New Resources to Help You Achieve a Healthy Pregnancy, Lovely Birth & Successful Postpartum Recovery!

New Resources to Help You Achieve a Healthy Pregnancy, Lovely Birth & Successful Postpartum Recovery!

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Some of the resources featured in this post

Hoping for a Healthy Pregnancy, Lovely Birth & Successful Postpartum Recovery? Here’s some resources to get started!

**Note, I am NOT affiliated with ANY of these resources, and I do not receive any financial gain or otherwise for promoting these products!**

As you might know, I love trying to stay up-to-date on current research and information about having a healthy pregnancy and postpartum recovery. I really want to be able to give clients good, solid information, and help them to achieve their desires for a low-risk pregnancy, beautiful birth, and end up with a supported, successful period of postpartum recovery. None of these things just happen, though. It takes concerted effort on the part of mom and her support team, and having some quality resources available to you can make all the difference in the world to achieving these goals!

These days, there are so many resources available, that it’s often hard to know where to start. And so many places have conflicting information, which only adds to the confusion about who to believe, and what is actual fact. Between blogs, articles, mommy boards, books and free advice, you might be wondering just where to concentrate your efforts in getting some basic information.

I have been so delighted to be made aware of some great resources that are available, and the purpose of this post is to introduce you to a few of these. This is by no means an exhaustive list, so if you have more resources to suggest, please add them in the comments so we can all learn from each other!

Nutrition:

This is a MUST READ for all pregnant women, and anyone even thinking about having a baby. Optimal nutrition starts now, and builds a foundation for a healthy mom and healthy baby. Real Food for Pregnancy: The Science & Wisdom of Optimal Prenatal Nutrition by Lily Nichols is the BEST book on nutrition that I’ve read in a long time. She will help you to understand how lacking our standard American diet is in real nutrients, and why so many moms end up with gestational diabetes, high blood pressure & pre-ecclampsia. For all the incredible information, it’s written in a very easy-to-understand style. She will help you understand why you need quality vitamins that utilize activated forms of B vitamins and folate, how much protein and good fats you need, what type of salt your body actually needs, how to reduce your carbohydrate intake, what type of exercise you need, and so much more. There is seriously so much more in this book than JUST nutrition, and your body will reap benefits from applying the information it contains! There is another book by the same author entitled Real Food for Gestational Diabetes that is especially geared towards helping moms to balance their blood sugars and manage gestational diabetes through quality diet changes.

Pregnancy Guide:

Have you seen the old “What to Expect” series for expectant moms? Well, you can think of The MamaNatural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth by Genevieve Howland as a new, up-to-date version from a natural, holistic perspective. It’s great, and I think it should be a standard baby shower gift for every expectant mom (though they should probably have it well before the baby shower, honestly!). With input from a CNM and a doula, this guide goes through all the typical questions you face week-by-week, and gives advice on nutrition, tests to consider (and why you’d do them or why you might opt out), what you should be thinking about and preparing for, and how to go about choosing the right caregiver, birth location and options that are right for you. I love the fact that the book gives great info on home, birth center and hospital options, helping moms to achieve a great birth no matter where their location, but helping them to do so as healthily and naturally as possible.

Exercise:

So, while the other two books I mention touch on exercise, there are also some resources available that FOCUS on exercise. As I’m sure you know, exercise is important during pregnancy especially as you prepare for birth (you wouldn’t expect to run a marathon without training for it, right? We should think the same way about training for birth…), but did you also know that exercise is important for your body AFTER pregnancy? Our bodies go through some pretty amazing transitions as they grow a tiny human from smaller than a speck to 7-9lbs, which pushes our stomach up, our bladder down, and challenges our circulation. And then the baby has to come out…and our internal organs all must shift and readjust, and the muscles are stretched and then must get smaller…which means that there is A LOT of changes and stress for the body to recover from!

You’ve probably read or seen articles that talk about healing from diastasis after pregnancy, and/or about incontinence issues, pelvic pain, etc. that can occur postpartum, which can increase in possibility as you have more children, or have babies fairly close together without a lot of time for needed healing. But did you know there are actually things you can do about these issues? And that there are answers out there which can help you recover from pregnancy, and help you go into and through another pregnancy in even better physical condition than before?

