Childbirth “Training”

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby on. Posted in My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY

In one of the posts I mentioned the hours I have to spend a day preparing for childbirth. I’ve often heard the intensity and strength of childbirth is compared to a marathon and the preparations needed being just as important.

So I’d like to break it down for you:

Kegels: 3 times a day

This one is easy. It’s best to start as soon as possible even before you’re pregnant to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles to prevent issues with urinary leakage during pregnancy and after birth, as well as get them strong enough to push effectively. I have to say my PC muscles weren’t very strong when I started, some time after my 1st trimester nausea subsided. I use a iPhone app called Kegel Camp to train 3 times a day. The difference in my PC muscle strength now is amazing. It is a pain in the butt to remember to do them three times a day ( I have to put it on my daily to-do list), but it’s definitely worth it not having to pee your pants anytime you laugh or sneeze.

Strengthening exercises: 30 min

These were taken from the the Bradley Book and combined with a few pregnancy exercises. I mainly concentrated on my abs and my upper thighs , since those are the main things that will need endurance and strength when time comes to push the baby out. I have to admit that with the introduction of additional hypnobabies training (see below), I just haven’t been finding the time to do these lately . I feel really bummy about it, but I have to learn to accept that sometimes I can’t do it all. I just simply can’t fit it into my day anymore. I TRY to do them every day but I fail more often than I succeed.

Perineal massage: 10 min a day

Oh, this one is my favorite! NOT!

Guys, I gotta tell you – I was looking forward to doing it and preparing in that way and was waiting to turn 32 weeks to start. The massage has been shown useful in preventing muscle and skin tears during delivery and is to be done once a day 6-8 weeks before due date.

What I didn’t anticipate was how awful the first try was going to be. {If you don’t know how it’s done, look it up, so that you knew what I am talking about} I attempted to do it myself, but my big belly just didn’t let me get into a position where I could do it. So I did what most women do –  ask my husband. We got all set up, prepared the oil, and he tried it with 1 (!!!) finger. OH MY FREAKING GOD! I literally jumped back, looking at him like “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?” It was really painful and the feeling wasn’t like anything I’ve felt before. After a few more attempts, I said “Screw it! We are waiting till next week to try again!”

The next week we resumed and now that I knew what to expect and used my relaxation techniques things went a lot smoother, but it’s definitely not a fun thing to do, I’ll tell ya! So 4 weeks later, there’s a HUGE improvement in elasticity, but you know what I think is the most valuable thing in doing the massage? It’s the familiarity with the feeling of what the baby’s head will feel like pressing on all the same parts while crowning. I can now imagine where “ring of fire” term came from. lol I am now actually prepared for that feeling and feel I can take a lot more than what  we’re doing, i.e. baby’s head.

Inversions: 3 times a day

I only had to do this for a few days. Back when Alexis was transverse, I did inversions (spinningbabies.com) 3 times a day to encourage her to flip. I don’t know whether that helped or she flipped on her own, but she was good and engaged a week later.

Walking: 40 min a day

(to encourage baby to flip head down when she was transverse)

I stopped doing it, because I started getting very strong Braxton Hicks a bit too often for my peace of mind. I’ll be resuming the walks after 38th week.

Finger drop 5 times a day

This is a relaxation technique to be done as a part of Hypnobabies course. You basically let your whole body go limp for about 5 minutes total, while doing the techniques they teach you in the Hypnobabies course 5 times a day is challenging but it’s also good  to force yourself to take a 5 minute break to relax.

Hypnosis track: 40 min a day

Again, this is a part of Hypnobabies program. Every day you’re supposed to listen to 1 Hypnosis track, preferably during the day, though I do delegate it to right before bed most of the time. It is THE BEST remedy against insomnia. It knocks me out in a matter of minutes and my husband loves it so much that he downloaded it on his iPhone as well and turns it on in the morning when he has trouble going back to sleep. (Speaking of sleep, since he started drinking that cherry extract he’s had no problems sleeping (cherry juice contains melatonin that helps regulate your sleep cycle)

Affirmations: 35 min a day

A non-hypnosis track that helps you set a positive tone in your mind about childbirth. It can be listened any time and I usually turn it on while writing a blog post or doing some work. It’s a great tool to ease worries and concerns about pregnancy and childbirth. It’s definitely helped me have a more positive outlook on things.

Partner script: 10 minutes every other day

This is something we do together. My birth partner (my husband) reads out a hypnosis script to me every other night while I practice my relaxation. It’s very helpful and I gotta say, having him read that script is much more powerful than the hypnosis tape.

 

I have to admit- it’s a lot! And it gets overwhelming sometimes. I try to make it my priority but it’s hard to do, since there’re always more pressing things to accomplish rather than prepare for this hypothetical, some-time-in-the-future event. It’s always extremely hard to do something that you can’t see the results for right away (or even know if it would work). But I guess all important things in life are like that: eating well and exercising for your health, going to school to advance in a career, parenting, saving money for the future- it all requires lots of patience and determination and in the end it’s always worth it.

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