What I’m Doing to Prepare for Labor

Literally no one has asked this, hahaha, but I thought it would be an interesting blog post to talk about everything I’m doing to prepare for labor and delivery! I apologize to all of you who aren’t pregnant right now, cause you might not think it’s very interesting unless you have to go through labor yourself. Since I’m 30 weeks pregnant and baby girl’s due date is not so far away now, I have to admit that I’m getting a little nervous about giving birth. No matter what, I have to go through with it now, haha! That being said, I’ve been doing some research and have a plan to prepare my body as best as I can to make sure that labor and delivery go as smoothly as possible. Obviously I know that there are so many unexpected things that can happen during delivery… but at the end of the day, I want to feel like I prepared as best I could!

Here’s everything we are doing or have done to prepare:

Hire a Doula

We made the decision to hire a doula after hearing how helpful they are during labor and delivery and how they can actually improve birth outcomes. A doula provides physical and emotional support to you and your partner and is also highly trained in techniques to guide you through labor by helping you breathe, relax, change positions, etc. Our doulas have a very natural approach to childbirth, which we love, and they’re available via text 24/7 anytime I have a question. I really wanted a doula present in the hospital room because they act as an intermediary between you and the doctor – for example, if the doctor is about to perform an episiotomy without a mother’s consent, the doula might say, “Dr. Smith has scissors in his hand. Do you have any questions about what he is wanting to do with the scissors?” I love that the doula listens to the mother, supports her decisions and helps amplify her voice during labor and delivery.

Birthing Classes

Chris and I have been taking online birthing classes through our doula (here is the link – I’m pretty sure anyone can buy and watch the online classes). They have been so helpful for us because honestly, I did not know much about labor before this!! The online classes walk you through what it means to be dilated, effaced, and all of those other technical terms, what to do while you’re laboring at home, some techniques to help you relax while you’re in labor, how to know you’re in active labor, and much, much more. We are only on the third video but already feel like we know what to expect, and just knowing what’s going to happen makes it feel less “scary” and unknown – and helps us feel more confident!

Eat Dates Every Day

A lot of people think this is an old wives tale, but I did find several studies that backed up the claim that eating dates in your third trimester helps with labor! Randomized trials found that eating six to eight dates a day during late pregnancy helped increase cervical ripening and reduce the need for medical labor induction or augmentation. I don’t eat dates every day (yet), but I do have several per week – I like to toss them in smoothies, but my favorite way to eat them is to take the pit out and replace it with my favorite peanut butter instead. I call it “Nature’s Reese’s!” As we get closer to the due date, I will increase my intake of dates to several per day.

Continue to Work Out

I’m not going to lie – it has been difficult for me to work out during pregnancy! I feel like my muscles are weaker and I just don’t have as much energy as my pre-pregnancy self. However, one of my sweet readers sent me a message that really resonated with me. She said that giving birth is like an intense workout, and afterward she wished she had “trained” for it by doing more cardio! I think this is a great mindset… every time I work out, I think about it as though I’m training for a marathon. Keeping your body active, going on lots of walks and doing some strength-training exercises will keep your body and muscles strong when it’s finally “go time!” I try to take a couple of at-home pure barre classes per week and go on at least two walks per day. Even on days where I feel really tired, I at least try to get in a 15-minute prenatal yoga class.

Spinning Babies Exercises

You can start to do some exercises in the third trimester that help the baby get in the right position for birth. Ideally, you want the baby to be head down in an anterior position (where the baby’s head is facing toward your back). I had no idea that practicing certain exercises every day can help create more space for your baby to get into the right position for birth! Our doula gave us a few positions to practice every day, such as pelvic rocking and squatting (both from the Spinning Babies website). My friend had a breech baby and was able to get the baby head down after several weeks of these exercises!

