Not your typical list of pregnancy do’s and don’ts, last year we published 28 posts/days to a healthy pregnancy and birth that guarantee results. As social media is not always the easiest to go back through archives of posts, we felt to reproduce those 28 tips here on our blog in a groups of seven (7) over a series of four (4) weeks. This is week 4.
Day 22: Take a date night
It may be awhile after the baby is born to spend some time alone together. Take the time now to enjoy your time with one another and strengthen your bond. Discuss any fears, hopes, stresses that you may be worried about, but most of all, just have fun! 🙂
If the baby’s father is no longer involved in your life, take some time to go out with some good friends, or just by yourself. It’ll also be awhile before you can do that again.
To put in the bag: camera-one of my favorite moments are when the mother and father meet the new baby together and hold that new baby together. It’s a great moment to capture on the camera.
Day 23: Empowered through goal making
Many people talk about feeling empowered by birth. One thing researchers are finding is that empowerment comes from making and attaining goals. So over the last few days, we are going to go through a process to help us feel more empowered through goal making. Today, find something you want to change about your birth, or something that you want for this birth. It needs to be something that you really can obtain. So something like having a vaginal birth is a great goal, but you may medically need a c-section. Having a birth without medication if you do not need a c-section, though, would be a goal that is entirely in your hands.
To put in the bag: Something to remind you of your goal when the going gets tough.
Day 24: Supporting your goals with research
Now that you have your goal, you need to find information to help you out. Find classes or webinars that address your specific goals and will help you move in the right direction. Here are a few listed below:
For breastfeeding goals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWUeoOcaEII
For labor support: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmAe_d2yvqI
Finding research: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQfSoca8-F4
Childbirth class(I haven’t previewed this…just did a quick search):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8IBjnmAH74
Exercise: Look for an upcoming series on squatting and squat preparation on this fb page.
In the bag: the knowledge that you have the ability to make your own choices:)
Day 25: Believe you can achieve your goals
We’ve got our goal, and we’ve begun to expand our knowledge base to achieve that goal. Now we need to increase our belief that we can achieve that goal. There are a few ways we can do this: 1) talk to people who have done what you want to do. Watch videos of people doing what you want to do. 2) Surround yourself with people that believe in you and your goal. 3) Work on dimishing fear and anxiety. I’ve already talked about mindfulness, but there are many ways to go about doing this. This link is to a book that was made for teens, but it has a lot of good ideas for anyone on how to reduce anxiety in their lives.http://www.familyforce.ca/sites/Gander/EN/Health%20and%20Wellness/Documents/Anxiety%20Wkbk%20for%20Teens.pdf
To put in your bag: Something to make you feel confident.
Day 26: Practice
Practice what you are learning about. It may feel strange to practice different breathing or visualizations, but by doing this you are creating new paths in the brain. Then when push comes to shove, your brain can access those pathways quicker. Whatever your goal may be, try and practice what you need to to get there. Some examples: If you are wanting to breastfeed, practice with a doll that weighs a similar weight to a newborn. Then when they time comes, that weight and the positions will feel familiar to you. If you want to decrease your anxiety during labor, practice techniques that will help you do that.
In the bag: Your ability to work through whatever you need to work through to reach your goal.
Day 27: Taking action
Once you have made your goal, gained knowledge about it, surrounded yourself with things that will help you feel confident, and practiced what you needed to, it is time to make a plan of action. This is just a written plan that helps you put your goal into a plan. You can find a template here: http://drmichellecleere-com.zippykid.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Action-plan-template.png
As an example: your goal may be to take a childbirth class to help you prepare. Fill in your resources needed, how you know it will be accomplished, and by when. You can do this for any goal you may have.
In the bag: your action plan if you need it during birth.
Day 28: Love yourself, love your baby
The number one thing any woman can do to help have a better birth, is to love herself and her baby. Let yourself be free to today to just enjoy the idea of you and your little one. Once you can do this, many fears will go away and many paths will seem more open.
(For my students – see if you can guess what framework I used for these past 28 days. I’ll attach a hint)