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In this post I’ll be sharing with you 7 easy things you need to do to prepare your body for an easy labor. As a mom and birth doula, I’ve learned simple tricks to help prepare your body for a better, healthier, and more enjoyable birth experience.
Did you know that prepping your body for labor can dramatically decrease the time you spend laboring and pushing, as well as the time you spend recovering? As a first-time mama pregnant with my daughter, I didn’t think much about preparing my body for labor.
My daughter’s natural birth did end up going smoothly, but I did end up suffering with excruciating pelvic pain for several months after she was born.
I also remember my enire body feeling very sore during the first 1-2 days after she was born. Looking back, I know that I also could’ve done a lot more to prepare my body for labor.
Having my son last year really opened my eyes to see what I hadn’t done so well during my last pregnancy/birth and helped me plan and prep a lot better.
I was much more relaxed during his birth and the entire thing took about 20 minutes. I was up and running right after he was born! To be honest I felt great.
My husband and I to this day talk about how differences the experiences were. It was like night and day.
So I want to share these 7 things you should do to prepare your body for an easy labor with you mamas so that you can be on your way to having the natural birth of your dreams!
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How to prepare your body for an easy labor
1- See a chiropractor
Seeing a Chiropractor during my pregnancy saved my life. I started experiencing pelvic pain when I was pregnant with my daughter.
The pain got progressively worse as I got bigger. It hurt to walk, to sit, to lift my legs when I put my pants on, it hurt to roll around in bed, it hurt anytime I made a sudden movement.
It literally felt Like the lower half of my body was breaking in half right at the crotch. I started doing some research and was eventually referred to a Chiropractor by my then OB.
A couple of adjustments later (realigning of pelvis and spine manually), I felt a lot better.
Dr. Amanda over at the Bayview Village Wellness Centre did a very detailed analysis of my entire body and came up with a plan that was tailored to my specific needs.
She adjusted me throughout the remainder of my pregnancy and I had a smooth delivery (save for the part where I gave my daughter a cone head, and was super nervous and worried about farting and pooping)
Unless you really suffer from pelvic pain throughout your pregnancy, chances are you’re never going to know how important having a balanced pelvis really is.
If you look up pelvic pain, you will most likely see the terms Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) and Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD).
These terms are used interchangeably because they are both associated with pelvic pain but they are said to be the same thing.
The symptoms I described above having are tell-tale signs that you are suffering from PGP/SPD. Once you are diagnosed, here are some things you can do to help minimize the pain:
– Avoid parting your legs to the point where you feel pain
– When entering your car, sit first then swivel in your legs in together at the same time
– Don’t lift heavy things if you don’t have to. When you do, Use your legs, not your back
– Drink a lot of water
– Consider adding fresh turmeric to your diet, as it helps tremendously with inflammation that caused by irritation and inflammation of pelvic joints.
– Take an omega-3 supplement– This also really helps a great deal with inflammation. It’s the same exact one that we all use in my house. I get this supplement right from my Chiropractor’s office. Even my mother takes it. Nothing but great results from it!
– Don’t stand and put all your weight on one leg
– If you work and are sitting most of the time, put in a workplace accommodation request and get an ergonomic chair.
– You know what’s even better than an ergonomic chair? An exercise ball. Seriously, if your workplace can allow it, get one instead!
Take it from me, if you leave it untreated, you can very well have your baby and still suffer from the pain months after. This is what happened to me and it has only recently gotten better. Mind you, my 2nd child is nearly 11 months old!
Don’t neglect this pain. A misaligned pelvis can keep the baby up high and prevent it from descending lower into the pelvis.
This, of course, will prolong labor, and can even lead to a c-section. It is common in pregnancy to suffer from SPD/PGP, but it is not normal so don’t allow yourself to suffer unnecessarily.
2- Enjoy a cup of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea (RRLT)
Stronger uterus=more efficient contractions=easy labor!
RRLT often times get confused with raspberry tea but mamas, read the label make sure you get RRLT!
This amazing herb also helps control bleeding postpartum. The one I’m recommending here is the same exact one that I took. I drank it throughout both my pregnancies (from start to end) and increased how much I drank as I got further along.
Most women drink 1 cup per day per trimester, however, please check with your healthcare provider!
3- Use an exercise ball
Straddle an exercise ball and bounce on it. It’ll encourage your baby to get nice and low and to take the pressure off of your joints.
Doing this as well as small hip rotation helps encourage baby to get in an optimal position for childbirth. If you suffer from pelvic pain (SPD/PGP) you can still do this.
Just open up your legs a little less than shoulder with apart. You don’t want to worsen your pelvic pain.
4- Take long walks
Walking is great for your overall health but in pregnancy, it is especially good for encouraging labor. During my 2nd pregnancy, I was diagnosed with a short cervix and was advised by my midwife and OB to avoid long walks as the pressure from the baby head on my cervix could trigger labor prematurely.
So just from that alone, you can see the big impact walking can have on your body.
When you reach the last couple of weeks 37.5+weeks, taking long walks can be good to help baby descend lower into your pelvis.
5- Get a massage
Do you want a quick and easy labor? Do you want to minimize the risk of medical intervention? Then you need to get a proper prenatal massage!
Not throwing any shade at your honey but a licensed Massage Therapist can really get the kinks out of all the nooks and crannies. My husband’s massages were only good for so long. Lol.
Being relaxed is one of the keys to having a smooth labor and childbirth. Stress causes muscles to tense up in defense.
There are many connective tissues and muscles that connect the top half and your body to your lower half.
These all react to stress by tensing up and the result is you suffering from back pain, pelvic pain, and even constipation! You want your entire body to be as relaxed as possible so that your baby has enough space and flexibility to descend when the time comes.
6- Stay fit
Check out this awesome post featuring 7 easy exercises for an optimal pregnancy and labor by NaturalMama. I did a lot of # 1, 2, and 4. Cow tilts are AMAZING.
They really help loosen up your lower back and pelvis which is AWESOME especially when your lower back is constantly aching.
My Chiropractor recommended these to me and I still do them even now when if feel like I needed so loosening up!
7- Do your Kegels
Kegels help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Having a weak pelvic floor can cause a variety of disorders from loss of bladder control, to pelvic organ prolapse begin to droop (for more info check out this source).
As your baby gains weight, more pressure is added on to your pelvic floor muscles. This is why so many pregnant mamas sometimes leak urine occasionally.
Strengthening your PFM by doing Kegels is not only easy, it’s discreet (plus you won’t get all icky and sweaty!).
You can do them while standing or sitting, at work or at home. The same way you’d hold back the flow of urine is the same you’d perform a Kegel (don’t do them while you’re actually peeing).
You can check out this video for more detailed instructions.
I know that every birth is different and that unforeseen events can happen but being prepared is never a bad thing.
I hope you found these 7 tips on to to prep your body for an easy labor to be helpful and simple enough for you to get done before the arrival of your baby!