In my survey of pregnant women, at least 60 percent of them said they were worried about their delivery.I know I went through a period where I was really scared about how I was actually going to get through it. Not to mention all the delivery horror stories that people love to share!
We all get to that point in our pregnancy where we look down and think, “how the heck am I going to get this baby out of me?” In fact, I probably would’ve gone into the hospital a complete wreck if not for two things: 1) a purely coincidental conversation I had with a great psychologist colleague of mine and 2) the right exercises to prepare me. So what did she tell me? This colleague of mine is in fact a great therapist and she asked me how I was doing. When I told her about my increasing fear, all it took was one simple sentence to turn me around: “The delivery experience does not have to be painful!” she told me. Yeah right, I said (and I’m sure you’re rolling your eyes right now just like I did)! But I’m here to tell you, it is actually true. And I encourage you to stop and take a minute to think about it.
You see, if you go into the situation thinking that your experience is going to be painful—it will be. But if you go in there thinking about that beautiful little baby, it may just be one of the best experiences of your life—I KNOW it was for me!
Even my mom was shocked at how easily I made it through and how painlessly I moved around right after delivery. Just a little thinking (out of the box that is!) can go a long way on this one. Fear will only make you tense up—making the process a lot more painful than it needs to be. So, stay relaxed, calm, and trust the process.
What exercises did I do?
The interesting thing about delivery is it’s not easy for those who are extremely fit or unfit! Sometimes the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles are too tight.
The key is to have your muscles taught, but be able to relax them when needed. And sometimes this takes practice! So your best approach is to get yourself in good shape, do your core exercises regularly, including pelvic exercises, transverse abdominals etc (not just your kegels!) as laid out in my pregnancy and core book. For those of you who have really tight abs, be very cautious about tightening further. The key to delivery is being able to connect with your muscles and relax into the contraction. I have to say that because I was so in shape and connected to my body, I managed to avoid a c-section when my second child was stuck on my pelvic bone. So practice connecting and relaxing!
To learn exactly how to prepare for an easy delivery click here.