5 Labor and Delivery Hacks Straight from Our Experts

When you’re pregnant, your body is busy gestating your baby for their eventual birth. You can use your pregnancy to gestate ideas and plans, too, to make that birth as easy as possible.

Just as you prepare your body in the prenatal period by taking folic acid and other vitamins to help your baby develop, you can prepare your body and mind for childbirth. While nothing makes natural childbirth pain-free, and even medications only dull part of the pain, working toward an easier birth helps you feel in control on the momentous day.

At Florida Woman Care of Jacksonville, our skilled and caring OB/GYNs, Daniel McDyer, MD, FACOG, and Julian Stephen Suhrer, MD, help you prepare for labor and childbirth at our two Jacksonville, Florida, locations. We offer prenatal care, check-ups, and ultrasound studies to ensure you and your baby stay healthy and strong throughout pregnancy.

Would you like some hacks to make your labor easier? Following are five of our favorites.

1. Get in shape

While it may feel ironic to “get in shape” as your shape changes during pregnancy, the fitter you are going into labor, the easier that labor will be. If you’re already active and exercise regularly, you can probably stick to your workout schedule, with some modifications during the last trimester.

If you haven’t exercised regularly in a while, we custom-design a fitness regimen that lets you build up from where you are. We recommend a variety of exercises that keep you strong and flexible, including:

Prenatal yoga helps keep you flexible and strong when you need to push during labor. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise 5-6 days a week and 30 minutes of prenatal yoga 1-2 days a week. 

2. Come up with a birth plan

The more you envision your dream birth, the easier it is for your doctors and those around you to help you achieve it. For instance, if you prefer vaginal birth to cesarean, be sure you let us know and put it in your plan, too. As long as it’s safe for you and your child, we then try to ensure that you deliver vaginally.

Pack a bag with items you think will help you relax during childbirth. You may want to wear a favorite pair of socks or create a playlist to keep you calm during contractions. Write your plans down or use this Birth Plan form and share it with your birth team. 

3. Build a birth team

Whenever possible, have a support team both before and during childbirth. Hire a doula or encourage your partner to learn massage and breathing techniques to keep you calm during labor. Having support means you may be less likely to undergo a cesarean or have other complications during delivery.

Your team also knows your birth plan. If your mind is on other things (like pushing), they can remind your doctor what medications you’ve OK’d or would like to forgo, if possible.

4. Study

Take Lamaze and other classes that teach you to focus and breathe during labor pains. Read books and watch videos on natural childbirth. 

You can also learn to do Kegels to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Consider working with a pelvic floor specialist, too.

5. Change positions

Lying in bed on your back during labor may be necessary at some stage, but whenever possible, keep changing positions. Standing up and walking also presses the baby’s head against the cervix, helping it to open. 

You might also use a birthing ball, which keeps your hips open. A squatting position is also helpful when delivering. Many other cultures use squatting or sitting positions for childbirth.

Learn how to use your pregnancy to prepare for birth by contacting our supportive team today in Jacksonville, Florida. Call our friendly office staff or use our convenient appointment form online.

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