1. Start early. Ensure healthy eating habits for both spouses for 3-6 months prior to conception. Get a complete check up done to ensure all nutrient levels are normal. Women can take a multivitamin and a folic acid supplement three months prior to conception. Men should also take a multivitamin supplement which has a higher zinc content.
2. Make sure you complete all your prenatal visits and tests as scheduled.
3. Follow a healthy diet even during pregnancy. A fit body will be able to handle the rigors of labor a lot more easily.
4. Exercise regularly. Do check with your doctor before you begin. A walking program is easy to follow and if possible register for a prenatal exercise class.
5. Relaxation and meditation will not only help you be calm during pregnancy but can also be a great pain management tool during labor. Practice various relaxation techniques along with your spouse all through pregnancy.
6. Fetal position is very important to the birthing process. If the baby is malpositioned then a vaginal birth can become difficult or impossible. Be alert and aware of your baby’s position. Your baby should be in the head down position by about Week 32. If baby is not in the right position then you may need to do some optimum fetal positioning sessions.
7. Be Positive. This one is very important. Negative thoughts will only hamper your plans for a vaginal birth. Keeping yourself positive and surrounding yourself with positive people will help.
8. Avoid Information overload. You do need to have the right information but not an overload of information. Discuss your queries with your doctor or you prenatal coach. A good prenatal class will help you with customised information and query resolutions.
9. Do not be passive during labor. Walk and move around and try to be in an upright position for as long as possible.
10. If you are comfortable, avoid pain medications. These can confine you to the bed and make you lose mobility. Instead practice the relaxation techniques learnt in your prenatal classes for pain management.
Also read - Normal Delivery: Classical Vaginal Birth
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