Every birth journey is unique and will have it’s own specific path. However, as doulas we’ve seen a lot of births and have come across many helpful tips for clients. Today we are sharing 10 tips for your birth! This will include everything from bringing an extra change of clothes, to hiring a doula, taking a nap, and so much more. Last week we shared 10 tips for pregnancy, you can read that post by clicking here.
If you have tips that you think others could benefit from, make sure to tag us on Instagram and we’ll share with the community.
Bring a Change of Clothes for Your Support Person
One thing with labour and birth is that it can take a while. It’s always handy to have a change of clothes for your partner in case they get a little splashed helping you in the bath or shower, or just to freshen up. Remember everyone will want to be comfortable, so any clothes should be easy to pack and move around in.
Hire a Birth Doula
Having a doula at your side can help tremendously during birth. They are there to support YOU, emotionally, informationally, and physically in a variety of ways. It’s so powerful to have an additional advocate working towards your birth goals. Doulas don’t just support home births or unmedicated births, we’re there for you regardless of the choices you plan to make around place of birth or medication use. We also support people through cesareans as well. You can read about our birth doula services at The Nesting Place here.
Avoid an Induction
Unless ABSOLUTELY medically necessary, avoid being induced. Inductions tend to be longer and more complicated than going into labour on your own. The rates of birth satisfaction are much lower with inductions, and contrary to what many people may think…having an empowered birth matters. It doesn’t mean birth has to go exactly as planned, but that you navigated it being informed and well-supported. You can check the guidelines at the SOGC or AOM but thinking your baby is ‘big’, being around your due date, or for convenience, aren’t generally good reasons for an induction.
Pack Heavy Socks
Depending on where you are planning to give birth, it can be chilly! This is especially true in hospitals. Having an extra pair of warm socks can make a big difference. You’re going to want those big and comfy winter socks.
Make a List of People to Notify
Birth can be an exciting and stressful time. Inevitably you are going to remember some things and forget others. But if you write out a list of people to notify, it can help ensure that all the family and friends you want to know – know! Better yet have a group list ready to go for whoever is doing the notifications. If you’d like, you can put someone in charge of this task so that it’s one less thing on your plate.
Pack a Comb
Not necessarily for your hair! Many pregnant people find it helpful to hold onto a comb during labour or find it relaxing to have their hair brushed (of course this only works with straight, fine hair). Grasping onto the comb can help your mind and body focus on something else other than the contractions. It’s a nifty comfort measure to try out. This is one of our favourite items in a typical doula bag.
Napping is Allowed
Yes, it’s possible to have a nap during labour. In pop culture labour is often depicted as relatively fast. In reality it can go on for many hours. It’s possible for you or your partner to sneak in a little shut eye, and in fact it’s a great idea! Sleep between contractions when you can, especially in early labour.
Bring a Pen and Paper
No, you probably aren’t going to have time to start writing the next great American novel while at your birth. BUT, you may want to have a pen and paper handy. This may seem a little “old school” but sometimes it’s nice to jot down any messages, feelings, reminders, as you progress through labor. There is something special about having written out physically, as opposed to written in our phones.
Bring a Hot Pack
The use of a hot pack during labour can be a soothing comfort measure for a pregnant person. Experiment with a few different ones during your pregnancy to find what you like best.
Print off Your Birth Preferences Document
Having your birth preferences document on hand can be a nice way to keep yourself grounded during the adrenaline rush of birth. Give a copy to your doula, partner and anyone else that will be attending. Our team of doulas can help you think about your needs and build the document. Typically we try to keep the document to a single page.
That’s all for this week. We’re going to be checking back in next week with more tips! Of course if you have any questions about your specific journey and are looking for support, our team can always be reached here.
The Nesting Place Team