1: Take time to get to know your body and be proud of it! As your pregnancy progresses, you go through labour, delivery and the first few months afterwards, your body does some absolutely AMAZING things. It is a thing to marvel at and be proud of. So many of us aren’t big fans of our own bodies for what ever reason. What a shame. What ever your shape and size ladies, our bodies are INCREDIBLE!
2: BREATHE. We do it so automatically all day, every day and rarely to we think about how it feels and how we are doing it. Breathing can be a wonderful way to relax you, control your body and very importantly your mind. It can be the single most powerful tool to use during labour. Various meditation and relaxation techniques can be great to explore but make sure you do this for several weeks before your birth as it is like training any other part of your body…..it takes a bit of time!
3: Keep ACTIVE. As your body changes during pregnancy and you put on weight as your baby grows we often find ourselves sinking deeper into that sofa. Remember ladies, labour is an endurance event for most of us and then we will be straight into our role of Mummy afterwards. Pregnancy isn’t the time to take up a new sport but it is a great time to get outside, breathe in that lovely fresh air or perhaps go swimming. If you aren’t sure what to do chat to one of our Physio’s about it and they will be able to recommend what is best for you.
4: PACE what you do. Yes one must keep active during pregnancy but this is in a balanced way. If you are on your feet all day doing a busy job or looking after other little people your need for activity may be less than those who are desk based during the day. Movement is one of the best things to do to make you feel good and release those wonderful happy hormones. It is a good idea to have rest periods during the day to change the loads on your body. Even if that is sitting (or lying down) for 5 minutes for a cup of tea.
5: DON’T FEAR any back ACHES and PAINS you get and if you get it, DO something about it! There is often HEAPS that can be done to help get rid or reduce it. Make sure you make an appointment with one of our specialist Physio’s if things don’t resolve after a couple of days. If you don’t do anything about your symptoms and start limiting your activities it is going to impact on your ability to keep fit and mobile during your pregnancy. Make an appointment with one of our Physio’s now, don’t wait.
6: RELAXATION techniques are extremely powerful. Invest some time in exploring them. You don’t need to be a master to get the benefits. We all have great intentions during our pregnancy to spend time becoming expert in various techniques. Lets get real, this rarely happens! Time is limited but relaxation techniques are a great way at calming the body and mind. Knowing how to recognise tension in the body and let it go is such a powerful and helpful tool during labour and lets face it, life too! When we are worried, stressed, anxious, frightened we tense up, contracting our muscles which constricts how we move. This isn’t going to be the best strategy when trying to push out our little bundles! Also, book a massage now with our massage therapist Kate, a great time for us to help relax you!
7: PELVIC FLOOR PELVIC FLOOR PELVIC FLOOR! Get to know your pelvic floor muscles and how to work the front, middle, back and all together! Remember it is also important to learn to let your pelvic floor go and relax as this practice will help during labour. If you are not quite sure what to do, have questions to ask or problems with leaking if you cough or sneeze, make an appointment now with Wendy our Women’s Health Physio. It is NOT normal to have issues with your floor and these things shouldn’t be happening. Don’t accept it as par for the course of being pregnant. Do something about it. More to follow on this in our labour and post natal blog next month.
8: PERINEAL MASSAGE is a rather hush hush if not taboo subject when pregnant. However it is possibly ONE of the most sensible things one could do to prep for labour, far better than the pre-birth wax that is for sure! Would you ever attempt the London marathon without training or try to do the splits without a little stretching first? Absolutely not! So come on ladies, don’t be bashful and give it a go!
9: MIND YOUR MIND! Arguably your most powerful tool in life, let alone labour, delivery and beyond! Labour itself is a natural process and as such the sensations one feels during this time is your body’s normal and natural process. More on this in our next blog!
10: Keeping PERSPECTIVE about labour as it approaches can be hard, so remembering it is a day possibly two (and if you are lucky maybe even less!) in your life helps to keep perspective. You are strong and can get through it. You may even be able to embrace and “enjoy” the process. You never know! Above all be kind to yourself. You are fabulous and are growing a tiny human which is a wonderful miracle to behold.
Keep posted for our blog next month on top tips during labour!
Posted by Victoria Rendle