Weekly Chiropractor Visits

I started seeing a Webster Certified chiropractor in my second trimester, since my back pain was so bad in my first trimester. (Side note: if you are going to to a chiropractor during pregnancy, make sure they are Webster Certified! Chiropractors who are Webster Certified have the training needed to deal with pelvic balance during pregnancy and they are VERY gentle!) I really love and trust my chiropractor – she is amazing and has always been 100% honest with me about what a chiropractor can (and can’t) do. There is a lot of evidence that getting regular chiropractic adjustments throughout your pregnancy can help ensure your pelvis, spine and hips are properly aligned – and provide a faster labor and easier delivery. I will say… ever since I started going to her, my back pain has been almost nonexistent! I mean, I even drove 14 hours up to New York and back and did not experience a single bit of back pain!!! I only see my chiropractor once a week for now, but later on in pregnancy (around 35 weeks), I will start seeing her twice a week.

Perineal Massage

I won’t go into too much detail about perineal massage here on the blog (if you’re curious, just google it, haha), but I ordered this olive oil butter specifically for my perineal area and have been practicing a perineal massage weekly since the second trimester. I don’t do this every single night, but usually a couple of times per week after I’ve taken a shower or bath. I’ve had a few friends who said that keeping this area moisturized and massaged help reduce tearing during labor.

Continue to Eat Healthy

Another thing that has been a priority for me during pregnancy: continuing to eat healthy! I got into a bad habit in my first trimester of giving into my sugar cravings (especially when I felt nauseous), and to be honest, it has been difficult to break the cycle during the rest of pregnancy. I still have some pretty vicious cravings for sugar (which I do indulge in), but for the most part we have continued to make nourishing, home-cooked meals with organic ingredients. One major difference is that I snack A TON more these days! I am pretty much always hungry and have to eat every hour, on the hour. I’ve learned that if I keep my fridge and pantry stocked with heathy snacks instead of junk food, then that is what I’ll reach for – and it makes a huge difference in how I feel, from my energy levels to my mood! My go-to healthy snacks during pregnancy have been apples with peanut butter, Greek yogurt with granola and fresh fruit, avocado toast, and a handful of nuts like almonds and walnuts.

If you have any other tips for preparing for labor and delivery, please let us all know in the comments!!

P.S. If you missed any of my other pregnancy blog posts, I have written a ton of other posts, including what’s on our baby registry, what I eat in a week, my pregnancy must-haves, etc! Check them out here. 🙂

Leave a Comment

48 Comments

  1. Maureen

    Is your hospital allowing doulas? I’ve known a few people who have given birth at different stages in March and each momma was only allowed one person in the hospital with them. My friend is a doula so I’m all about them just curious how that works right now! Totally realize each hospital has different policies based on where they are in the US too.

    11.3.20Reply
    • As of right now, a doula is allowed into the hospital where I live in North Carolina! But we have not had any in-person meetings, just Facetime calls, due to everything going on 🙂

      11.3.20Reply
      • Maureen

        That’s great they are allowed as of right now! I was just super curious since I’ve only known of people having one other person allowed. Can’t believe you’re 30 weeks, I swear I just saw the announcement on Instagram!

        11.4.20Reply
  2. Ashton

    I second the working out part! I had to push for 2 hours and I was happy that my body was fit and able to do all of the work for that long. I would also say in terms of general preparation having your overnight bag ready to go is helpful because my water broke (it was a big break) and it was nice to just grab everything and get in the car. Also, make sure the car seat is already installed in the car (one less thing to worry about). And lastly, I would say try to make sure your husband is ready! Mine had to actually help push my back during labor and he was prepared to remain positive and was the cheerleader I needed. Hope that helps!

    11.3.20Reply
  3. Victoria

    I bounced on a ball the final weeks of pregnancy and went into labor spontaneously at 38 weeks. I also really agree with continuing to workout right until delivery! I would bounce on a ball and go for walks. Also cat cow exercises to keep your core strong! I used my abs most when pushing and only had to push for 10 minutes and I believe it is due to keeping my core strong. At the end of the day just relax and know it’s in God’s hands!

    11.3.20Reply
  4. Jo

    Check out the Expectful Meditation App – designed for soon to be mamas, and those wanting to conceive, there are even meditations for couples as well. I’d listen to a mediation each night before bed to help me relax and sleep. While I was in labor I listened and repeated many of the mantras throughout my 30 minutes of pushing and it helped my mental toughness to be present in the moment, knowing each breath I take will bring me one step closer to meeting my baby.

