It is worth having a hospital tour so that you know where to go and what to expect on the day you go in to give birth. If you plan to have a home birth, you will need to prepare the space and hire any equipment needed – e.g. birthing bath etc. ahead of time.
A month before your due date, pack the hospital bag (see Pregnancy Sense p 110 for a list of what to pack)
Antenatal teacher, Heather Wood of Thula Baby Centre, Mouille Point shared these top 5 Babies R Us tips for preparing for birth:
- Focus on eating right in the last months of pregnancy to ensure you have balanced nutrition and a healthy body to prepare for the endurance race that is birth.
- Take your recommended supplements right up to the end, including a good probiotic to ensure optimal gut health and regular, comfortable bowel movements.
- Sleep well - you need to average 7 to 8 hours sleep a night to be rested ahead of parenting a new-born - when you will most certainly be sleep deprived.
- Exercise right - labour is hard work, and your body needs to be fit and healthy. Activities that are beneficial at this stage of pregnancy are swimming, yoga and Pilates. Remember - You are training for an event, so it's worthwhile getting fit and strong for birth!
- Prepare your mind to be flexible – let go and know that birth and new-borns are not predictable and flexibility will make your journey easier on an emotional level.
And finally, know this – women have survived birth for centuries, babies have survived inexperienced moms forever, and women grow into amazing moms with each generation. History says you will survive and thrive at this moment. Embrace it.
For more information on preparing for birth, read ch 13 and 14 Pregnancy Sense (Faure, Searle & Wood)
Megan Faure (OTR) www.megfaure.com
Meg is an Occupational Therapist with a special interest in babies and toddlers - specifically irritable infants; sleep problems, emotional engagement difficulties and fussy feeding. Meg is the co-author of Baby Sense and the Sense-series books. Her clinical practise is in Cape Town and she consults and speaks internationally too.