Three Ways I'm Preparing for a Birth Center Birth
There are three specific areas I am focusing on as I prepare to give birth at a birth center later this summer.
Hydration - My body is gaining fluid volume every day as well as blood volume and amniotic fluid. I can definitely tell when I haven't been drinking enough water, or when I need extra electrolytes to help me absorb water more efficiently.
Meals and snacks - I'm not just fueling my pregnancy and the growth and development of my baby - I'm also storing up for the massive amounts of energy required for labor and delivery, and for breastfeeding. I've also made eating consistently throughout the day a priority. Although I'm eating more food overall than before I was pregnant, I'm eating smaller portions at each sitting and the majority of my meals and snacks are nutrient dense and high in protein.
Supplements - Food is my first way to get appropriate nutrition in my diet, and from there I've added several prenatal supplements to my routine. It's vital that I get enough iron, folate, fatty acids, vitamin B-6 and B-12, and many other vitamins and minerals, to help my baby grow and develop. Talk with your care provider about any areas you may be deficient in and the supplements you need to take throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Daily walks - Getting fresh air and sunlight helps regulate my sleep cycle and gives me my daily dose of vitamin D. Walking is also a very effective form of exercise! It's low impact yet helps strengthen muscles and build endurance.
Relaxation - Practicing relaxation is key for mental health as well as physical ease during pregnancy and birth. Relaxation can look like a lot of things - enjoying my favorite worship music, reading books with my toddler, or just taking a few minutes to close my eyes and take some deep breaths. I also like to work on relaxing my pelvic floor muscles every day with specific exercises and stretches, all of which I learned in my comprehensive birth class.
Chiropractic - Getting chiropractic care throughout pregnancy not only relieves many typical discomforts, but also aligns your nervous system, pelvis and sacrum as your body changes and makes room for baby's optimal positioning. Look for a Webster certified chiropractor who specializes in pregnancy and pediatric care.
Birth stories - It's so helpful to hear the experiences of other mother's births. I like to read blogs or listen to podcasts with positive stories that take place in a variety of locations and situations. This helps me know what desires I have for my own birth and what things I find important for my birth plans.
Research - In addition to asking my midwives a million questions at each appointment, I'm doing my own digging when it comes to learning about areas that I'm unfamiliar with. I'm specifically learning more about water births, alternative protocols for GBS, and different pain management techniques like using a comb.
Birth class - I took a comprehensive birth class for my first birth and attribute so much of my positive experience to that education! This time around I've taken a refresher course, and am continuing to learn as much as I can about mental, physical and emotional preparedness. My husband is well informed on his role during my birth as well, and as a result we're both on the same page when it comes to our birth plans.
Going into birth with a plan and an education is key to having a beautiful birth experience. See what classes I'm offering right now and what's included in each one - click here!