    11.3.20Reply
  5. Kelly

    Will you be posting a birth story?

    11.3.20Reply
  6. Nancy

    I’m surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this! I’m not even close to being pregnant but I’m sure I’ll be coming back to this when I am. Lots of great tips and I love how thoughtfully you are preparing for labor. I hope everything goes well!

    11.3.20Reply
  7. Elle

    As a NICU nurse and recent new mom, all I can recommend is to have an open mind. A birth plan is always great to have, but be very open to change. Deliveries are hard work for the mother and the baby and just remember that at the end of the day you just want a healthy baby. If you go in with this mindset, it will be easier in the delivery room when things take a turn (because they most likely will). Also, do not let anyone make you feel guilty. Use your best judgment and trust those doctors and nurses. They only want what is best and most safe for your babe. Lots of prayers! It’s worth all the pain and recovery when you get to hold your little one in your arms. Congrats!!

    11.3.20Reply
    • Meghan

      This! I’m a premie mom and I wish I had a more open mind going into the end of my third trimester. What happened was out of my control and now my premie is a happy and very healthy 9.5 year old but I suffered a huge amount of guilt after giving birth, a lot of which was my own doing, because I created a perfect birth scenario in my head. Trust your doctors and nurses and encourage your husband to be your voice if you cannot. Mine was in my second labor experience, without him I wouldn’t have gotten to attempt a vbac!

      11.4.20Reply
    • Danielle

      Yes, absolutely keep an open mind. With my 2nd child I thought I would have an epidural like I did with my first, it would be smooth sailing, and after a textbook perfect pregnancy that I would have no issues…until the epidural failed. I had to give birth naturally and was NOT prepared. I actually have PTSD from it. If it were not for my nurses, I wouldn’t have been able to get through it. The pain was unbearable and I had no idea how to push and get in the right mindset because of it. I had not prepared for a natural birth-which takes being prepared for!

      11.6.20Reply
      • Chasidy

        Girl, same!! My epidural failed and I had back labor. It was excruciating. My body was in shock by the time baby girl was out. I was shaking and I didn’t even know she was out. The nurses kept yelling “open your eyes.”

        11.11.20Reply
  8. Sally Nichols

    Hi Caitlin, I am just entering my second trimester, and I was wondering how you kept up your water intake? I am still feeling nauseous and was wondering if you had any tips. It’s been my biggest struggle!

    11.3.20Reply
    • Yes, it was really difficult for me to drink water too when I was feeling nauseous! I had to experiment with some different drinks, but I ended up finding Topo Chico (the lime flavor) and it was about the only thing I could drink! I have drank that all of pregnancy! I also made a bunch of smoothies and that made it easier to get my water intake and also my fruits/veggies!

      11.3.20Reply
  9. Rebecca

    Could you give some ideas about the healthy meals you are making? I have good intentions of making things every week and then when its time for dinner, I dont want anything I have bought! I am getting in a really bad habit of just ordering out what I am craving! I am hoping it gets easier once though the second trimester :/

    11.3.20Reply
  10. Kerry

    Definitely have faith and trust in your doctor(s) & nurse(s). My doctor and nurse were absolutely amazing during the entire labor part (and even my hubby was in on the experience-he had to hold one of my legs!) They coached me so amazingly while pushing (2 hours!), and before I knew it, my little guy was here! Admittedly I was terrified about giving birth, to the point that I let my emotions get the better of me sometimes and I had a few breakdowns about it. I had to be induced three weeks early, due to being diagnosed with preeclampsia, so this added to my stress about labor. I only knew a little bit about being induced (what my doctor told me), but otherwise, I was clueless and even more scared. It was definitely an experience being induced. Instead of my body naturally going into labor, it had to be done with the use of a balloon catheter and other things. So, I laid in the hospital bed for a day and a half before my water broke. Is your hospital allowing a doula with the COVID restrictions? If so, that’s really great! Our hospital didn’t allow anyone, just me and my hubby, not even visitors (honestly it was kind of nice that we couldn’t have visitors, it allowed my husband and I to really enjoy our little one during those first few days and to really bond with baby). I would definitely agree with an earlier post, don’t let anyone make you feel guilty, trust your body, your doctors and nurses, and what you and your husband feel is right. Congrats again, you’re going to do great!

