Family, Self

5 Critical Things To Do BEFORE You Actually Give Birth To Your Baby

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Prepare for Childbirth

Getting yourself physically and mentally ready for childbirth is extremely important. You need to be healthy and fit enough to cope with what could possibly be a long and tiring labor. There's also the need to be able to cope once you have the baby, and the more prepared you are the easier it will be.

Childbirth is one of the most difficult things a woman can face, but with a bit of forward planning you can deal with it a lot better. As well as shopping for maternity wear and nursery furniture, plan ahead and get your mind and body ready for labor.

1. Improve your fitness regimen.

You should plan ahead and start your fitness regime before you get pregnant. The fitter you are, the easier your body will cope with the strains of being pregnant, and you will find that you won't tire as easily during labor. Labor is a grueling physical event, and for women having their first baby it usually lasts a lot longer than the second or third time around.

2. Prepare yourself mentally.

Half of the battle during labor is getting over the mental hurdles and coping with the pain. Some women opt for pain relief, which is entirely up to them, but if you choose to use little or no pain relief then you need to be mentally strong. Do plenty of reading before-hand, attend pre-natal classes, and educate yourself about childbirth. When you understand what's going on and the process your body is going through, it can help you deal with it.

3. Lean on your a support system.

Whether it's your partner, your family or the midwives, you need to have someone there keeping you calm, talking you through each contraction, and being there to hold your hand.

Your partner is ideal, as he will want to be involved. Prepare him for childbirth so he knows what to expect and let him know beforehand how important his role is. Sometimes fathers can feel a little useless during labor, but many women mention afterward how their partner got them through it.

4. Book the hospital ahead of time.

On one of your later visits to the doctor, it's likely that you will fill out paper work that will guarantee you a place in the hospital. You may choose to have your baby in a private or public hospital, or even in a smaller facility. Make sure you plan well ahead if you want to have a baby in a private hospital, and ensure you have adequate health coverage.

5. Tie up loose ends for your trip to the hospital.

Be prepared for when you go into labor. Have your bag packed with things for the hospital for both you and the baby, starting at about 36 weeks. Know which route you're going to take to the hospital. It can help to do a practice run so you know how long it takes and that you're sure you aren't going to get lost.