This is for you if you’re from 34 weeks. If that’s not quite you yet, then save this link or screen shot so you’ve got the info for in a few weeks/months time.

If this is you then these are some things that you can start doing that will improve your birth.

So, what can you do to start prepping for your birth?

With 20% of mothers in the UK having a labour that’s induced and between 10 & 25% of 1st time mothers having an instrumental birth in Gloucestershire, the possibilities of these scenarios happening are for you are very real. With this info you can do what you can to stack the odds in your favour to reduce this happening for you.

Here are a few things that now you’re 34 weeks or after, you can start doing to prepare for your birth.

1.Dates
a) the food kind
Did you know that eating 6 dates a day from 34 weeks can reduce your chances of intervention. There was research on 2 groups, one group ate the dates, the other group didn’t. The group that ate the dates were less likely to be induced, less likely to have a hormone drip in labour and also had a shorter labour time (specifically the pushing).
b) the romantic kind
Putting some regular time in for date night with you and your partner can seriously help you stay calm in labour. It reminds you of all the other things, rather than just relying on drugs, that will keep you calm. Things like dim lights, music, essential oils, massage and a bath or shower are all things that should be utilised when you’re at home in early labour or having an induction on the maternity ward in Glos. Practising this little date night routine weekly will mean that you are conditioning your body to associate all the above with calmness, making it more effective when early labour starts.

2. Raspberry Leaf Tea
Instead of frantically googling “Ways to naturally induce labour” when you’re a week over due and realising that you could have done things weeks ago to help yourself, buy some raspberry leaf tea now! Drinking a cup a day from 34 weeks has been associated with avoiding induction. With this one the research doesn’t actually support this theory. What it does support though is this… RLT tones your uterus, so women who drank the tea from 34 weeks had a shorter labour than those who didn’t drink it. It also assists in bringing your uterus back to its pre pregnancy size. Nb. RLT shouldn’t be drank if you are booked in for an elective cesarean, are having a VBAC or have a scar on your uterus from previous surgery.

3. Perineal Massage

Massaging your perineum (the bit between your vagina and your anus) has been shown to reduce the severity of your vaginal tear for first time mothers. 92% of first time mothers in Gloucestershire have a tear of some kind. To lessen this tear use some olive oil/coconut oil on your thumbs, insert them into your vagina about half an inch and massage down towards your perineum. The research doesn’t support that this makes any difference for second or more time Mums.

So what do you think? Are you going to put any of these techniques into practise or add these items to your next food shop.

For other ways you can start preparing for your birth remember we now have an online antenatal and hypnobirthing course as well as our local group courses. For more info about the online course, click here.