    11.3.20Reply
  11. Elizabeth

    Oh you should look up “Gentle Birth tincture” Amazon sells it. I’ve had 4 children and my longest labor was only 6 hours (no meds needed at all). I recommended it to all my friends, it’s truly incredible!

    11.3.20Reply
  12. Such a sweet baby shower!

    Briana
    https://b-wear.org/

    11.3.20Reply
  13. Lindsay

    Honestly just be prepared for anything! My doctor told me the goal is a safe delivery for mom and baby, and that helped me let go of any preconceived notions. Also, when packing your hospital bag, throw in one pair of soft pants just in case you have a c-section. I ended up with a surprise one and was unprepared with my outfit choices! Also take your breast pump (if you plan to use one) because they can show you how to operate it and help get that routine going! Hospitals do have pumps you can use but having my own made it less scary when we got home!

    11.3.20Reply
  14. Whitney

    Love all of your pregnancy posts! Thank you for being so open about your journey, I really appreciate it! Random question, what self tanner have you been using while pregnant? You always looks so gorgeous and have just the right amount of tan 🙂

    11.3.20Reply
  15. Sarah

    I’ve been enjoying following your pregnancy story! My babies are 2 yrs 5 mo. and 1 yr 3 mo. right now. I had very healthy pregnancies for both, trying to stay active and eat healthy and it helps so much! I learned about dates for my second, and it really made a difference. I would also recommend taking evening primrose oil for the same reasons. I believe both those things made it much easier for me the second time around! I also drank a lot of raspberry leaf tea during the entire pregnancy, and upped my intake during the last 10 weeks. I brought a crazy amount of coconut water with to the hospital to drink after delivery, and it was the best. I also had pure maple syrup on hand for delivery, (I didn’t end up using it but the theory is wonderful)…a few spoonfuls of it can give you the energy to keep going during the last of hard labor when your stomach is rejecting all other forms of food. 😉

    I agree with the other lady….get the carseat ready and your (and hubby’s) hospital bags ready as soon as possible, just in case things happen early! I think I had mine all set at 33 or 34 weeks.

    Having a doula will be wonderful! I had a private midwife for my first and a hospital midwife for my second, and both sort of served as a doula too. 🙂 Also, be willing to do whatever you need to, to make things safer for both you and baby during delivery! My second baby got stuck most of the way out, his shoulder was caught, and the midwife said she needed to do an episiotomy to which I said “NO!”. She then told me to do exactly as she said, right now. I was already laboring on my hands and knees and the nurses quickly laid me flat on the floor while they and the midwife manipulated my body so that baby came out quickly and I didn’t need any other intervention. Crazy, but at that moment, nothing mattered except birthing that big thumping baby boy! 🙂

    There is nothing so wonderful as being a mother, and I know you will treasure your precious baby girl. My first was a girl and I am forever glad of that. Now we have a boy and a girl, and they are the sweetest things that ever happened to us. They bring so much joy to each day!

    11.3.20Reply
  16. Jessica

    Be ready for your plans to go out the window, due to absolutely no one’s fault. I had to have an episiotomy because of how my baby’s arm was positioned (up by her neck and head) and there was absolutely nothing else that was going to help that situation. After several hours of pushing, the options were a C-section or episiotomy (and after all that pushing, I sure wasn’t going to add C-section recovery to the mix). Also, my L&D nurses were amazing. It sounds like you are happy with your doula, but please be open to accepting the guidance of your nurses. They are the true heroes of the maternity ward!

    11.3.20Reply
    • Sarah

      Yes! They push the birth plan so much but after giving birth, I have NO idea how a birth plan is even relevant. It’s almost like writing a fairytale…which are always dreams but NEVER reality. Baby’s come the way baby’s come.
      The nurses are amazing! My OB told me after if I didn’t have the nurse I had I would have been pushing needlessly for hours. The nurse made the write game time decision that saved me in so many ways.

      11.4.20Reply
  17. Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you’re already 30 weeks! So wild. You looked beautiful at your shower and I admire how you guys did it given the pandemic!

