Our prenatal visit is coming to an end and so far we’ve discussed your birth plan, explored what comfort measures you want to use in labor, soothed your concerns, and created a “game day” plan. Just as we are giving goodbye hugs we get one more question…
“What should we be doing these last few weeks of pregnancy to prepare for labor?”
Our answer? Seek balance.
Why? Feeling balanced feels so good.
What does seeking balance look like? Finding ways to feel pleasure, loved, and supported.
It is going to be a little bit different for everyone, but we want you to prioritize self care; doing whatever makes you feel good and safe in your body and mind as you approach giving birth and bringing your newborn home.
Balance of the mind.
What feelings keep cropping up?
Recognize them and speak them aloud. Find someone you trust to explore them with. Talk to your partner, call your mother, set up an appointment with your therapist, get coffee with your best friend, call us! Practice really paying attention to yourself and having those feelings validated, and if you are not liking what you find, take a deep breath and try to let them go.
Breath in peace, and blow out stress.
This exercise is one that that can be applied to cope with emotions and sensations while pregnant. Practicing now will give you rhythm and balance you can rely on when you a laboring.
It feels good to be heard and at peace!
Balance of the body.
Have your partner give you a massage. Practice the comfort measures you learned in class. Take a nice long bath with candles and your favorite beverage to sip. Listen to music, enjoy good company, and eat food that brings you pleasure. Find ways that help you release all the tension in your body.
For a lot of us we still feel pressure in our body when we are in a deeply relaxed state. This is a good indication that visiting a chiropractor or massage therapist is extra valuable to realign and release the body. By releasing tension and finding joy in your body, you will get better rest, produce oxytocin, and find rituals to incorporate into labor. Our goal is for you to feel good.
It feels amazing when your body is relaxed, aligned, and nourished!
Balance in support.
Close your eyes, and think through different scenarios that may develop when you bring baby home. Do you know who to call if you have lactation issues? Pelvic floor pain? Mood changes? A friend who will answer at 2 in the morning? Do you have a postpartum doula?
The purpose of this exercise is not to scare you into thinking about all the things that can go wrong, but rather reassure you that no matter what comes your way you have resources. You are not alone. You have a whole circle of support to lean on!
It feels good to feel supported!
Balance equals less stress.
When you are intentional about taking time to find balance in these areas, you are changing how your body experiences stress. Sometimes seeking balance makes you feel better, and even if you don’t find complete peace in this moment, you have created an environment where you feel safe to meet your baby.
Our hope for you is that by focusing on what feels good, rather than forcing yourself to do things you should do, these exercises become a common and healing element of your last few weeks of pregnancy. This balance will also flow into your postpartum recovery period, and may be helpful as you transition to life with a little one.
Do what works for you.
Your doulas are there for you through it all.
By: Alyssa Seidorf