Unlike in our first pregnancy, Mr. S and I decided not to take a birth class again this time. Instead, we are doing our own preparation and practice using materials from a hypnobabies course a friend is letting us borrow. I am also incorporating belly dance and some pregnancy exercises and stretches to make sure that my body is balanced and baby can get into an optimal position for birth. I am actually preparing much more than I did with K.
Because I like having a plan, here is our birth preparation schedule:
Every day: Pregnancy affirmations (a hypnobabies track), hypnobabies relaxation techniques, and pregnancy exercises (from Spinning Babies and my chiropractor)
Sun: Hypnobabies (with Mr. S)
Tues: Belly Dance
Weds: Hypnobabies (with Mr. S)
Sat: Belly Dance
I created my pregnancy exercises routine based on spinning babies and some personal recommendations from my chiropractor:
- Rebozo sifting (only once a week or so – need a partner for this)
- Forward leaning inversion (3 breaths)
- Jaw release
- Neck stretches
- Shoulder stretches
- Calf and hamstring stretches
- Full Squat hold
- Bridge Pose (I actually don’t do this often anymore, since it has become uncomfortable)
- Psoas Release (I need to do this more, but am struggling to find a comfortable method)
- Hip openers (bum stretch, pigeon pose, butterfly, wide leg)
- Pelvic tilts (on all fours)
- “Superwoman” (one arm and one leg stretched out on all fours)
I also do hip circles and other belly dance moves as I feel like it throughout the day, especially when my back is bothering me, and often do a little stretching and dancing before bed at night.
When I am doing my hypnosis/relaxations or belly dance in my room in the evening, I have been playing playlists on itunes I have put together specifically for relaxing and dancing during labor (one of them is the one I made for K’s birth) and I diffuse calming essential oils – including lavender and ylang ylang – so that I associate the smells and the music with relaxation. Sometimes I relax on the bed and other times I sit on my ball and lean forward onto the bed.
I created resources for Mr. S and my labor support people to refer to during labor – including a cheat sheet on essential oils that may be helpful during labor, and ideas for early and later labor (things to do, positions to try, other comfort measures). And of course keeping up with my nutrition, supplements, and herbal teas not only keeps me healthy during pregnancy, but will, hopefully, set me and baby up for a healthy labor and birth. I still have much I want to do to prepare my environment, but I feel like I am both physically and mentally more prepared than the first time.