Okay, so giving birth might be natural and normal … but that doesn’t mean it isn’t scary as heck.
Pushing a delicate (but enormous) human watermelon out of your most tender of lady parts isn’t exactly something that fills the regular woman with excitement.
Sure, the end result is pretty darn amazing. Hello, beautiful bubba!
But the delivery? Well, let’s just say if the Powers That Be want to swap birthing for stork deliveries, we wouldn’t be too disappointed.
Until that happens though, we’re stuck with the whole birthing thing.
So … how can you feel a little less anxious about giving birth?
Our advice is to prepare, prepare prepare.
This isn’t the time to stick your head in the sand and wing it.
This is the time to research and prepare yourself – mentally and physically.
How to prepare for birth (and totally calm your nerves along the way)
1. Create a birth plan
You had a plan for how you were going to nail your Christmas shopping, so why wouldn’t you have a plan for how you’re going to breeze through your birth?
(Okay, ‘breezing through’ probably isn’t what you’re going to be doing, but a girl can hope.)
To create a birth plan, you’ll want to get super clear on how you want your big day to roll, which means knowing what you want to ask from your doctor.
Keep in mind that plans aren’t prophecies, so you will need to think about back-up options too.
2. Schedule in your visitation day
The last thing you want when you’re healing and recovering from the delicate human watermelon experience is to have well-meaning friends and family constantly interrupting your baby-cuddling and shut-eye.
You love them, you really do. But you’d love them a little further away right now.
So schedule in ONE day for everyone to visit and get their dose of new baby smell.
Alternatively, schedule in one ‘Open Day’ at home for the introduction. This is something we didn’t figure out until we did it wrong the first time!
3. Prep your partner
Birthing is a beautiful human experience. But it’ll probably scare the pants off your partner (or, ha, make sure they’re kept on!)
Tell your partner that you might scream, pant and flip your wig during labour, but he or she needs to just be there to listen, take it on board and tell you to hang in there, because you don’t know what you’ll want when it’s all going down.
Alternatively, he can plead the fifth and just stay quiet and quietly supportive.
4. Look at vaginas
Yep, you read correctly. We want you to load up a new web browser and google pictures of vaginas. But not just any vaginas: Babies crowning in vaginas.
If you can desensitise yourself to some blatantly real photos on the internet of babies crowning, you can get used to the idea of what you need to do.
I know it sounds horrible and icky to put yourself through but if you can stomach it, it helps you deal with what will be the reality. 360,000 women do this each day and we are here to tell you too: YOU CAN DO THIS!
5. Research C-section healing
If you know you’re down for a C-section, make sure you research other women’s recovery and healing stories.
This isn’t to scare you; it’s to make sure you know what’s normal and what isn’t, so you are wise on what to do if you need it.
6. Decide if you’re going to breast or bottle feed your baby
Please know breastfeeding doesn’t always come easy for everyone, and if you’ve given it your all and it still isn’t working, do not feel guilty throwing in the towel!
We’ve had physio and midwife friends that struggle or cannot even start to breastfeed (despite eating earth mother breastfeeding cookies and drinking Guinness), because sometimes those babies and those boobies just don’t cooperate.
So remember: It’s all good if breastfeeding doesn’t happen for you and you will still be there with your baby every feed giving them the love and nourishment they need.
Wait – before you go …
While you’re on the prep train (you go girl!), why not check out FIVE THINGS YOU SHOULD DO BEFORE YOUR BABY ARRIVES