Your due date is just around the corner! In a few days, a significant milestone in your life will take place. Prepare yourself for giving birth with these simple yet helpful tips.
Know what to expect during labor
Knowing what happens during labor can help you condition yourself and prepare for the actual childbirth.
Regular contractions signal the start of labor. They are the result of your cervix tightening and relaxing as it prepares and pushes the baby into position for coming out. Contractions help your cervix dilate, and they often feel like strong, menstrual-like cramps. Contractions grow more frequent and intense as dilation progresses. It begins with intervals of 15 to 20 minutes and become more frequent towards delivery until they are less than 5 minutes apart. Each contraction lasts for about 30 to 70 seconds.
Most women choose to stay in the comfort of their homes during early labor. But when your water breaks or active labor starts, it’s best to proceed to the hospital or birthing center.
Tips on how to manage contractions during labor:
- Develop endurance by staying active for as long as approved and recommended by your healthcare provider.
- Practice breathing techniques to help you relax.
- Change your position. You may find that getting on your hands and knees may help ease discomfort.
- Take a warm bath or shower. But if your water has already broken, consult your healthcare provider first to confirm if it is still advisable.
Delivery will start once your cervix is fully dilated at 10 centimeters. While giving birth, make sure to listen to your healthcare provider. Only push when you are told to do so, and rest as much as you can in between contractions.
Tips on how to help you push during delivery:
- Try different positions like squatting, lying on your side with legs up, or getting on your hands and knees.
- Listen when your healthcare provider asks you to push.
- Take deep breaths in and out.
- As much as you can, curl as you push to allow your muscles to work.
- Rest as much as you can during the intervals between contractions.
Take note of early labor signs
It is important to recognize when a woman is in labor so that the appropriate action steps can be taken. Make sure to inform your healthcare provider once you start to experience the following signs:
- Back pains
- Water breaking
Who do you want to be there during delivery?
Giving birth to a baby is the challenging yet fulfilling culmination of your entire pregnancy. Create a list of who you want to be there with you during this very significant moment in your life. Ask the hospital or birthing facility how many guests are allowed to stay with you inside the delivery room.
Pack your hospital bag
Prepare your hospital bag early on. Avoid last-minute panic by making sure that everything you need for childbirth has already been packed in one bag.
- Comfy clothes
- Maternity napkins
- Maternity bra
Prepare your documents
Lastly, don’t forget to prepare the necessary documents. Gather everything ahead of time so you can be ready to leave at a moment's notice.
- Valid ID
- Insurance card, if any
- Medical notes and other hospital documents
Getting Ready for childbirth can help you focus on keeping your baby’s health in check. Take note of these simple things to prepare before labor and stay as worry-free as possible until your baby comes!