One of the resources that can help is to take a prenatal or postpartum class through BirthFit. I love their motto: Giving birth might be the most athletic event of your life. Train for it. Isn’t that true?? In our area, classes are taught by Julie Kulig, a local chiropractor who uses her extensive knowledge to help moms develop a program that works for them. Her prenatal classes focus more on exercise, diet and birth options, and her postpartum classes focus specifically on helping the body to heal and recover from birth. She helps moms to strengthen their core in the correct way to heal any disastasis recti,  guides you in exercises to tone and strengthen the pelvic floor, and teaches you how to move (picking up fat, chunky babies off the floor, anyone??) correctly so as to prevent injury. I personally took her BirthFit Postpartum class, and have been very excited with the benefits I received…and it was really good for me to realize I was capable of doing more than what I realized I could do when it came to good workouts. You can check online to see if there is an instructor near you, and you can also access a lot of the BirthFit information on their website-they offer online classes, as well.

Now, maybe you don’t have access to a BirthFit class, or have lots of little people around, and wonder how you could ever fit something like this into your life. I get it! I’ve been on the lookout for years for a good, tailored-for-moms exercise program that could be done in 20 min. or less each day. Honestly, there are times in my life where I just don’t have more time than that, and if an exercise program is going to take longer, it just won’t get done. So I was really excited to get ahold of the Trim Healthy Mama “Workins” DVD series. What has been fun is to see so much of what I learned at BirthFit being re-affirmed by Serene & Pearl, only this program is one that I can do at home, and working along with the DVD helps to provide me with more motivation than going at it alone.  Each exercise routine can be completed in 19-20 min, using mostly items you have at home, and they are geared specifically towards moms in the childbearing stage. This means they are specifically targeting pelvic floor strength & core stability, and they include modifications to use during pregnancy, or if you’re just getting started postpartum or in exercising regularly in general. I love their down-to-earth style-it makes you feel like you’re working out with your girlfriends. You can find out more and watch an intro video about the program here.

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I hope you can find some of these resources helpful in your own journey to better health, especially in relation to pregnancy & postpartum! I’d love to hear what you would recommend, so please feel free to share!

Topics for 2018 & a Give Away!

Since my fourth child arrived in  May, I’ve been pretty quiet on this site! But now that baby has reached 6 months, and life is settling into more of routine, I’m thinking about the new year. Here’s where I need your help: I would LOVE to hear your ideas of what you would like to see covered in future blog posts! I’d like to realize my goal of one post a month throughout 2018, but I could use some input as I try to sketch out a plan for the next year. I often try to post about topics that are relevant & beneficial to my clients, and for families who are considering midwifery care and/or healthful, natural living. So send me your ideas, and topics you would like to hear more about!

And here is your incentive: each person who submits an idea (either in the comments below, or on our Facebook post with this same title) will be entered into a drawing to receive a copy of one of my favorite pregnancy/birth related books that was published this year. The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Gide to Pregnancy & Childbirth is a wonderful addition to your pregnancy and birth library. Think of it as a “natural version” of the old “What to Expect” favorite. “Mama Natural” covers everything from nutritional needs, what is happening to baby & mom each week of pregnancy, how to prepare for natural birth, pros and cons of multiple caregivers and birth locations, and so many of the questions that moms wonder about during pregnancy. I think you’ll love it, and if you don’t need it yourself, you just might have a friend that would enjoy it!

So here’s the details: submissions can be entered until midnight on Sunday, December 10, and a winner will be announced on Monday, December 11 (unless a baby changes my schedule-I’m a real life midwife, so there’s always the possibility that I may have to announce the winner later!). Entries can be made below in the reply/comments section, or you can enter by leaving a comment below the facebook post with this headline. I’m looking forward to finding out what you all want to discuss, learn and/or find out more resources about in the next year. Thanks for helping me out!

Feel free to share this with friends, so they can enter too!

Preparing for birth-some excellent resources!

Preparing for birth-some excellent resources!

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I love collecting birth resources-be it books, DVD’s, magazines, articles-you name it! The only problem is, with the limited amount of “extra” time I have (or don’t have!), I don’t always get a chance to preview and read the resources I collect right away. And I find myself hesitant to pass along information to clients and friends that I haven’t read or previewed myself.

