Are you doing daily exercises to get your baby into that optimal position for natural birth? Wondering how to make your delivery a little smoother and easier? As your due date nears, you may feel apprehensive (or even a little scared) about not knowing what to expect.
Fret not though as knowledge and prep work is power! Feeling like you have some semblance of control over the changes happening to your body can be reassuring, especially as you prepare to welcome a new member to the family.
We’re here to share what you need to know, so read on for a list of 8 key things to note as you prepare for childbirth.
1. Join a birthing class
Take a childbirth class (especially if you’re a first-time parent!) and involve your partner in this if possible. These classes are the perfect way to learn about the birthing process and what you can do to prepare yourself mentally and physically for it.
Being in the company of other mothers going through the same experience as you can also be comforting especially when you’re feeling anxious about motherhood.
Do try to get yourself enrolled early as these lessons may get filled up fast or even run on a semestral basis where you won’t be able to join in halfway through the programme.
2. Find out about your doctor’s philosophy
Understanding your options as well as the pros and cons of each alternative can help you feel more assured and confident in deciding how you want to deliver your baby.
It’s helpful to get your doctor’s input on C-sections and epidurals, as some people may choose to opt for drug-free ways of managing labour pains.
You can also take this opportunity to ask questions, even if you think they’re basic or simple ones. It’s better to be prepared than to arrive at the hospital on your delivery day not knowing what’s going to happen.
Remember to keep an open mind about the process though as birthing does not always go according to plan. Try not to worry too much about whether everything will go exactly the way you want it -- as long as you and your baby are healthy and safe, that’s all that matters at the end of the day!
3. Prepare yourself for the possible outcomes
This may be difficult or stressful to think about but, as we mentioned earlier, childbirth doesn’t always go according to plan.
That’s why it’s important for you to think through your preferred plan B or C should your original birthing option not be a possibility once you reach the hospital.
Remind yourself that the birthing process is unique for everyone. For every mum with a bad experience, there’s another mum out there with a positive story to tell!
4. Practise relaxation techniques
As a first-time mum, it’s not a surprise if you’re feeling anxious and nervous before giving birth. What you can do about this is to practice relaxation techniques starting from the time you’re pregnant to help ease and calm your nerves. It’s also good for pain control!
Practise regularly so it becomes second nature to you to use them once labour starts. Some examples of these techniques are deep breathing exercises, meditation, and relaxation to music.
5. Get extra help after your little one’s birth
In those first few postpartum weeks, extra help is essential -- especially as you get used to learning your newborn’s feeding and sleeping patterns while also recovering from childbirth.
Most mums prefer the idea of hiring a postpartum nanny who can help with preparing confinement meals, breastfeeding, baby care, and simple housekeeping.
Alternatively, you can hire a helper to settle household chores for those first few months after you’ve given birth. Or consider enlisting the help of your family if they’re willing and able to! Remember to prepare for this early (preferably during pregnancy) as some confinement nannies in Singapore may be booked out months in advance.
6. Get on the same page as your partner
You’re in this parenthood journey together after all. Talk to your partner and discuss what you’ll need from each other during the birthing process as well as confinement period. Differing expectations can create big conflicts so it’s best to work this out ahead of time as best as you can.
On top of that, don’t assume that your partner knows how much having a new addition to the family will change the family dynamics. Begin by sharing little things with your partner, like how to support you in breastfeeding or establishing a bathtime routine for your baby.