Prepping your body for delivery
Like training for a marathon, there are some events that are worth all the preparation you put into them. Right now, your next big thing is labor. You can start getting your body ready by learning about:
- Perineal massage: If you aren’t familiar, perineal massage is a technique meant to stretch and relax the birth canal to reduce pain and the likelihood of injury in childbirth.
- Pelvic floor exercises: A stronger pelvic floor will help when you’re pushing during active labor. It will also make recovery easier, and faster.
- Abdominal work: Your abdominal muscles support your entire midsection. As your womb grows, and your muscles stretch, keeping them strong gets increasingly difficult. Mastering a few pregnancy-friendly abdominal exercises, especially in your first trimester, is a great idea.
How you’ll nurse, pump, and feed
Give some thought to your feeding routine now, and thank yourself later. Learning about your options and what to expect will reduce the number of questions you have once your little one arrives.
- Which pump: There are a lot of breast pumps out there. Each is designed to be good at different things, and meet different needs. Keep in mind it’s likely that you’ll be able to get a pump at little to no cost if you order it through your insurance. Our partners at Edgepark do all the work with your insurance provider for you. Visit Edgepark to see what breast pumps are available through your insurance so you can figure out which one is the right fit for you.
- Your feeding routine: If you’ll be returning to work, establishing a pumping room with your employer now is a good idea. You’ll also want to research storage and transportation solutions so you’re ready.
- Learn about formula: Even if you don’t plan to use formula, it’s a good idea to be familiar with what’s out there so that if you do need it you’re not making decisions under stress.
Information to make a birth plan with
When it comes to giving birth, you’ve got a lot of options! Making decisions about your birth plan now will give you time to get all the logistics sorted out. Here are some things to consider:
- Your hospital: It’s easy to just assume you’ll deliver at the hospital where your OB-GYN is located. In fact, which hospital you deliver at is likely to have a greater impact on your delivery outcomes than your doctor. If you can, research and visit a few hospitals in your area.
- Your style: Maybe you don’t give birth in a hospital at all! Perhaps you’d like a water birth at a hospital-adjacent birthing center. Explore your choices.
- Your supporters: Who will be in the delivery room? Maybe you want to have a doula, a registered nurse you’ve hired as a birth coach, or a family friend who has done this before.
That’s a lot of homework! But don’t worry, this is a group project and you’ve got plenty of time before the due date.
You can take care of one assignment now, by seeing which breast pumps are available through your insurance. Completing Edgepark’s insurance form only takes two minutes. Tap the button below to get started.
See your options
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