You might think that birthing preparations start and end with getting the nursery ready and producing a birth plan, but there’s actually plenty that you can do to prepare your body for the physical and mental challenge ahead and give yourself a head-start when it comes to entering the delivery room.
You can generally prepare your body by making sure that you continue to take gentle and suitable exercise throughout your pregnancy, walking and swimming are ideal, but by no means the only options. Regular pelvic floor exercises will prepare the muscles most involved in labour and birth and help you regain control of your urinary function after birth more easily.General fitness can also help, so try gentle exercises such as yoga.
You may have heard or read about tears and cuts (episiotomy) during birth, which can occur if the perineal tissues can’t stretch enough to let your baby out. While you can’t do anything to gurantee against this, you can use the last weeks of your labour to perform a daily massage on the perineal tissue that can improve its elasticity and so decrease the chances of cuts and tears.
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