    I’m not pregnant, but as someone who wants to be, this was still an interesting read. Thanks for sharing!

    xx
    Key
    https://storiesbysuddreth.com/

    11.4.20Reply
  18. Shana

    My SIL is Webster certified and was amazing throughout my pregnancy but especially at the end. I truly believe it helped my daughter smoothly progress into position. Also raspberry tea! I’ve never heard the dates thing but we were like in SE Asia until I was 31 weeks and raspberry tea was the thing there 🙂 I agree with everyone who said be prepared for anything and trust in the people around you is so important. I didn’t do any birth classes because honestly there were things I didn’t want to know and it all worked out in the end 🙂 You’re doing great!

    11.4.20Reply
  19. This is so informative. Congratulation to you ! 🎉Please take more care!
    Thanks for sharing

    ♡————————————————————–♡
    Fashion┊Lifestyle┊Japan ― 2 Tips On How To Wear A Perfect Little Yellow Dress Outfit

    Miki’s Instagram

    11.4.20Reply
  20. Kristen

    Red raspberry leaf tea was going to be the thing I planned to do leading up to birth, around 37 weeks. But I ended up delivering at 33 weeks, definitely can’t plan for that! Haha So if anything, I also suggest getting stuff together NOW so you’re ready. I’ve heard of a lot of people delivering early this year.

    I was having cramps that I thought were Braxton Hicks. But on a morning where they were almost back to back, I had some pink discharge so I called my nurse, went to triage, and they told me I was dilated to 5. So also know that when you’re actually contracting, it could feel like cramps. I was floored since I thought it would be more painful. Lol

    You got this Caitlin! Just go in with an open mind since it’s something you can try to plan for all you want, but that sweet baby has a mind of their own!

    11.4.20Reply
  21. Ashley Smith

    Exercise is a must! I exercised all the way up to my induction dates on both kids and labor was no big deal. It also helps to keep weight off and the baby’s weight not get too high.

    11.4.20Reply
  22. Kimberly

    Y’all’ve got this! You do! Regardless of what happens (and giving birth is truly an exercise in surrender!), you’ve got this. You’re strong, you’re smart, and your body was made for this. Your baby is savvy and she knows what she needs, too. From my experiences as a postpartum RN and IBCLC, I would recommend an extra-long charge cord (or three!), some nice soft loose pants for postpartum, and a sense of humor 🙂 I will add that breastfeeding behaviors in babies shift about every 4-24 hours in the first few days and breastfeeding (and milk composition and supply!) are very different in the first week than they are after that. Every mom I’ve ever met questions if she has enough milk and has been told that breastfeeding hurts for a week or two. (She generally does and if she doesn’t, we help her address it, and IT SHOULDN’T HURT.) If you’re having any pain at all with breastfeeding or if you’re concerned about baby’s intake, I recommend that you ask an IBCLC – there usually is one on staff and they have tips that can really help take the pressure off of those first days. If you have questions, feel free to shoot me an email. You’re a fantastic mom, and your baby is so blessed to have y’all for parents!

    11.4.20Reply
  23. Arline

    I’m so happy for you Caitlin!💓 I had a really good birth and delivery with my 1st baby last year. I’m having my second baby coming in February! Something a mama of 4 told me, and she’s petite like me (I’m 5’3), she said to just walk. So literally any chance I could, I would walk! I practically walked that baby out! So doing that now with my 2nd pregnancy, and my 14 month old in tow in the stroller haha if I had to park my car and it was farther than I wanted in the parking lot, I just thought of it as a blessing in disguise and walked!

    11.4.20Reply
  24. Bri

    I laughed at your “literally no one asked..” ! I still find it all so interesting!! I just had my first little on in July!

    11.4.20Reply
  25. Andrea

    My mother was a midwife and delivery nurse and she has always told her daughters that women who walked a lot prior to labor and even during the beginning of labor before it became to intense without fail always had a much smoother and quicker delivery than women who did not. Good luck and blessings for you and your new family!

    11.4.20Reply
  26. Merritt D

    For tearing definitely look into claraderm from young living!! I just used the spray and didn’t do the massage and barely tore my first pregnancy! I imagine if I did the massage I may not have torn at all. It’s also good for post labor too.

