The last few months and weeks of pregnancy are likely to be the time when those pre-birth nerves start to creep up on you. Both prospective mothers and fathers get anxious about the birth, and good preparation, both mentally and physically, are essential when it comes to preparing for the big event, and they will help you feel more in control and less anxious in the run up to your baby’s arrival.
Forewarned is forearmed. Knowledge is the best way to prepare yourself for pregnancy and the birth. What you don?t know can be very frightening, but a little knowledge can be dangerous too. So get your information from a source you can trust, and take advice from others with a pinch of salt. While other people’s experiences of pregnancy and birth, and in rearing a child, can be very useful, remember that their experiences are subjective and your story will likely be very different. If you aren?t sure about something you hear from another person, read in a book or online or hear during a pre-natal appointment, then speak to your doctor, midwife or obstetrician.
Making a birth plan can help you feel prepared more than anything else you will do before your baby arrives. Discuss this with your midwife and establish what your options are, then put together a plan for the birth ? what would you ideally like to take place? Think about pain relief, what you want to happen immediately after the birth (skin to skin contact, breastfeeding etc.) and who you want to be there. Writing it down wont set it in stone ? birth is a process that can take unexpected turns, do bear this in mind when making a birth plan.
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This is the perfect time to brush up on your ability to relax. Whether that means enjoying a hobby, spending time with friends or lying in a warm bath with a book, do what relaxes you. Don?t let anyone else dictate what you should be doing, as long as it is safe and you feel able to do it comfortably then there is no reason why you can?t continue. So if you feel like walking helps and there is no medical reason not to, then walk ? even if those around you think it would be more relaxing for you to have a snooze!
Packing and unpacking, checking and re-checking your hospital bag is one of the rites of pregnancy. Pack a separate bag for yourself and your baby, and have the thing you want when in labour close to hand for convenience. Have your bag ready to go whenever you feel the time is right, even if you do end up unpacking it each evening!
Let Go of Control
You cannot control every aspect of a birth. By accepting the fact that you can be prepared but not in complete control, you can let go of a lot of the anxiety holding you back from enjoying the last stage of your pregnancy.