Let me start off by saying I think it’s kind of comical that our motherhood culture has decided we need to share how long our labour was, as if to say that having a quick and “all natural” birth makes us some ultimate hero or something. Don’t get me wrong, I felt like a superhero after giving birth and was lucky enough to have a smooth, speedy and natural birth the first time around. But my whole life I’ve also complained about my wide set hips and how I’ll never be able to wear a pair of boyfriend jeans. The only time I’ve ever remotely been thankful for those hips was during childbirth. But some women have no hips (and totally rock their boyfriend jeans), or have inverted tailbones, or small birth canals. At the end of the day we carried and grew a freaking human inside of us and then through whatever means necessary brought a baby into this world. We are all superstars in my book. Plus to be honest, I don’t really care about how long your labor was. If we are all being honest we probably just want to see your babies cute little face and the name you decided on. If you want to throw their weight in there go for it but unless it’s above 10 pounds it’s not really that cool.
But for those of you hoping to have a smooth & quick birth I decided I would share my tips for preparing for labour. I did all these things the first time around and I personally believe they helped contribute to my smooth birth. Although I am aware I have nothing to compare it to. Maybe I’m just comparing it to all the horror stories I’ve read of first time births. Again my wide set hips give me an advantage.
- Walking. I know, I know we’ve all heard this one. But it helps move the baby into your pelvis and the gravity puts pressure on your cervix which can help to soften and open it up.
- Squats. I know these helped me. It’s important to try and squat throughout your pregnancy. However, when my labour started my husband helped me to squat as much as possible in those initial hours to help move my labor along and boy did it work!
- Raspberry Leaf Tea. Usually around 35 weeks I start drinking 2 cups of pure raspberry leaf tea. You can also try the capsules if you’re not a tea person. It hasn’t really been confirmed whether or not drinking the stuff helps. But I did it with Oakland and have just started taking it for this pregnancy too. You can read more about it here.
- Evening Primrose Oil. Again research about EPO and pregnancy is pretty speculative and I didn’t find that it brought on labor in any way shape or form. But I would prick one of the gel capsules and shove it up my who ha every night from about 37 weeks on. It’s said to help prevent tearing which I think we can all agree we would like to avoid. I did it the first time and intend to do it this time as well. Buy it here.
- Dates. As in like the fruit. Eat them. I try to eat them throughout my pregnancy. You can easily chop them up and throw them in a smoothie as a natural sweetener. Sometimes as a snack I split them open and stuff them with some almond butter! If you really don’t like the tastes of dates (aka sugar) then try eating an RX bar next time you need a snack. Why dates? I don’t know. Here’s an article about it.
- Visit your Chiropractor. Well if you can find a good one that is. Thankfully my husband is a great chiropractor. You know that saying “a contractors house is never finished”? well it holds true with “a Chiropractors wife is never worked on”. Thankfully Devon is more willing to help me in pregnancy since he sees many pregnant women and the great deal of pain they are all in. Nearing the end of my pregnancy he will adjust me to ensure proper pelvic alignment. Mainly he uses Active Release Technique on the surrounding muscles to ensure tightened muscles don’t prevent the progression of labour. More info on it here.
I’m officially 35 weeks today, however I’m only measuring 33 weeks and have been told to rest more so the baby can grow. Oakland is almost 15 months and full of energy and mischief so my resting days are long gone. Probably means I’m in for another 41 week pregnancy. Yay me!!