    11.4.20Reply
  27. Sarah

    Yes! I did all these things also and was dilated 1 cm by 36 weeks and had baby at full term but 2 weeks early. Best case scenario! Only thing I would add is I did red raspberry leaf tea in increasing amounts (slowly) until I was drink about 4 cups a day. You could research to be 100% on this but I just added it to my water bottle with my normal hydration. Good luck mama! Birth is scary but you’ve got this!

    11.4.20Reply
  28. fancyrock

    I’ve been through this six times :oP and each time it was exciting, fun, and scary all at once!!

    While in labor, remember that it WILL end. You will not be contracting/transitioning/pushing forever. You can do it for these few hours…even for many hours.

    It was helpful for me to think of the pain as…well, helpful. During pain I imagined my cervix opening, and so I had an appreciative and grateful mind as the pain came. I would hum/chant positive thoughts about my pain, like “Good! Yes, keep coming…this is progress!” And of course: “I can do this!”

    In my experience, I have also learned that my first birth took WAY more time than my later births. So you may be in for a long ride. But that is ok! (Remember, it won’t last forever. It will end.)

    I thought I had this all down by the time I was due with #6, but when she started to come out breech (at a home birth!) I had to remind myself of these things. Be patient. Pain is progress. It won’t last for ever. (BTW, I had a successful natural breech birth at home, and my little baby turned 6 years old this week.)

    11.6.20Reply
  29. Holly

    As said above, an open mind is best. Doulas are also wonderful to have. For my first baby, my doula kind of took over because the midwife was so busy that night!!! She was amazing (and used to be a nurse). For labor: Walking before/during/after labor, essential oils like: frankensence, lavender, and ylang ylang under my nose, and a warm shower and bath all helped with contractions. I also used a Mama Tens unit which really helped me work through active labor and transition. Approaching the labor like running a marathon is a great mindset, it helped me to not get frustrated when things took longer than expected. Positive affirmations, visualizations, music and getting in a “zone” helped too.

    It’s normal to be anxious about labor, but I can honestly say the birth of my two kids were the best moments of my life. I would do the labor again in a heartbeat.

    After my first baby I realized I needed to focus more on the postpartum period for my second: scheduled more family to stay and watch the baby so I could sleep, made appts with my therapist for ppd/anxiety, ordered meals, stocked up on supplies/medicine etc… The postpartum period was harder than I expected. Breastfeeding is hard even with the second baby! Grace with yourself and self-preservation are the key.

    Wishing you all the best! Congrats!!!

    11.6.20Reply
  30. Jess O

    My labor from start to finish with my daughter (first and currently only birth) was a total of 6 hours, starting the night of my due date. I attribute that to eating dates throughout pregnancy, and drinking raspberry leaf tea and taking primrose oil in the last month. Old wives tales or not, I was willing to try them all to make it as quick as possible!

    In one of the birth classes I took, the woman suggested using arnica oil for the perineal massage during birth. Hospitals typically use a mineral oil unless you ask otherwise so I would recommend bringing your own. The arnica oil is from the arnica flower, commonly used for treating swelling and aches and naturally numbs the area it’s applied to (very minimally of course). I used an organic arnica oil and it worked out great for me! Maybe something to look into or ask your doula about.

    Good luck! Sounds like you’re doing great and the little babe will be here before you know it!

    11.7.20Reply
  31. Sarah

    Hi Caitlin! I’m so excited for you!! I had my first baby 5 months ago unmedicated and everything you’re doing to prepare is amazing! I also recommend to anyone who is pregnant, is to only listen to positive birth stories! There’s a lot on YouTube and on podcasts (Built to Birth podcast is awesome). By only listening to positive stories your mind will be in the right place when you go into labor!

