If you began your birth class in your first or second trimester, you are likely wondering what to do now. To help, I’ve compiled a list of 4 things you should do when you have some time between now and your amazing birth.
1.Practice, practice, practice!
Make sure that you are setting aside time to practice what you have learned in class. Make sure to exercise and do the exercises to make your body strong for the marathon of birth. These exercises are also helpful for mitigating aches and discomforts. And don’t forget to stay on track with the Birth Boot Camp Kegel Program!
If you’re having a hard time getting your exercises in, set reminders in your phone and develop some incentives to motivate you. Do some bridging before you eat breakfast. Purchase a foam roller to use in the evening as you wind down on all areas of your body that we discussed. Take a break at work to do a little walking and conclude your time with a modified static lunge. While you watch a show or do a hobby like knitting or reading, practice tailor sitting.
Get comfortable with the various relaxations and do them in different laboring positions. Mix up the time of day you do these. Total body relaxation is crucial for to minimize pain and to help labor progress successfully.
2.Have a movie night!
We watched a lot of birth movies/footage in class, so now is a great time to check out a full-length birth or baby-related documentary with your spouse. A few of my favorites are “The Business of Being Born”, “Babies”, “Born in the U.S.A.”, and “Miriam: Home Delivery”. Grab some popcorn (or another snack!) and enjoy a date night in.
NOTE: If you have past birth trauma, you could find these movies (especially “The Business of Being Born” and “Born in the U.S.A.”) to be triggering or difficult to watch. Use good judgment in whether or not to watch.
3.Compile your list of resources.
If you took the 10-week Birth Boot Camp class series with me, you likely met many different professionals who you may want to consult for your birth or for the postpartum time. Take the time to visit their websites, set up a consultation, and figure out what professionals you want to see for your overall wellness as well as having numbers accessible for these various situations:
1) For help with labor progress, especially if stalled or overdue (chiropractor, acupuncture, massage therapist, doula)
2) For breastfeeding help and questions (IBCLC- lactation consultant)
3) For pregnancy physical concerns and pelvic floor concerns like incontinence, painful sex, and/or tearing (pelvic floor physical therapist)
4) For postpartum mood depression or anxiety (your provider, counselor)
4.Hash out a postpartum plan.
This portion of birth preparation is often overlooked, but is crucial for the major life transition coming up! Who is going to help in the early days? What friends or family members do you want to be in your home?
Create a list of chores and responsibilities you may need to outsource in the first few months of baby’s life. Consider other children, pets, yard maintenance, cleaning, and cooking. A meal delivery sign-up can be a lifesaver if you have friends and family members willing to organize this for you. You can also prepare some freezer meals in advance or put restaurant gift cards on your registry! Consider your return to work (if a factor) and come up with some initial plans for that time as well. While it is true that you will not fully know how you feel about these things until after baby has arrived, do your best to put some flexible plans in place now.
The final months and weeks of your pregnancy are a special and exciting time. If you’ve taken a Birth Boot Camp class, you received an excellent in-depth preparation for the events ahead. Now take time to pause, recall, and practice what you have learned as a couple.
I am looking forward to hearing your birth story when you are on the other side!
Are you pregnant and looking to take a birth class? Schedule a free, 15-minute video consultation with me to discuss upcoming birth classes in Zionsville as well as online options for couples who travel or live outside of central Indiana.
Note from Liz: It is amazing the world we live in! The author of this post, Erin Ontiveros, and I met online several years ago through the similar work we do with women and families. Although she lives in Rochester, NY I ended up having the opportunity to meet up in-person when Erin's husband's work brought them to the state of Indiana.
It is a privilege to have Erin write for the Indy FertiltyCare blog this month on the topic of breastfeeding success and needless to say, how she approached the topic surprised AND delighted me!
I am a big believer in less is more! So when Liz suggested I talk about tools for successful breastfeeding I immediately said, “ Easy, none!” I wanted to show that, in fact, you don’t need any!! Also, as a promoter and advocate for breastfeeding I don’t want “things” to be a stumbling block for anyone wanting to breastfeed. The most important thing that a mom needs to breastfeed is a willingness to do so.
However, I suppose that is not all there is to it. While breastfeeding is natural, it does not always come naturally. So here are my must haves for breastfeeding success; they may not be tools, but they will be a great resource to a new breastfeeding mom.
So now you are saying: “yes, but we do need some things like a breast pump and nursing tops? Well, now I will explain why you do not really need those.
Erin Ontiveros turned her sights onto educating and supporting mothers after realizing that society is failing to fully prepare women for birth and motherhood. She has recently extended this passion to bringing light to the postpartum period and counseling women on fertility awareness methods. Erin is a wife and mother of 3, a certified lactation counselor, a certified birth doula, and a prenatal educator who works with women locally and online via her webpage.
I am honored to have been asked to contribute a blog post for Hail Marry, a ministry on Catholic marriage and family life. Coincidentally, my post was released today on the 50th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae which is such a beautiful document that continues to inspire and motivate my husband and me to be faithful to God and His law and grow our marriage
I could not help but contribute my thoughts on the challenging postpartum time.
You can read it here at their website.
I'm working together with this ministry to feature one of their writers for an upcoming Indy FertilityCare blog posts, so stay tuned!
Certified FertilityCare Practitioner & Birth Boot Camp Instructor
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