I see a lot of women for pelvic floor therapy after they have a baby, but did you know you can see a pelvic floor therapist during pregnancy to make sure you know how to push properly? Learn different birthing positions and learn some stretches to decrease the likelihood of tearing or needing an episiotomy? This is my number one suggestion for what to do during pregnancy. Here is the rest of the list:
See a pelvic floor therapist
Take a childbirth class
Hire a doula
Read “The Fourth Trimester”
Make some freezer meals
Make some padcicles (bonus tip)
Second piece of advice: take a childbirth class. I’m not biased to any particular child birth class, but there is a lot to know about giving birth that you won’t learn from your prenatal doctor’s appointments. In the ancient world, and still in some other cultures today, people lived in communities and were part of each other’s daily lives. Pregnant women would have been raised amongst other women and babies and learned from their female family and community members how to give birth and those women would have supported them after birth. In our modern-day Western culture that doesn’t happen, so we need to go to class to learn these things.
Also, because we aren’t living our daily lives with other women hiring a doula will be helpful during childbirth. A doula is a support person to be there with you during labor and delivery. They are often the steady person in the room because sometimes your partner will have an emotional response to seeing you in labor and not be the support you need them to be. Your doula will have your back, maybe even rub your back if you need it.
We do a lot of preparation for pregnancy and childbirth, but little preparation for what comes after the birth when we take the child home. It’s going to rock your world! Everything will change. You will be exhausted and sleep deprived, but also filled with so much love. I highly suggest reading “The Fourth Trimester” by Kimberly Ann Johnson before you get to the fourth trimester because there is sage advice in there about how to cope postpartum, how to say no when you are tired, how to connect with your partner and some information on postpartum recovery. All very useful in this new stage of life.
Before you go into labor make some meals you can freeze. Nutrition is key to recovery and your nutritional needs may be even higher if you are breastfeeding. It will be good to have some food you can simply warm up because you probably won’t have the energy to cook in those first few weeks.
Also, make some padcicles before you go into labor as well. Our Western world doesn’t like to talk about the not so pretty parts of labor and recovery, but if you have a vaginal birth that pelvis is going to be sore and bleeding for some time after delivery. Get some maxi pads, soak them with water and witch hazel and freeze them. Your pelvis and vagina will thank you when you are sore and bleeding.
When you are ready to schedule that prenatal pelvic floor visit call or go to my scheduling page to schedule your prenatal visit. It’s usually just one visit where we test your pelvic floor muscles, give you some stretches to do and educate you on birthing positions best for your body. It is well worth the investment so you can recover better after birth.
If you need some local SoCal resources for doulas or birthing classes, go to my resource page and there are recommendations there.
Do you agree with these pregnancy tips? What would you add? Did you do any of these? Do you wish you would have done any of these? I would love to hear in the comments below.
Also, be a good friend and send this to your pregnant friends.
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