    This winter I’ve found myself in the remote hills of Arkansas, with more time on my hands than usual, as my husband is teaching at a small winter Bible School for young people. Keeping the children occupied is my main job here, but with the absence of our usual activities and schedule AND having all our meals provided, I’ve enjoyed the chance to finally dig into some of the resources that have been sitting on my shelves at home waiting for me to get to them.
    So, with that introduction, I want to mention a few EXCELLENT resources that would be worth any of you expectant moms, or anyone wanting to learn more about birth, to take time to watch or read. I can’t believe I’ve had these around this long and didn’t realize what treasures they were!
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The first one I’ll mention is the Parent Class DVD by Spinning Babies teacher Gail Tulley. I’ll confess that this one I have recommended to clients as I’ve taken one of her classes in person myself, and know she has alot to offer. But I didn’t realize how many jewels were in this educational presentation! It was a great refresher to me as a midwife, as Gail does and excellent job of teaching you how to help “make room” for your baby in your pelvis, and help your entire body to function more efficiently with less discomfort. The only drawback with this DVD is that, while she is teaching this class to a participating group of expectant couples, she does get fairly technical with some of her explanations. But in the long run it is helpful, as I think it helps you to get a better idea of WHY some of her positional suggestions and exercises help to eliminate certain issues. Using a great variety of teaching aides, examples, charts and object lessons, Gail shows you how exactly the uterus, baby, brain and body all work together, and how you can help. This would be great DVD for an expectant couple to watch together, or for any midwife or doula to watch in order to give you some great ideas of how to help your clients through specific issues and achieve better positioning for babies. It is well worth the $ you would need to invest, in my opinion! You can find out more about Gail, and purchase this DVD here.
    Next in my pile of resources was a book by Ina May Gaskin. If you’ve been in the childbirth realm long, you’ll recognize this name as one of the most famous midwives in the USA. Ina May has been practicing since the 1970’s, and is probably most well known for her involvement with births on “The Farm” in rural TN. People have come from all over the world to have their babies in this community that has come to be known for it’s amazing work with natural childbirth. I’ll admit that while I’ve appreciated many of the things I’ve read or heard taught by Ina May, I was still a bit skeptical of her book “Guide to Childbirth”. I think I was expecting it to have a real “back to earth” or “hippie” type flare, which I know can turn off families who are looking for evidence-based and scientific information on preparing for birth. I was in for a big surprise! Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth has been amazing. Written in an easy-to-read manner, it is full of so much helpful information. Starting with birth stories to help women realize that birth is both natural and do-able, it then proceeds to teaching you about the things you really need to know about how your body works, how to care for yourself during pregnancy, how to understand tests and the “whys” behind them, helpful suggestions for choosing both caregivers and birth locations, ways to prepare for labor, and the list goes on. I love her honest, down-to-earth style of writing, yet all of her information is based on evidence, research, and studies, and she includes citations and information for further study. If you are wanting just one book to help you understand pregnancy and prepare for birth, this one is it. And it’s not just for moms planning to birth at home-there is information in this book that would help anyone to be better prepared and ready for the amazing experience of labor and delivery.
    The last resource I’ll mention here is a DVD that was given to me by one of my clients. She had purchased it during her last pregnancy, and wanted to pass it on to other moms when she was done with it. “Practicing for an Active Birth”  is basically a childbirth class presented by Instructor Neri Choma by Birth Coach Method. While Neri could probably be a bit more dynamic in her teaching style (I’d suggest watching 30 min. at a time-the DVD is about 2 hrs. and 15 min. long), she does a very good job of helping  you to understand the process of labor and the terms used to talk about each stage, and gives couples LOTS of great position and relaxation techniques. Using charts and models, she helps you to learn how to visualize what is happening during each stage of labor, and how you might be able to help facilitate comfort and relaxation during each stage, working together as couples. While I think that it is best for couples to take a live childbirth class whenever possible, this would be an excellent option for those who might not have that opportunity in their area.
    I personally feel like much of preparing for a great labor and birth involves understanding how your body works so you are not tensed with fear of the unknown. If you KNOW what is happening, understand WHY you are experiencing certain sensations, and have IDEAS for what to do and when, you and your partner will be able to relax and work together much better. Moms (and dads!) that are prepared tend to do much better emotionally and physically through the marathon of labor. I would strongly recommend you look into any or all of these resources as ways to prepare for a wonderful experience of bringing your baby into the world.
    I’d love to hear about what worked for you. Do you have any favorite resources you would care to share with others? Tell us about it in the comments! And consider sharing  this post with your pregnant friends to help them hear about ways they can prepare for labor and birth from the comfort of their own home.
Celebrating Birth Expo 2016 Photo Report

Celebrating Birth Expo 2016 Photo Report

Thanks to each and everyone who helped to make the Celebrating Birth Expo a success! With over 30 different services, care providers and businesses sponsoring the event there was a great variety of information, goodies and prizes! If you attended and have helpful feedback for possible future events, I’d love to hear from you. Here’s a few photos to give you a glimpse into our day:

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Some of my fantastic helpers for the day…couldn’t have done it without Beth and Hannah!

