Monday, December 29, 2014

natural birth mondays: preparing your body

Real talk: I am not a health freak. At all. I eat what I want, when I want, and hardly ever exercise. God blessed me with good genes and an adequate metabolism.

I don't say that to glorify my life or say by any means that it's good to live like that. It's just what I've always done and it's hard to shake!

I just wanted to preface this post with that little nugget of info because I want you to know my frame of reference when I talk about ways to prepare your body for birth. I'm not going to be the 8 months pregnant woman hiking 5 miles every morning and eating a perfectly balanced diet. I'm just not. I'm looking for practical things I can easily fit into my life to prepare my body to get this baby out the old fashioned way!

When doing my research (which sounds way too offish for me haha), I found some things that I seriously loved!

One of which is sense association. The idea here is really basic. Choose some things that you think will help you relax during labor. "Practice" relaxing with them regularly through your pregnancy and when the time for labor comes, your body should naturally be more relaxed when your use the items because your brain associates them with relaxation. For me, that would be my playlist, full of worship music to keep my mind focused on God, and lavender oil. I've already been listening to my playlist a lot (actually, I am right now!) and use lavender oil in the evening to calm down. I'm hoping these will treat me well in the spring!

Another one that I used all the time when I was pregnant with Reuben was my exercise ball! The week before I had him, I even brought it to work and replaced my office chair with it because I was determined to get him locked, loaded, and ready to go! I might've looked ridiculous, but I bounced, wiggled, and swayed on that thing at least 8 hours a day and dilated another cm and effaced another 25% in 6 days. I don't think that was purely a coincidence! Sitting on an exercise ball forces you to sit up straight, spread your hips, and allows plenty of space for baby to get nice and cozy and positioned well.

Walking and squatting were two physical things I saw over and over again. Talk about manageable, especially in the spring. They both help baby work its way down and also help with the physical endurance and strength labor will demand. Both seem like something I could easily work into my daily routine. I may even do a squat challenge starting in March and try and make it fun!

I saved the best and craziest for last. Eating dates, y'all! Seriously, I can't make this stuff up. I read about it in a group I'm in on facebook and women were swearing by it so I had to check it out for myself. I found this study and was blown away by the facts! Now, I do understand it was a small sampling of women, but the results are enough to convince me it's worth a shot! The study showed women who ate 6 dates every day the last 4 weeks before their estimated due date had significantly shorter early stages of labor, were checked in further along in dilation, had stronger bags of water (kinda gross, but good!), lower use of pitocin, and a higher chance of going into spontaneous labor. I've got zero idea why they work and I don't entirely care. I may not even like the way they taste, but I can choke down 6 a day if it ups my chance of all those good things!

There were several others like teas, acupuncture, and oils/vitamin supplements that I probably won't really look into since I either don't like them or can't afford them.

But I seriously feel like the few things I did find will really help give me a head start on the birth I want!

What are some things you did before labor and delivery that you felt really helped? I'd love to check them out!


  1. i gave birth naturally and really glad that i did. if i had to do it all over again, i think i would have wanted a doula present. i would have loved to give birth in a tub, too. but my husband was against that.

  2. (Shurangama Sutra and Mantra)(Prajñāpāramitā Hṛdaya Sūtra)(Diamond Sūtra)(Kṣitigarbha)(Avalokiteśvara) (Mahāsthāmaprāpta)(Amita Buddhaya)(Bhaiṣajyaguru)
    The Twelve Vows of the Medicine Buddha upon attaining Enlightenment, according to the Medicine Buddha Sutra are:
    To illuminate countless realms with his radiance, enabling anyone to become a Buddha just like him.
    To awaken the minds of sentient beings through his light of lapis lazuli.
    To provide the sentient beings with whatever material needs they require.
    To correct heretical views and inspire beings toward the path of the Bodhisattva.
    To help beings follow the Moral Precepts, even if they failed before.
    To heal beings born with deformities, illness or other physical sufferings.
    To help relieve the destitute and the sick.
    To help women who wish to be reborn as men achieve their desired rebirth.
    To help heal mental afflictions and delusions.
    To help the oppressed be free from suffering.
    To relieve those who suffer from terrible hunger and thirst.
    To help clothe those who are destitute and suffering from cold and mosquitoes.


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