    11.10.20Reply
    • Thanks for the tip!! I have been looking for a new podcast on pregnancy so I will try that one out 🙂

      11.11.20Reply
  32. Chasidy

    Hi Caitlin! I’ve been a follower for quite some time but never commented until now. I just gave birth October 7th so it’s still fresh. I was induced and ended up having a 23 hour labor and I pushed for 1.5 hours. I wanted to have a natural birth without pain medication or the epidural. However, I ended up having back labor and it was rough. I’m sure you’ve read about it somewhere but with back labor there’s no relief. There’s no contractions, it’s just constant pain. I was not prepared for back labor. I caved and got the epidural but… it failed. I went into labor with an open mind and I told myself that if I really really needed pain relief I would accept it. I’m the last sibling to have a baby and I watched my sisters have super easy labor and deliveries. I had prepared with breathing techniques for the contractions but I was not expecting not to have any. Being completely honest, the pain was excruciating and I have a pretty high pain tolerance. I’ve had 10+ kidney stones which some women compare to child birth… it does not haha. I ended up popping blood vessels in my face from pushing and it was not pretty. I know I’m rambling but I’m trying to say that going in with an open mind is best. Also, don’t feel guilty if you need pain relief. I didn’t want to feel like a failure if I needed an epidural so I prepared myself for both options. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do but it was so worth it and I’d take the pain any day for my little girl. I had a second degree tear but postpartum wasn’t terrible. The fridamom ice pack pads were amazing!! Oh, the doctor had to break my water but it didn’t hurt and the epidural didn’t hurt either.

    I hope you have an easy and fast labor. Good luck! You got this!

    11.11.20Reply
  33. Abby

    Yes! My weekly chiropractor treatments saved me during my pregnancy! So true!

    12.17.20Reply
  34. Melissa

    I can’t believe you are already 30 weeks! How exciting!

    I am a labor and delivery RN and my best advice is to keep an open mind and also be well informed (which it totally seems like you are!) Although things may seem very out of your control at times, remember the ultimate goal- the safe delivery of your precious baby girl!
    With your first baby, things may take longer than expected (or no time at all haha babies have minds of their own) so remember patience. Also don’t forget grace! Have grace with yourself- labor is a long and intense journey so if it gets to a point where your original plan has to change, remember to not be hard on yourself and listen to your body.
    Congrats again! Y’all will be wonderful parents 😊

    12.17.20Reply
  35. This is a great post! You’ve obviously done your research! I’m about 3 months post partum after my
    Second baby, I just went through this! My sister is pregnant with her first now, totally sending her your post! Another first time mom advice I would give is push with contractions! With my first, I was so excited about meeting my baby I just kept pushing (when I didn’t need to) and ended up tearing pretty badly – ouch! Also I wanted a natural birth too, but just couldn’t stand the pain (I had an induction and the pitocin is really strong, I was shaking a lot)! Take the drugs if you need too! Pain meds can help your body relax and perform the way it needs to for a safe vaginal birth! There’s nothing to be scared of, you’re going to do great! Sending you positive vibes! Also be sure to take care of yourself postpartum, I honestly think that’s the worst part of recovery not labor & delivery. Sleep when the baby sleeps! Staying well rested is so important! You got this mama! xoxo

    12.18.20Reply
  36. Żaneta

    Thank you for this post! You motivated me to do more during my pregnancy. I also want to take best care of myself before the birth:)

    12.18.20Reply
  37. Emmy

    Thanks for sharing! I’m not expecting but definitely bookmarking this for the future 🙂 I’m not sure if you’re already familiar but Kayla Itsines has some amazing “bliss ball” recipes that all include a big portion of dates – they don’t taste like it though! If you’re getting bored of dates with PB, check them out – my favorite is the chocolate raspberry. Merry Christmas and best wishes for an easy birth and healthy mom & baby!

    12.18.20Reply
  38. Kylie Volpei

    I have heard that acupuncture can be beneficial to do starting at 36weeks.

    12.18.20Reply
  39. Lindsay

    My advice is to keep an open mind BUT don’t be scared to advocate for yourself which a doula is great for! I personally think a written birth “wish” list is great to have so you know you and your doctor are on the same page and the nurses know your hopes when you show up at the Hospital. Keep it simple though – I’ve been told nurses don’t take over the top birth plans very serious :). I second the red Rasberry Leaf tea someone mentioned – like the dates, who knows if they work but they don’t hurt! I had three unmedicated labor and deliveries that went very smoothly and how I hoped. I’m sure some was luck but I like to think everything I did to prepare like you have also helped!

    12.31.20Reply