The vast majority of pregnancy-based health advice centers around what we shouldn’t do or the things we should avoid. As such, aside from cutting certain things out or diets and resting our bodies when we feel they need it, many of us aren’t entirely sure what a healthy pregnancy lifestyle looks like.
Luckily, by avoiding the things you shouldn’t have, you’re giving your baby the best start in life, but that certainly doesn’t mean you can rest on laurels for nine months and still enjoy a dream birth. Instead, loving your labor is all about getting to grips with these health-based focuses in advance.
Step 1 - Build your stamina
While you will want to take it easy and perhaps speak with your health professional if you have any worries, some form of exercise is generally recommended throughout pregnancy. Stamina-building activities like yoga or low-impact running can be especially beneficial for helping you to ensure the momentum that you’re going to need on the big day. After all, they say that birth is like running a marathon, and you wouldn’t do that without training! Build small and never push yourself, but half an hour of something like pregnancy-specific yoga each day, especially in the third trimester, could make a huge difference, as could things like pelvic floor exercises and generally going for a run.
Step 2 - Get your baby in position
Babies come in all shapes and sizes, and they also take all manner of positions in the womb. Thanks to our modern static lifestyles, we’re seeing more babies taking what’s known as a ‘back-to-back’ posterior position, which, as the name suggests, means that their spine is back-facing. This isn’t a huge issue, but it does mean that your cervix may not receive the pressure it needs to dilate, making the need for assistance more likely. Luckily, taking action throughout your pregnancy can help get your baby in the correct position. Visiting a chiropractor during your third trimester can prove especially useful for balancing the pelvis, which often moves even an awkwardly placed baby. Equally, being more active and making sure to sit forward with your feet on the floor where you can can also do the trick.
Step 3 - Focus on your mental wellbeing
Your mind also plays a massive part in whether or not you have a positive experience, especially when you consider that mums who feel relaxed enjoy more oxytocin, which is what causes contractions and dilation. Staying calm and pampering yourself in the lead-up to birth is the best way to encourage these feelings. You might also want to look into hypnobirthing, which considers the best ways to stay calm and in control once labor starts. That way, you’ll be able to achieve the best possible headspace for the positive birth experience you’ve been dreaming of.
Of course, labor is unpredictable, and you never know which way it’ll go. Still, by prioritizing these health-based focuses in the lead-up, you at least arm yourself with the tools you need for the best possible experience, whatever happens.