How to prepare for your delivery

How to prepare for your delivery

How to prepare for your delivery

As the big day comes nearer, you’ll want to be in the best possible condition – physically and mentally – for the arrival of your baby. This should be the time when you finish work, get last jobs and preparations done, and calmly prepare all you need for baby’s arrival. In practice, it might not happen that calmly!

Stress and anxiety during pregnancy

Everything that requires great effort also brings its own dose of stress. Healthy stress is a natural physical response that gives you the energy you need to bring the effort to a satisfactory conclusion. If, though, you feel you’ve got more jangly nerves than you'd like, then these tips can help to stay calm.

Five tips for stress or anxiety during pregnancy:

1. Pregnancy yoga

Pregnancy yoga can help you to remain calm before and during childbirth, plus you learn to breathe correctly, getting through the contractions and building natural power to help baby arrive. There may be classes near to where you live, or ask your midwife or GP if they can recommend safe guidance on yoga early in the pregnancy.

2. Write down your worries

It’s no good telling yourself that you shouldn’t worry. Just thinking about the fact that you shouldn’t worry will soon build up more worrying thoughts. Negative thoughts need attention, so jot them down in a notebook and ‘park’ the worrying thought, on paper, to reflect on later. Take some time to sit in a quiet place and write down all your negative thoughts, until your head is completely empty. Naming fears often puts them in their place, and when you look back, you’ll see how little there was to worry about!

3. Practice positive affirmation

To help you to feel comfortable in your body, try positive affirmations – short phrases to be said aloud or repeated in your thoughts. You may already find negative phrases such as "I can’t" or "I probably won’t manage it" circulating in your head. Replace them with: "I accept my body changing. I love my big tummy. " Or: “My body is strong and powerful, it can carry my growing baby. " During delivery, draw strength from affirmations like, "Welcome to the world, baby – you can come whenever you want to!” Or "You are perfect just as you are."

4. Make a list

To get ready for childbirth and the first few weeks of baby’s life, it’s handy to create a list of all the things that you expect to need. Having it all written down in an orderly way will give you peace of mind. Ask people around you for help with planning – especially experts like your midwife and other new mums. Try to avoid having to dash around making last minute purchases – baby might arrive before your due date.

5. Treat yourself with soothing lavender

At any time of life, lavender is the definitive aroma of relaxation, and at this point in your pregnancy it’s an ideal aid to calm and thoughtful preparation for birth. A warm bath with Lavender Bath Milk, or a massage with Lavender Oil, will help you to relax, even in your head.

Birth Plan

A birth plan is a useful tool to prepare for your baby’s birth, helping you to make practical arrangements and to settle yourself mentally. Discuss the plan with your partner so that he feels included, and write it all down on paper. Give a copy to your own midwife so that she knows how you want things to go.

Home or hospital birth?

If you want to give birth at home, talk to your midwife about how a normal labour should progress and ask for advice on all the things you will need. If you are told you should have your baby in the hospital, ask for an explanation. Try to ask all the questions that occur you, so that there are less likely to be any surprises. Discuss pain management and breathing techniques. Most hospitals will give you a tour of the childbirth and maternity ward, so that you know in advance what it will be like and whether amenities like a gym ball or water bath are available. Some hospitals or midwives run classes where you can learn exactly how the process of birth develops. The more you know what to expect, the more it will put your mind at rest.