For many first-time moms, and sometimes moms who already have children, the thought of labor and delivery may bring on anxiety, worry, and fear. Although every mother’s experience is unique, there are a few tips to keep in mind that may help delivery day feel easier.
Five Tips for Delivery Day
- Stay fit during pregnancy: Talk to your doctor or midwife about a safe exercise plan during pregnancy. Staying in shape can help during labor, especially when it comes to endurance and pain tolerance. Try walking, swimming, or joining a prenatal-exercise class.
- Educate yourself about the entire process: If you’re familiar with the stages of childbirth, you are likely to feel less anxious when the big day arrives. Look into childbirth classes with a certified instructor.
- Distract yourself during early contractions: Active labor can last about 12 hours, so if you begin to focus on every contraction and the discomfort, you will wear yourself out. Try to focus on other activities you enjoy doing such as cooking, taking short walks, working on an art project, or even dancing.
- Pain relief comes in many forms: If you begin feeling pain or discomfort during early contractions, try hoping in the shower or bathtub. The warm water can soothe tense muscles and relax the whole body. Massage is also a great form of pain relief during early contractions.
- Remember your breathing: Focused, patterned breathing can help you relax during more intense contractions. Have your partner or family member breathe with you.
Again, every mother experiences labor in a variety of ways, so it is important to practice relaxation strategies that help you in everyday life. And, at the end of it all, you will welcome a new life into the world.