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Getting everything set up and ready….

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Gift bags for each of the attendees to carry their goodies in

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My junior helper-she just HAD to attend the Birth Expo, too! 

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Gentle Delivery’s display and welcome table

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The cafe all ready to serve refreshments

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Heidi Loomis, CNM giving comments after the film screening

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In the auditorium getting ready for the screening of “Why Not Home?”

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The Calvary Harvest Fields location was a lovely place to host this event…

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Lots of fantastic displays and community interaction! 

I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to see many of “my” babies, and am grateful for the opportunity to learn more about what our community has to offer new and expectant families. In case you missed it, I’ll post a link to the event page where you can see a list of all the sponsors, along with their contact info and/or websites. If you’re interested in a future event like this, send me an email with your thoughts and comments. Thanks!

Celebrating Birth Expo & Why Not Home? Screening

Some Recommended Reading

Some Recommended Reading

As we’ve headed into a new year, I’ve been taking the time to update old records/files/paperwork, etc. One of the fun things I’ve updated is my current library list. While the internet can be an excellent resource for many topics, I still enjoy a good book that can stay on my nightstand, or be read while I nurse baby (one of the best things about having a nursing baby is getting guilt-free time to sit and read a book!). This past year I was introduced to a number of books that I had not read before, and I thought it’d be fun to share a few of those titles to you, in case you’re looking for something new to read!

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One of the library shelves in my office

  • Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Ina May Gaskin: I found this jewel at a thrift store this summer, and picked it up just because of Ina May’s name. It’s a great resource to have on hand if you’re wanting some extra help or information on breastfeeding issues. One thing I appreciated was that she actually dove into the issue of tongue-ties causing nursing difficulties, which is something that many manuals on breastfeeding overlook. Overall, this book was a great easy-to-read book that I would recommend adding to your home library!

 

  • Pushed: The Painful Truth about Modern Maternity Care by Jennifer Block: This book is not your “feel-good-warm-and-fuzzy” type, but if you’re in to making informed choice, and understanding the politics and protocols that go on behind the scenes, especially here in the US, this is an eye-opener. Jennifer explores the history behind different changes to the maternity care scene, how insurance companies dictate much of hospital’s protocols, how our lack of understanding our bodies and understanding the normal function of birth contributes to the rise of interventions, the limitations in so many areas of good alternative care options, and more. While it can be a bit depressing at times, it was definitely educational, and helpful in understanding risks vs. benefits of different medical choices.

 

  • The Official Lamaze Guide: Giving Birth with Confidence by Judith Lothian: While this one has been around for awhile, I had never taken the time to pick it up and read through it. I found that it really wasn’t all about a particular “method” for birth, but more about understanding how your body works, and how to work with it. Clear, concise information written in an easy-to-read style, with birth stories to boot.

 

  • Cut, Stapled, and Mended: When One Woman Reclaimed Her Body and Gave Birth on Her Own Terms After Cesarean By Rosanna Rosewood: This one deserves a disclaimer-while the story was fascinating, I don’t recommend or agree with everything this mama pursued in her quest for a VBAC. However, this book helped me to understand many of the challenges that brave VBAC mothers must make as they recover, heal, and prepare for birth from an emotional, spiritual and physical standpoint. I found it valuable as I seek to help mothers who desire a VBAC without having personal experience.

 

Besides the mentioned books, I’ve encountered a few new resources that I would heartily recommend:

  • Spinning Babies DVD’s: The Parent Workshop & Daily Essentials. Gail Tully, the instructor of these DVD’s and the brains behind the Spinning Babies website, has so many tips, suggestions and information to offer-and it all helps to make pregnancy more comfortable, understand your body, and encourage baby to be in good postion…which ultimately helps your labor, birth and recovery to go so much smoother! If you haven’t spent time on Gail’s website, it’s worth looking in to!

 

  • VBAC:Know the Facts by Jen Kamel: Jen has compiled an immense volume of research and facts surround VBACs, and presents them in a fascinating seminar that can be taken online or attended live. This 6+ hour seminar addresses subjects such as myths, actual research results, how and why different hopsitals have different protocols, what complications can increase risks (and how to avoid some of them!), and the list goes on and on. If you are considering a VBAC and have questions, or just want to learn more about the subject, this would be a very worthwhile investment. I learned so much from it!

