Tips to help you prepare for Childbirth

During vaginal childbirth, the first stage of labour lasts for 12 to 19 hours and starts when your baby settles lower into your pelvis, in response to which your cervix begins to efface or become thinner and dilate or widen. During this time, you may feel strong regular contractions occurring every five to twenty minutes, and experience lower back pain and cramping that does not go away. You may see a brownish or reddish discharge, which is the mucous plug at the opening of your cervix falling. Your water may break, resulting in a gush of fluid or a continuous trickle. If you experience any of these symptoms, you must contact your doctor immediately.

Since you’re not going to have much time to prepare yourself once you go into labour, you need to take certain steps beforehand. Here are 5 tips that will help you prepare for childbirth:

Attend childbirth classes

Childbirth classes, which range from one-day classes to weekly classes that last up to a month, provide you with information about childbirth and help clear myths or unnecessary fears you may have about it. They also usually teach relaxation techniques and exercises that will help you cope better with the birthing process. These classes are conducted by trained individuals and generally consist of lectures, discussions and exercise sessions, where you can practice with your significant other.

Read books and blogs

It is always helpful to read books and blogs on pregnancy and childbirth as this content is usually written by people who have already experienced something that you will in the future. It is useful to know about other cases as it helps you prepare yourself better. However, it is important to note that you must not blindly believe everything you read on the internet or in books. Always consult your doctor before trying something new, especially if you have pre-existing conditions. 

Keep a bag ready with all your birthing essentials

During the course of your pregnancy, you must have realized that there are certain things that keep you relaxed or relieve you of pain. Keep a bag full of these essentials ready a month before your due date. This way, you will not have to worry last minute and can rest or concentrate on more important things. A few things that should definitely be in your birth bag are important documents, clothing such as socks, dressing gown or nightgown, and underwear, flip flops, toiletries, phone and charger, camera, snacks and drinks. 

Prepare a birth plan

Some of you must be wondering what a birth plan is. Well, a birth plan is a list of wishes and requirements that you want your doctor in charge or midwives to follow. You can always talk to your doctor in advance but a birth plan is a safe option. A birth plan should include the type of labour and birth you would like to follow, what to do in the worst scenario and what to avoid. 

Book your hospital room in advance

Booking your room in advance will ensure that you get a room of your choice, and can avoid the hassle of last-minute bookings. One of the leading names in the country, Apollo Cradle offers you various benefits when you opt for their Early Bed Booking program, including 2 free fetal scans, 2 free yoga classes, 2 free sessions with a nutritionist and a childbirth education session that includes Lamaze and labour preparation. You can also avail 10% off on all in-house diagnostics, and have your baby’s picture clicked by a professional photographer. 

Use this as a checklist to ensure that you’re all set for a smooth childbirth experience.