1. Pelvic Floor muscle strength and endurance prior to delivery. You may only think you need to do this after birth when you have urinary leakage or 10-20 years later when the leakage really becomes a problem but the truth is you can prevent it from happening in the first place by strengthening your pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy. Your muscles have a memory pattern, so starting earlier makes it easier for the muscles to remember how to work after going through trauma. Also the stronger they are before trauma, the easier it is to recover and get them strong again.
3. Food and Hydration - Depending on what restrictions are in place by your hospital or doctor. If you’re hungry you should eat, especially in early labour as you need to keep your energy levels up. Choose small snack portions of foods that are easily digested, low fat and low residue e.g. crackers, yoghurt, plain pasta, banana, white bread. Recent data has suggested inadequate hydration can lead to a longer labour with your contractions slowing down, taking small sips of water during labour can help maintain your hydration and energy levels. Also keep in mind that your hydration stores need to be kept up, so maintaining hydration in the days leading up to labour is a must! Note: If you have a high risk pregnancy and may need a caesarian ask your OBGYN first. Monica Kubizniak (Dietician from BJC Health)
4. Be mentally and emotionally prepared - This is probably the most important part of labour. Being prepared for what might happen, will happen and what choices you can make can help you feel slightly in control of a situation that is hard to comprehend. Talk to your friends, talk to your health professionals and talk to your partner. And at the end of all that research, take the time to think and feel for yourself and make decisions based on what you need and what’s best for you and your family, not what anyone else wants for you. Then visualise that happening. Your mind controls everything, what you focus on you can become.
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