- Choose a care provider who is a good match for the way you want to birth. Doctors and midwives revert to their habitual behaviors just like the rest of us. If they are used to scheduling inductions for most of their patients or encouraging epidural use, they will probably do the same thing with you. Finding someone whose practice style closely matches your wishes is a fantastic way of instantly creating more harmony in decision making which can help you have a more peaceful birth.
- Hire a doula. Doulas are birth experts. Having a doula present at your birth means you don’t have to try to learn everything there is to know about having a baby before your baby is born. She can also save you time by pointing you to resources for any specific concerns you have during your pregnancy.
- Take a childbirth class. Yes, I just said you don’t have to know everything about having a baby, but it does help to know something! A good childbirth class helps you know what to expect during labor so that when the time comes, you’re (slightly) more ready for what’s ahead.
- Nourish yourself and your baby. Eat the stuff you know is good and skip the stuff you know is trash. Easy rule of thumb: whole foods--good; processed foods--bad. A well-nourished mother and baby are physically more capable of handling the stresses of labor.
- Walk every day, or as close to every day as you can manage. Walking is one of the best exercises for pregnant women. It’s gentle, builds endurance, and helps baby settle into an optimal position for labor. If you’re pressed for time, try taking five to ten minute mini-walks throughout the day instead of one long walk.
The story of modern life is that everyone's busy, and when you’re expecting a baby, you’re often both too busy and too tired to do everything. Yet the things you do to prepare during your pregnancy make a tremendous difference when the big birth day finally arrives. So here’s my cut-to-the-chase guide to the top five steps to take during pregnancy to improve your birth experience.
Doula, mother, crunchy minimalist, Christ follower.