Preparing for Labor
The period before labor starts can last for hours or even days, particularly with a first labor. So that you can manage when you go into labor, you need to take care of yourself during this pre-labor stage.
- Stay well rested so that you aren't completely exhausted when you go into labor.
- If you're having trouble resting, possibly because of anxiety or discomfort, try practicing relaxation techniques, such as breathing or visualization techniques, whereby you focus on a tranquil setting to induce a state of calm.
- Continue eating to keep your energy levels up and provide fuel for the days ahead. You may not feel like eating a large meal; instead eat little and often. Opt for wholesome snacks such as dried fruit, nuts, or a whole-wheat sandwich, and drink lots of fluids.
- If you're suffering with back pain, try showering in warm water or taking a warm bath. However, be careful when showering, since pregnancy increases your chances of feeling dizzy, and avoid a prolonged bath in very hot water since this may not be good for your baby.
- A lower back massage is comforting and a good way to relax and ease discomfort--ask your partner to give you a soothing massage.
Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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