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28 Days to a Healthy Pregnancy and Birth: Days 15-21Not 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 3.


Day 15: Who do you want with you?

Take stock today of how many people want to be at your birth and who you want at your birth. Now here’s the hard part. Who will help you at your birth, and who will hinder you during birth? This is not a judgement on someone being a good or bad person, or someone you like or do not like. It is an honest look at who you need to be with you or to not be with you.

When doing this, think about what your thoughts may be when they are with you. Are you going to be concerned about how you will look in front of them? Will they be able to help you feel like you are capable? Will you be more worried about their comforts rather than what you need?

Decide now what you need from the people who will be with you at your birth. Then as hard as it may be, make a plan for those you know may make your labor harder. Just a tip: some doulas are very good at helping others to help you who are at your labor. If you are going to have people there that you want, but are still concerned about being there, consider hiring a doula so that she can help them help you. 🙂

For your bag: phone numbers of people that you may want to contact during or after birth.

Day 16: What does birth look like

For those who choose to stay with you, and for yourself and your significant other, watching videos of births will help them know and understand what will be happening.

Today look for some birth videos that will help you see what to expect. Allow others, including children, who may need to be prepared to watch them with you. Discuss with them your desires and what you would like for them to do to help you.

Here’s a few you may enjoy:

In the bag: bring your own camera or recorder to capture your birth.

Day 17: Decide what the father will do

It used to be that fathers were not allowed in the birth room at all. Thankfully, things have changed and fathers can now be a part of their children’s birth. Some fathers are concerned, though, about how they will react during birth. Some want to be there for support, but don’t want to see the birth. Take some time to decide what role the father wants to play, and what role the mother would like him to play. Sometimes these may be at odds, so it helps to get this done early before the day arrives. If the father does not feel like he can fulfill all the needs of the mother, then it will give you time to discuss this, work it out, or find alternatives.

To bring in the bag: Something for the dad to help him during labor too. A book, food, a comfort item. Something that will keep him grounded so he can be able to better help the mother.

Day 18: Make a list of things to do

For people that you would like to have at the birth, but are worried that they may not be able to cope or know what to do, it helps to think of things beforehand that they can be in charge of. Some things that you can give to people to do:

  • make sure your water cup is always filled
  • make sure you have a hot or cold pack available
  • take care of your kids while you are laboring
  • take pictures
  • etc.

This will allow people that are important to you to still be a part of your birth even if they or you are a little unsure of being there during labor.

What to bring in the bag: Your list so you don’t have to remember.

Day 19: Planning for afterwards

Spend part of your day or week making some freezer meals for afterwards. As a part of your baby shower, have people help you make a few. You can also do this as a fun activity to do with friends for the day. I would suggest stocking up for a week or more. Also, if anyone asks how they can help, suggest making a frozen meal.

Here’s one of my favorite sites for some good meal ideas that you can freeze:

To bring in the bag: Some snacky food for afterwards. You may never know when someone else is going to be able to bring you food.

Day 20: Check with your hospital and care provider

Who you want at your birth may be restricted by either where you choose to give birth, or with whom. This is another area where you are going to want to check with both places. If you want to have children there, a full room, doulas in the c-section room, or any other circumstance that you may want others around, you will want to make sure that you have made choices that support that.

You also have to realize that hospitals have certain policies that even doctors can’t change if you choose to birth there. So, if your doctor says it’s okay, still check with your facility to make sure.

This is just another example of how important it is to choose your care providers wisely.

To bring in the bag: If you plan on bringing other children, make sure you have things for them to do and someone designated to take care of them.

Day 21: Help with privacy issues

Some women want to be more alone than others, or more covered than others, so it is important to have an idea of where you stand. I suggest going to the hospital or birth center where you will be having your baby to see the rooms and figure out how you can best situate yourself and other items in order to meet your privacy needs. Make a note on whether you would like the lights turned down low, curtains drawn, or signs that state you only want to be interrupted if medically necessary. Make sure you ask or request that no students help in your care if that bothers you.

Many times covering up in birth is thrown aside, so if you are someone that cares more about this, make sure you have someone else there to pay attention to this. Often other people will remove covers for medical reasons without thinking about whether or not you care how much you are exposed. When walking the halls or room, you can either wear your own clothes, or use two hospital gowns (one for the front and one for the back).

To bring in the bag: Any of your own clothes that you feel will help your feel more comfortable while walking around.

Follow Rachel Leavitt:

Rachel has worked as a register nurse (BSN from University of Utah) since 2004 with a work history in Labor and Delivery, NICU and Postpartum Care. She is also the founder of New Beginnings Doula Training which she organized in 2011. When she's not busy being a mother and grandmother, she can be found reading research papers related to some aspect of childbirth.

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