Preparing for Labor

It's important to take special care of yourself before labor so that you can keep your energy and strength up for the big event. This checklist will help.

The period before labor starts can last for hours or even days, particularly with a first labor. So that you can manage when you go into labor, you need to take care of yourself during this pre-labor stage.

  • Stay well rested so that you aren't completely exhausted when you go into labor.
  • If you're having trouble resting, possibly because of anxiety or discomfort, try practicing relaxation techniques, such as breathing or visualization techniques, whereby you focus on a tranquil setting to induce a state of calm.
  • Continue eating to keep your energy levels up and provide fuel for the days ahead. You may not feel like eating a large meal; instead eat little and often. Opt for wholesome snacks such as dried fruit, nuts, or a whole-wheat sandwich, and drink lots of fluids.
  • If you're suffering with back pain, try showering in warm water or taking a warm bath. However, be careful when showering, since pregnancy increases your chances of feeling dizzy, and avoid a prolonged bath in very hot water since this may not be good for your baby.
  • A lower back massage is comforting and a good way to relax and ease discomfort--ask your partner to give you a soothing massage.
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