 

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More books…and they don’t all fit here, either!

This past year I had a friend who contacted me-she was newly pregnant, lived in another state, and wanted to know where to start in figuring out what she wanted for her pregnancy, birth, caregiver, etc. What a list of questions! And where do you start?!? So I’ve been on a quest to find factual, evidence-based information to help new moms in making decisions and sorting through all the myriads of opinions and information. If you have a resource that was particularly helpful to you, I’d love to hear about it! Feel free to comment (below), leave a message on the facebook page, or send me an email at: gentlemidwife@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you!

And if you want to check out my updated Recommended Reading/Library List, feel free to look at it here:  https://gentlemidwife.wordpress.com/recommended-reading/  Remember, clients have access to this library as part of their maternity care package!

 

Preparing yourself for labor and birth…

Preparing yourself for labor and birth…

During pregnancy (and even before!), it’s important to spend time preparing and educating yourself about what to expect during the remainder of pregnancy, and for your upcoming labor, birth, and postpartum period. Fear of the unknown can cause more tension, thus causing more pain, and adequate preparation can help you to avoid not knowing what to expect. Moms and dads who have seriously prepared for birth are often rewarded with a much more satisfying birth experience, especially due to the fact that they had a better idea of what to expect, and what was going on with mom’s body during the different stages. Being able to learn about the natural processes, how these things affect mom and baby, what positions can help at what times, etc. all serve to enable a couple to work as a team as they bring their baby into the world.

childbirth456While it’s ideal to take a live childbirth class whenever possible (this gives you personal time with the instructor, the chance to ask questions, and the fun of interacting with other couples experiencing pregnancy), there are often times when there are no natural-minded classes available in your area, or when time constraints make it impossible to attend a series of classes. When this is the case, don’t give up the desire to be prepared! There are many different online classes, videos and books that can all help to educate you on the labor and birth process, and this list is intended to give you some pointers on where to start:

Actual Childbirth Classes-either online or DVD:
http://birthbootcamp.com/online-childbirth-education-classes/online-class-faq/ Birth Boot Camp is an intense class, available online or in various locations around the US, focusing on preparation for a natural childbirth by teaching relaxation techniques, exercises, etc., taught by midwives, childbirth educators, lactation consultants and others.

http://spinningbabies.com/classes/eclass-for-pregnant-parents-2 Gail Tully teaches an incredible class on optimal fetal positioning, and this is a link for the online childbirth classes that she recommends.

http://injoyvideos.com/mothers-advocate-dvds.html This DVD is a “mini childbirth class”…30 min. of good advice and information, available to purchase, or on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/user/MothersAdvocate
Other Helpful Links/DVD’s:
http://spinningbabies.com/videos/spinning-babies-video Taught by Gail Tully at Spinning Babies, the Parent Class DVD is an excellent resource for teaching couples techniques and exercises for encouraging baby to get in a good position and prepare mom for birth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZDeozklQw8&app=desktop An older Lamaze video, this shows several moms in labor, and talks about ways to be prepared for natural childbirth.

http://www.happyhealthychild.com/ This DVD set, available through Amazon, is taught by a variety of OB’s, midwives, doulas, and other professionals. It covers prenatal nutrition, labor preparation, natural childbirth, birth choices, newborn care, and more in a lecture-type style.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xath6kOf0NE, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDP_ewMDxCo, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ze53Ep-gwBQ&index=5&list=PLD8C569116E48F504, Short, 3D animated medical videos giving excellent visuals on the birth process, contraction action, station explanation, and more.

http://www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com/ Excellent documentary explaining birth choices in the US. Features quotes by OBs, midwives, doulas, and home/natural birth moms. Available to watch for free on youtube!

http://www.mothering.com/articles/6-birth-videos-used-prepare-child-siblings-entrance/ Various birth videos

http://babies.littlethings.com/husband-wife-home-birth/?utm_content=buffer0f17b&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_source=sungazing&utm_campaign=PFPost A really sweet home water birth video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uvk08EfgECk A brief overview of the stages of labor.

One more thing to note…if you live local, I’d be more than happy to share with you some of the great options for live childbirth classes in this area!

