10. Be more active in a smart way. Not all exercise is great for pregnancy. Make sure to do exercises that don’t stress the pelvic floor and that are conscientious of your abs. Some exercises like crunches or other ab exercises need to be done with care so you don’t get diastasis recti (separating abs, which can affect how you labor and push.)
9. Do what you can before birth to get baby in a good position. The book Pain Free for Women by Pete Egoscue has some great stretches that can be done to help.
8. Breathe baby down and wait for the fetal ejection reflex. If you aren’t numb from the epidural, you don’t need anyone to coach you through pushing. Listen to your body and remember to take your break between contractions. It’s okay to flow with labor.
7. Nursing is/can be difficult at first but don’t give up. It becomes super easy. Also, it shouldn’t be painful. If it is,get help with your latch and check for tongue ties.
6. A salt lamp with a dimmer is an amazing night light that won’t keep you and baby awake for late night feedings and changes.
5. Its never to late to dump the OB and fall for a midwife. But seriously, if your doctor isn’t listening to you, find someone else. There are plenty of qualified people who can both keep you healthy and treat you like a human being. don’t allow anyone near you during birth that doesn’t know or support your birth plan. When labor gets intense, push through it, have your support team by your side, hire a doula, prepare prior, read books, make affirmations, prepare mentally, don’t fight it, breath.
4. Turn your phone off, or screen calls and messages asking how you’re feeling or if labor has started yet at the end of pregnancy. It will drive you insane, and the pressure from others may make you make a decision to induce unnecessarily (so risky and painful!).
3. Speak up for yourself! Don’t put up with anything that is making you uncomfortable, don’t let things stall your labor if you can help it. If you need to be alone, say it, if you need your partner to stay awake the entire time, ask! If a nurse is the wrong nurse for you, ask for someone else . Don’t be afraid to ask for exactly what you need!
2. Don’t invite the negativity into the room. You can do this but not with naysaying in the background.
1. Be kind and gentle with yourself and completely unapologetic for doing what YOU need during pregnancy and as a mother. And let people take care of you.
This day is just another day for almost everyone else around you. Some will celebrate with you, some will serve you, some will be so busy they can hardly stop and appreciate the glory of this day. But for you, this day will be with you the rest of your life. You will repeat the story of this day a thousand times to your sweet child. You will think about it often. It will be part of you in a huge way.
It’s okay to want what you want and do what best serves you. Because this is YOUR day to meet baby for the very first time.
Congratulations mama. I hope your day is everything you hope for.