It is the most beautiful feeling in your life. You are filled with so much joy, anxiety and excitement and you can't wait for that special day. What is that day going to be like? You have heard people talk about their experience, most of them saying - the pain is unexplainable and now you are left wondering if you want to opt for a C-Section or a Normal delivery. The truth is that it all depends on a number of factors like the child's health, position, your ability to perform in labor, etc. So here are a few essentials to prepare yourself for labor and subsequent delivery.
STAY ACTIVE: Try to stay active through pregnancy unless you have been advised otherwise by a doctor for some reasons. Involve yourself in pelvic exercises. Researchers say women who workout their pelvic muscles by doing Kegel exercises during the last few months of pregnancy have an easier time giving birth. These exercises can affect the duration of labor and also shorten the delivery time by increasing flexibility of the pelvic muscles. They also help to deal with urinary incontinence seen during pregnancy.
These exercises are easy to do and no one will even know you are moving a muscle. Just relax and simply contract your pelvic muscles as if you were halting the stream of urine (but avoid doing so while you're actually urinating). You could do it in a sitting position or any other you are comfortable in. You could ask your doctor about the number of squeezes each day. This is one of the most common exercises pregnant women can do. It is always better to get an advice from the doctor before starting any other form of physical activity.
Yoga can be very beneficial for pregnant women - it helps you breathe and relax, which in turn helps you meet the demands of pregnancy, labor and motherhood. It calms your mind and body and gives you the emotional benefits of dealing with stress during this time. But make sure you tell your instructor you are pregnant as the nature of exercises will be different.
BREATHING RIGHT: Breathing in the right way and rhythm can help maximize the amount of oxygen available for you and your baby during labor. This can prevent you from being light-headed and going out of control during labor. When you panic, you start gasping for breath and this minimizes oxygen and can cause you to feel numb making labor difficult.
One of the easiest ways to start breathing right is to think of the word "relax". It has two syllables, "re" and "lax". As you breathe in, think "re" to yourself, and as you breathe out, think "lax". This will put you in a rhythmic technique of breathing that will help you deal with labor.
DIET: Your diet is the most important factor that influences growth of your child. There is no specific diet for a normal delivery but a healthy, balanced diet is all that you need.
• Eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need. Space your meals well and make sure all your meals are balanced.
• Go by the doctor's advice for specific nutritional supplements like folic acid and iron. Apart from these, make sure that the rest of the nutrients have been met by your diet.
• Include dark green leafy vegetables and legumes like chickpeas, lima beans and black beans for folic acid.
• Choose high fibre foods like whole grain cereals, fruits and vegetables that help you overcome constipation.
• Eat and drink at least four servings of calcium rich foods daily like milk, milk products and green leafy vegetables.
• Include a vitamin C rich food source every day. It could be a fruit like a guava, orange or strawberry. It could be a vegetable like broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes or Brussel sprouts.
Follow these three simple routines during your pregnancy and it could help you cruise through a comfortable labor and delivery!