How I’m assisting my body to prepare for birth

The human body is an amazing thing.

When my now 19 month old was born, we were discharged from hospital and enjoying a coffee in a café before we went home. We were admiring our newborn bundle in his car seat and cracking up laughing about how crazy it was that we could just make a baby and that anyone would let us take him home!

We haven’t mucked around with getting baby number two on the way, she’ll be here in a matter of weeks.

I am feeling pumped to give birth again, it’s like how I’d imagine a marathon runner feels before running another marathon – the anticipation building, getting mentally into “the zone” (I am hypnobirthing again) and the physical preparation starting to get underway.

Here’s what I am eating and doing to prepare for another pain relief free, natural birth:

1. Dates
Eating six dates a day from about 36 weeks is said to assist the body leading up to birth. Woman who did this reported less intervention and an easier birth than those who did not.
I have been eating them in cookies and in bliss balls as an easy and delicious way to eat six dates a day.

2. Raspberry Leaf Tea
I drink between 2 – 4 cups a day, it is said to bring on labour however that will only happen if the body is ready. It certainly didn’t work for me with my first – I drank it by the liter and still went 10 days overdue! The reason I’m drinking it again this time around is because it is thought to tone the uterus so that it can contract well in labour and in birth.
It can be sweetened with a little honey if preferred.

3. Evening Primrose Oil
I take this in capsual form. From 36 weeks it is ok to take orally then, closer to due date, it can be inserted high into the vagina. If you are inserting it, I would suggest doing this at night time when you go to bed and wearing a panty liner.
Evening Primrose Oil is thought to help soften and ripen the cervix in preparation for labour. In labour the cervix must be soft in order to thin and dilate effectively.

4. Pineapples
Pineapples contain bromelain.
This is thought to help soften the cervix and induce labour naturally however you’d have to eat seven pineapples for this to be effective. This being said, I’m happily eating pineapple daily because they’re yummy. It they have any added bonuses that will assist during labour, that is a bonus!

5. Potassium
Potassium is needed for labour. It it thought that the body may not go into labour if it does not have adequate potassium stores so eat a banana a day to ensure you have enough potassium (as a smoothie for a lovely nutrition hit!). Potassium is also found in 100% coconut water (a cup is the same as one banana).

6. Probiotics
My son suffers from eczema. At it’s worst stage it was so severe they kept trying to put him in the hospital. One easy way to help reduce the chances of eczema is to take probiotics during pregnancy.  I take eczema sheild by Ethical Nutrients, from the chilled section of the pharmacy.
I have been told that a good idea is to insert the probiotics vaginally to populate the birth canal with good bacteria so that as baby passes through,  they swallow the probiotics. Worth a shot?

7. Sleeping on the left side
This is the side which is favoured in pregnancy for optimal fetal development. It is also great for encouraging baby to get into the right position. Sleep with a pillow between the knees if that is more comfortable for you.

8. Bouncing on a swiss ball/bumpy car ride/walking
These are thought to encourage baby down into the pelvis using gravity. Some people say they bring on labour but they absolutely didn’t for me. I believe labour is a little more complex than that.

9. Meditation
I use guided meditation on YouTube. This is a wonderful way to relax, bknd with the unborn child and helps me to get to sleep at night. Here are a couple of links to the ones I have been doing:

10. Yoga
Yoga. Yoga. Yoga.
Feeling uncomfortable?  Feeling aches and pains? Trouble getting to sleep at night?
Honestly, yoga before bed. I don’t know what I’d do without it. There are numerous classes around but you can also yoga from your living room.
Here’s a link to the one I use, it’s only 10minutes long but there are 5 episodes to do if you wish to do longer (very easy):

Pregnancy is a little like parenting where there is a sense of waiting for the next stage to hurry up already. Don’t wish this time away!! The sooner your baby is here, the sooner they grow up and the time goes too fast anyway.

I know pregnancy can be an uncertain and uncomfortable time but remember to send love to your body for doing such an amazing thing, making a human. Not every woman gets to do this with their bodies so it’s not something to be taken for granted.

All the best for your birthing experiences x

Love x

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