the Al-Huda Bakery in Syria by selling a box of the finest medjoul dates for £10 during Ramadan. Each box sold raised funds for fifty loaves of bread for a Syrian family. By 2017, the Date Project was able to provide 3 million loaves of bread in Syria as well as 22.5 million litres of fresh drinking water in Palestine!

Details of the date project

The dates are absolutely beautiful, I’ve never tasted ones like them. As well as this, they are such good value for money, compared to supermarket prices. The tins you can choose from look amazing too.

Exercise

Luckily, I’ve not really got much of a choice when it comes to keeping active this pregnancy. Running around after 2 young children really is a workout in itself! I felt a lot healthier in my 2nd pregnancy, compared to my first, and I definitely put this down to the fact I was entertaining a toddler all,day, instead of sat on the sofa eating inordinate amounts of shortbread! What I wouldn’t give to be able to do that for just one day now though, haha! I make sure we use the car only when necessary, and I try to make sure we get out and about most days. This isn’t only healthy for my body, but it also really lifts my mood.

Raspberry leaf tea

In my previous pregnancies, I took raspberry leaf tea capsules from 32 weeks, slowly increasing the dosage up until I gave birth.

The pregnant tummy of a woman holding a box of herbal tea

Obviously, I’m not quite at the 32 week stage yet, so a delicious alternative I’ve been trying out has been these herbal teabags from Nipper&Co. The¬†Happy Bumps blend is a gentle herbal infusion with raspberry leaf (some pregnant ladies avoid raspberry leaf in the first trimester), ginger, rose petals and subtle minty taste. It’s very yummy, super fragrant but in a lovely subtle way. Nipper&Co have an extensive range of teas, and I was kindly sent this one and anothernamed mum’s milk, which is a completely natural way to boost your milk supply when breastfeeding. Clearly I’m not doing that yet, but the tea smells amazing and I can’t wait to start drinking it!

Herbal tea in a boxHerbal teaHerbal tea in a box

So there we have it, 5 ways to prepare for labour and birth. I hope you found them useful, anything vital I’ve missed out?! What sorts of things did you do to prepare for the big day?

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