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Pregnancy is a blessing — a moment in time when moms-to-be connect physically, mentally, and spiritually with their little bundle of joy. Despite pregnancy and childbirth being such an empowering moment in life, the anticipation of labor causes anxiety, stress, and worry for pregnant women.

The pregnancy self-talk is unavoidable. But the good news is that there are ways to ease the many questions bouncing around in your head. Preparing for labor is important, and to ensure the special moment is as pleasant as possible, we compiled five essential childbirth tips.

1. Get the Childbirth Labor Facts

The unknowns concerning childbirth and labor is a nerve often pinched for moms-to-be within the last few weeks of pregnancy. Will it be painful, what if something goes wrong, how will my body react, and the list of questions go on and on.

These questions can create stress and anxiety, which in turn can cause a more painful labor. The truth is, you may be creating stress for no reason. Simply get the facts about childbirth and labor and ease the negative pregnancy self-talk.

2. Embrace the Pregnancy Power of Visualization

The mind-body connection is powerful, and even more powerful during pregnancy. To ease childbirth and labor, utilize visualization techniques. Visualize breathing for your baby, visualize your baby moving through your cervix, visualize the power of your body bringing life into the world in a calming way. These visualizations can be drawn upon during labor.

3. Make Prenatal Yoga a Routine

Breathing is an important asset during childbirth. It can sooth you into a tranquil non-stressful state when labor is approaching, as well as during labor. This makes prenatal yoga an essential childbirth tip to try, with the direction of a doctor of course.

Pregnancy yoga involves a lot of breathing focus that aims to relax the body and mind. There are also yoga poses specifically used for moms-to-be, and plenty of yoga classes available to make this great childbirth tip a daily routine. Release that pregnant tension with a little yoga.

4. Exercise is Beneficial to Prepare for Labor

Exercise and staying active during pregnancy is another childbirth tip worth discussing with your doctor. Despite misconceptions, exercise and some physical activity is safe and healthy for pregnant women.

According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), “If you are healthy and your pregnancy is normal, it is safe to continue or start most types of exercise, but you may need to make a few changes. Physical activity does not increase your risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, or early delivery.”

Activity while you’re pregnant actually conditions your body for labor. It makes you stronger and prepares your muscles and joints for the increase in physical stress during childbirth.

5. Utilize Your Pregnancy Team

Throughout your pregnancy, you have probably gathered a group of confidants to get information, tips, and medical advice from. This is your pregnancy team. They are normally family and friends who have gone through labor already, family doctors, your OBGYN, your partner, and more.

When preparing for the big day, lean on them for advice, or even non-advice to take a break from the potential stress and anxiety you may be feeling. Remember, everyone’s journey is unique, so pick the pregnancy advice that resonates with you the most and discard the rest.

Is Your Body and Mind Labor-Ready?

There are certainly a number of childbirth and labor tips out there. The truth is, none of them are a magic bullet for the easiest labor. What is important is to have as little stress and anxiety as possible while preparing your body physically for that special moment. Make the mind-body connection and get labor-ready.

(Submitted by Dr. Richard Honaker, M.D. Chief Medical Officer of Your Doctors Online. Previously noted as one of the best doctors in Dallas, Texas, Dr. Honaker was also named Texas Super Doc by Texas Monthly Magazine.)

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