Preparing for your birth…

Preparing for your birth…

Newborn-Baby-FeetThis information is written specifically to give first time mothers  and first time VBAC moms suggestions for how to improve their chances at achieving a natural, easier delivery. But that doesn’t mean this is just for them! All of these suggestions can help ANY mom as she prepares for an optimal birth!  Pregnancy and  childbirth is such a special and exciting time, and it is also something to be prepared for ahead of time. It is good to keep in mind that a woman’s body was designed to give birth, and that, normally speaking, your body does know what to do to get the baby out. On the flip side, though, is the fact that this is the first time your body has ever experienced this process. Because of this, labor can sometimes last longer, and be more physically demanding, as your body takes the time it needs for all of the muscles and bones to work together and stretch to allow your baby to enter this world. If you have invested time and effort into preparing ahead of time, your body will benefit, both in the labor and recovery processes. Just think, you wouldn’t run a marathon without giving adequate training and preparation-and so it is with childbirth. You must condition your mind and body to give you the best results.

Throughout the pregnancy:

–          Read and educate yourself! Take childbirth classes, together with your husband. This will help you both to be informed about the physical and emotional processes, and allow you to discuss ideals, hopes, and dreams before labor begins. I believe that education can also help to reduce the level of pain, as it helps you to understand what is going on in your body, instead of fearing the unknown. The more you can find out ahead of time, the more able you will be to relax, knowing your body is doing what it was intended to do. There are many books, DVD’s, and classes available-talk with me if you need suggestions!

–          Eat a healthy diet. A diet full of good, healthful foods (vegetables, protein, and complex carbohydrates), and low in sugars, fats and simple carbohydrates, can help you in several areas. One, it doesn’t build a huge baby. A smaller baby is easier to push out! Secondly, it allows your body to be able to function at it’s optimal ability, as your energy level is increased. Thirdly, good nutrition can build better skin integrity, which decreases your chances of tears.

–          Exercise regularly. Exercise is an extremely important factor, as labor and birth are very much physical events. Stretching, and building up your endurance level throughout the pregnancy will enable you to persevere if your labor gets long and tiresome. Throughout the last few weeks, walking briskly (until your pelvis hurts!) for at least 45 min. every day, can help to encourage the baby’s arrival to happen sooner rather than later.

–         See a Chiropractor-if your body is not in alignment before labor, this can really slow things down and keep the baby from descending. While having regular adjustments can be helpful, it’s an especially good idea during the last 3-4 weeks, as it can help your body to relax and get the baby into the best possible position before labor begins.

–          Visit http://www.spinningbabies.com and try some of Gail’s suggested techniques for helping baby to achieve the best position. Regularly implementing techniques such as inversions and belly sifting can help to reduce your overall labor time by helping your body to stay aligned and encouraging good position of the baby!

–          Practice relaxation. If you can learn to relax, go limp, and let your body work before labor begins, then the better able you will be to do this during labor. Remember, fighting pain and discomfort works against you during labor-you must open up, let go, and relax in order for your uterus to function the most efficiently. And the more efficiently it works, the easier it will be on you! In practicing, pick times of the day when you can work on letting each area of your body go limp. Find out what helps you to relax: water, music, massage, etc., and then have these available during labor.

During the last 5 weeks:

–          I encourage moms to take the following supplements:

  • Gentle Birth Formula ~ this is a specially formulated blend of herbs in a tincture form that work to help prepare the uterus for the upcoming birth. You begin at 35 weeks by taking 2 dropperfulls a day throughout the first week, and increasing the amount to 2 dropperfulls 3x/day for the remaining weeks. Mothers who take this herb usually have more “warm-up” contractions, which help the cervix to begin dilation and effacement before actual labor. This tincture can be purchased through In His Hands Birth supply at the same time that you order your birth kit.
  • Super Primrose Oil or Borage Oil ~ this supplement is in a soft-gel form, and you begin taking 1-2 capsules orally beginning at 35 weeks. Around 36-37 weeks, you may begin inserting one capsule vaginally at night when ready to go to bed. The high GLA content and natural prostaglandin that these oils contain helps the cervix to soften, making dilation easier. It’s a great way to give your body a head-start towards dilation!

In closing, remember to keep yourself hydrated, rest often, and take care of yourself. And when labor begins, try to get some rest before getting excited.   You need to conserve the energy for later. So think about some activities that provide fun distraction (games, movies, going out for supper, etc.), and try to focus on other things until the contractions become consistent and strong enough that you can’t be distracted through them….