Baby bootcamp: Preparing for the delivery

Karen is getting hardcore in preparing her body for labour. What methods did you use to prepare for the big day?

Me walking Ella the other day: 38 weeks. (Look at the size of that bump!)

Prepping for D-day feels a bit like getting ready for war. I’m stocking up on supplies, organizing tactical maneuvers (which in this context means batch cooking, house cleaning, etc.) and I’m also doing some intensive training. You could say it’s Baby Bootcamp at my house.

There are no artillery or combat drills, but some of it does feel like survival exercises meant to ready me to conquer my target: the delivery.

For starters, upon the recommendation of a fantastic naturopath, Sue Love, co-founder of Restore Integrative Health, I’ve begun a twice-daily holistic medicine regime. Every morning and night I take a teaspoon of a tincture containing red raspberry leaf, black cohosh and blue cohosh. “These three herbs are known to shorten the duration of labour by tonifying the uterus,” she says. Apparently her clients have sworn by it. So far, all I can say is that it goes down how I’d imagine a teaspoon of battery acid or liquid lawn fertilizer might. It’s absolutely disgusting. But, I’m all for trying things that may help this baby get here naturally — and quickly — so I’m sticking with it (nose plugged!).

I’ve also been doing perineal massage, which involves stretching the area between the vagina and anus. (That’s as graphic as I’m getting — you’ll have to look this one up ladies, I’m blushing already!) It was recommended by my midwife but I also did some research and studies have shown it to be pretty effective for first-time moms over the age of 30, like me, in reducing the risk of severe tearing and chances of an episiotomy.

The other elements of my training regime involve sleeping as much as I can, eating a whole, nutritious diet — with the exception of croissants, my new favourite indulgence, and chocolate, of course (curse those candy-makers for having their Halloween treats in stores everywhere you look!) — and trying to stay as relaxed as possible.

Hopefully I’ll be feeling well-equipped by the time my D-day arrives. Wish me luck!

By the way, I’d love to hear from you if you’ve tried any of these or if there are other prepping methods you think are worth a shot.  

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