Preparing for labour
Some people will say that you can never really prepare for labour. And while from an emotional and physical perspective that can be true (up to a point), there are certainly things you can do to make sure that, when the time comes, you are as prepared and as comfortable as you can be.
These include having your hospital bag packed and ready to go by week 32 (read our blog post on what hospital essentials to include), ensuring you are eating a healthy diet all the way up to your due date, looking after your body taking a moderate and gentle form of exercise, and sleeping as much as possible (for this one you’ll definitely thank us later!)
Sleep can be such a challenge while pregnant, particularly as the due date approaches and your belly is increasing in size. Try doubling up on pillows and resting one between your legs to lift them slightly and relieve any pressure and backache. The award-winning Dreamgenii pregnancy support pillow has been designed to allow you to turn over without having to turn the whole pillow over, which is a lifesaver for an interrupted night’s sleep. Its back-support cushion also prevents you rolling onto your back: this ensures that you are sleeping on your left-side, which has multiple benefits for both you and your baby.
Another item that will relieve your pregnancy backache is a Serola Sacroiliac SPD belt. Don’t let yourself be put off by the medical name: simply put, it treats lower back pain, sacroiliac pain and joint instability – all particularly important during pregnancy. The belt is safe to wear both during and after pregnancy, it is invisible under most clothing and it is breathable and hypoallergenic.
Together with the use of a belt and proper sleep, some light daily exercise is extremely important as it will keep your muscles and joints active and in shape - ahead of one the biggest efforts of their working lives! Gentle walking is great as it also allows you to get out of the house and get some distraction and plenty of fresh air. Indoors, a simple birthing ball can do wonders for your fitness as well as general stability. So easy to use, it is widely recommended by midwives and can also be used in the early stages of labour to relieve the pain of those early contractions. All the ones stocked on InHealth.ie are non-burst and safe for this purpose. If you are planning to go drugs-free during labour and use a TENS machine, the last trimester is the perfect time to purchase one. Look at it as an investment that will serve you well in the future, as it can also reduce symptoms from other ailments such as period pain and joint pain. To find out more, check out this blog post all about TENS machines.
And finally, a self-care tip: don’t forget to look after your skin. The ritual of using an oil or cream every night or in the morning after your shower will not only keep any stretch marks at bay, but also allow you a quiet moment of reflection and bonding with your bump. Make the most of it, and ensure you are using a safe, pregnancy-specific skincare cream with a no-nasties formula, like the classic Mama Mio Tummy Rub Butter.
You can shop any of these products from the comfort of your own home with InHealth.ie: we are 100% Irish and deliver in 1-2 days throughout Ireland. And more helpful tips and advice check out more from our Blog!