This week is about pregnancy in general. We talked about the structure of the uterus, function of the placenta, and baby’s position throughout the pregnancy. This week seems to be where you have to truly ask yourself if you are going to fully commit to the exercises and preparation or if you are going to be lackadaisical. I found some days it was hard to get motivated, but I had to remind myself the better conditioned my body is, the better it will preform in labor. That really gave me a good kick in the pants to do what I was supposed to rather than put things off and try to catch up as needed.
As always, I am not a doctor, nurse, or in the medical field. All posts are informative, based off of my experience in labor and birth, with my care providers, and on the Bradley classes that I attended. Please make informed decisions with your doctor, midwife, and/or any other care providers.
One of the most interesting aspects of the third class was that we talked about alternative options for being comfortable in pregnancy. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have reached a very uncomfortable point in my pregnancy. This section lists different common issues during pregnancy from heartburn and gas to leg cramps, yeast infections, and moodiness. Of course the whole idea of natural childbirth is that you should avoid meds; therefore it goes over how to cope and treat these issues. Many of them apply the exercises I am already doing, but it has a specific purpose. I like when things have purpose, so this gave me more motivation to stay focused.
What was interesting is for instance leg cramps could mean you’re not getting enough salt or enough calcium. That seems like an easy enough fix, right? But I bet you wouldn’t have thought of it… In fact, I thought that it was interesting that the book addresses moodiness. Of course we all know that this is from hormonal changes, but did you know you can help counter-balance that with some fruit and extra protein in your diet? If that doesn’t work, just take a nap – it gives those around you and yourself a break from crazy-ol’-you. And of course, relaxation, exercise, and music can help this too.
In class we also talked about challenges during labor for the coaches. We discussed topics like “What will you do or how will you react to false alarms?” This is especially important to consider if your husband does not have a lot of flexibility at work. We also talked about how your coach can conserve energy during labor even down to thinking about how he’ll dress the day-of! Because we all know he had already thought of this and was just waiting to chime in with his thoughts. It’s also important to plan on when he will eat. I know in labor, my husband didn’t eat for about 12 hours and was starving.
If you get a chance, this week you should find birthing videos on youtube of native women giving birth in the squatting position. I really thought it was going to be hard to watch, but it wasn’t. How amazing is this? Many women don’t tear while giving birth that way and usually it is because a baby came out with his hand by his head. This was the case with my second daughter. And even then, it was a tiny tear with very little blood.
My progress in some of the homework
- Walking – The whole idea is stamina and physical activity. Therefore some days it’s about the one long walk than little short ones.
- Tailor sitting often—this is still the same. I know for me, I have really added this to my lifestyle! In fact, right now I am sitting with a pillow in my lap and laptop on top of that. We also have one of those cube ottomans in our living room and to encourage myself to tailor sit even more, I moved my laptop into the living room and it usually stays on that ottoman because it’s the perfect height to tailor sit in front of as I work.
- Squat often—squatting is really growing on me! Especially after watching that video of women giving birth in the squatting position, I have been squatting like it’s going out of style. AND I found out my hospital allows you to give birth in the squatting position and they have a “squatting bar”. Well, I just might have been convinced now. We’ll see.
- Relaxation—OH LADIES, you will love this! This week’s relaxation is all about making you feel as relaxed as possible and letting your husband find out what feels best for you. So he gets to give you a massage every night! Make sure that he varies it from rubbing to tapping to soft touches, etc.. This also may have changed from before you were pregnant and may change in the coming weeks as to the intensity and what you like. But, it’s great practice for when you’re in a lot of pain in labor that he can hopefully know where your pain in probably located AND how to help.
- BIRTH BALL! – This week the midwife discussed how to use the birth ball effectively during labor. She talked about using it to support yourself, relaxing, open up the pelvis and more.
Routine is still key. It is going to be what gets you from point A to point B. If you don’t walk, run, or crawl there, then you just won’t make it; so keep up your routine! Don’t find yourself getting out of rhythm. If you do, remind yourself, that it is for your baby, it’s for your well-being, and that it is all worth it. The exercises keep increasing because you’re building your muscles and stamina; therefore, remember that next week it will increase again so it’s that much more imperative to stay on track. If you haven’t, click on the links to buy your books and read them while you walk. It helps make a routine for both training “requirements”. Stay healthy and keep up the good work 🙂
Kara is an author, wife, and mother of 3 children living in Boston, MA. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and even helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!