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Birth Preparation Exercises

Relaxation Preparation

Before trying to use a comfort measure in labor, it is important to try it out. What feels good to one woman, may not help the next woman relax. Trying comfort measures is also a way to ensure you and your labor support will be ready to work together when labor begins.

Abdominal Breathing is an exercise to help you begin using deep breathing to promote realxation and improve oxygen intake.

Attention Focusing is a skill-building exercise to help you learn to shut out distractions.

Perineal Massage can be used during pregnancy to help prevent perineal trauma during labor.

Vocalization is a tool which helps you easily release building tension to stay relaxed during labor.

Mental Preparation

A component often missing in childbirth education classes is the mental and emotional preparation for natural childbirth. Unfortunately, for many women, the emotional component is more important than practicing squatting positions or back rubs.

The way you feel about what is happening to you in pregnancy and during childbirth will affect your ability to remain relaxed, deal with pain and discomfort and make informed decisions. One of the indicators of a woman's successful natural childbirth is her confidence in her ability to give birth. No one can give you confidence in your body, in the birth process or in yourself. You have to find your own sources of strength, and know how to use them during childbirth.

Childbirth Emotions is an exercise to help you recognize how you may react to some of the possible experiences of childbirth. If you discover unproductive emotional responses, you can begin working now to prepare for that possibility.

Identify Fears is an exercise to help you identify the things you are most concerned about as you prepare for childbirth. It can give you insights into places you need more information.

Options and Emotions is an exercise to help you prepare for the feelings you may have as work through your birth plan. Rather than feeling helpless when you choose to use an intervention, this exercise helps you identify the freedom and choices you will still have.

Your Perfect Labor helps you work backwards through the experience of childbirth to determine what you need to do now to have the type of labor you are hoping for.

Childbirth Meditations help you identify what strengths you already bring to childbirth and how to build on those strengths.

Printable Worksheets

Explore what you will need to be comfortable with the Understanding Your Body worksheet.

Find out about the birth you would like to have with the Perfect Birth worksheet.

Review your previous birth experiences to help you decide what you want to plan for this birth with the Previous Birth worksheet.

Prepare for the procedures that are most likely to make you tense up with the Fear and Anxiety Triggers worksheet.

Getting induced? Make sure you know what questions to ask with the Induction Plan worksheet.

Know your options! Use the Birth plan worksheet to make sure you have explored all the possibilities.