Labor is appropriately named because it is hard work. I’ve heard preparing to bring your baby into the world compared to training for a marathon. This is a good analogy. Reading books or even this blog isn’t enough; you need to train for the big event. As you need to build stamina to run a marathon, you need to do the same prior to labor.
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of building stamina is exercise. This is a good thing. Regular exercise is very important for you and your baby. Walking on a treadmill or out in the neighborhood is a good way to get in shape. Prenatal yoga is another excellent choice. Yoga stretches and tones the muscles of the body, which will make them stronger as labor approaches.
If you take a prenatal class such as the Bradley Method you will learn prenatal exercises. These help with breathing and relaxation during labor. To prepare for labor, you need to practice these exercises every day. It only takes a few minutes a day to be thoroughly prepared for labor.
Eat a healthy diet during pregnancy. Healthy foods make not only a stronger baby, but a stronger mommy as well. When you eat a healthy diet, you will feel better and have more energy. You will need this energy when you are in labor. Choose healthy foods for meals and snacks.
You won’t have energy for labor if you are sleep deprived. Make sure you are getting enough rest, especially in the weeks leading up to your due date. Many of us get the urge to clean every inch of the house. Go ahead and do some cleaning, but don’t over do it. Get to bed a little earlier and if you have trouble sleeping at night, sneak in a nap in the afternoon or early evening. When you finally go into labor, you won’t be worn out from weeks of sleep deprivation. We’ll save that for after the baby is here!