three {natural} ways to prepare your body for labor

I realize I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here what with nearly 14 weeks to go and all but there are actually ways you can start preparing your body for labor as early as your first trimester. I did a ton of research while I was pregnant with Annabelle on how I could ensure a quick and on-time delivery. I was committed to having her on or before her due date and what do you know, I went into labor 8 days before she was due. Perhaps it was totally luck {or the full moon, as my midwife suggested at the time} but I’d like to think that the actions I took leading up to the end of my pregnancy really helped move things along. The suggestions below are my personal experience from my first pregnancy so please consult your physician before you start anything new that you’re unsure of.

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Red Raspberry Leaf tea is used to strengthen and tone the uterus. Those who drink it for benefits during pregnancy claim it leads to shorter labor and results in fewer medical interventions {like a c-section}. In my personal experience, I was able to push Annabelle out in about 4 minutes which was pretty unexpected considering all of the horror stories I had heard from friends and internet strangers alike. Starting at 26 weeks I will start drinking 1-2 cups/day and increase that to 3-4 cups/day around 36 weeks. I like the Earth Mama Angel Baby brand the best {I also love their heartburn and milk maid teas} but there are a ton of options to choose from. You can find the tea anywhere from Amazon to your local grocery store.

Dates

Random, right? Another natural {and yummy!} way to prepare your body for labor is to start eating dates about one month before your due date. The benefits of dates are similar to Red Raspberry Leaf tea and include having intact membranes upon admission to the hospital {which I did}, going into labor spontaneously {which I did}, avoiding pitocin {yep}, and having a shorter first phase of labor {ok I actually had a really long first phase of labor but 3 out of 4 ain’t bad}. It’s recommended to eat 6 dates/day for the four weeks leading up to your due date. I get mine from Costco but you can find them at almost any grocery store and also online here. Some people like to add them to smoothies or oatmeal but I just ate mine straight from the container.

Kegel Exercises

Every time I see my midwife she asks if I’m doing my kegels. I don’t know why but I’m always embarrassed to answer. But they are so important to prepare your body for childbirth {and what happens after}. I’m actually really bad about remembering to do them throughout the day – you’re supposed to do 2 sets of 10, 3x/day. I know, that is a lot of kegeling! My way of incorporating them despite my forgetfulness is this prenatal workout. The instructor Suzanne does an amazing job of constantly reminding you to “kegel up” and engage your pelvic floor. Combined with the Red Raspberry Leaf tea and dates I truly believe these exercises helped my labor progress quickly and without interventions.

three natural ways to prepare your body for labor

Do you have any suggestions to add? I’d love to hear what methods might have helped you prepare for labor and delivery during your pregnancy!

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