preparing for my second labor

Tomorrow I will be jumping into week 35 of my second pregnancy! I had my son at 37 weeks, so we’re really getting into the final countdown now. 


The baby shower has come and gone, the car seat is installed, the baby clothes are washed and organized. What else is left to do?


One of the big things on my to do list is labor prep. 


With my first, I went to one, one-night birthing class. It gave a very broad overview of the stages of labor and what it looks like, but did not give any coping techniques or birthing positions to help out expecting mamas. I think it was geared more toward those who were going in wanting an epidural or other pain relief, which is fine for some! But was not my goal. 


If you read my birth story you’ll see that I did make it through without an epidural! But unfortunately it was not nearly as smooth or comfortable as I hoped it would be, or know it could be.


So this time around I’m preparing more for a natural birthing experience! Here’s what I’ve been doing:


Birth Place

I plan on having my daughter in a different place than I had my son, and not just because we moved! As long as all goes well, she will be born in a nearby independent birth center. We contemplated doing a home birth, but couldn’t afford the extra expense (it wasn’t going to be covered by insurance, but the birth center is!). 

At the hospital I was required to have an IV during labor and delivery, and the baby’s heart rate was constantly monitored, which meant I was stuck in bed through my labor. These were the main reasons I wanted to make the switch. 

At the birth center I will have an IV only in case of emergency. I am able (and encouraged!) to eat during labor and to move regularly and freely. There is a birthing tub that I’m excited to use to help with pain relief. I also get to go home much much sooner, which I’m super excited about since hospital beds are not comfortable! I’ll miss my son and be happy to get to be back in my own home quickly. 



Herbs and Supplements

I have honestly not taken anything extra yet. Because my son was born at 37 weeks, and the law requires that I cannot have my daughter at the birth center before 37 weeks, I will not be taking anything to help promote labor until 36 weeks. My midwife and I have discussed some of the things I will begin at that time, such as red raspberry leaf tea, but we will be discussing it further at my 36 week appointment. 



Activity

During my last pregnancy, I grew less and less active as the weeks went on, due to being uncomfortable and tired. I was also placed on bed rest for about a week and a half, which I don’t think helped to promote a healthy and smooth labor experience. 

Having a 17 month old this time around, I don’t have a choice but to stay active! I am definitely accepting help when it is offered, and he is watching more TV than normal, but I am much more active this time around and I think that will greatly help my stamina during labor. 



Chiropractor 

I was so uncomfortable during the last trimester of my last pregnancy! My midwife had suggested doing to a chiropractor, but I never ended up going. 

This pregnancy, my body was aching and felt like it was falling apart by week 20! Thankfully I found a prenatal chiropractor covered by insurance and never looked back! I feel amazing and definitely look forward to my biweekly adjustments. 

Staying adjusted and aligned is also supposed to aid in keeping the baby in an optimal position for birthing, as well as make it easier for the baby to pass through the birth canal. We’ll see! 



So that’s what I’ve been doing to prepare my body for labor this time around! Hopefully in around a month you will get to read my birth story and see how/if any of these things helped to make this birth easier and smoother. 

How do you prepare for a natural birth? Do you have any other recommendations for me or other mamas? Let us know in the comments! Be sure to Ask a Bestie if you have any questions or post ideas!