In 6 weeks before birth its important to slow down and do nice things for yourself to keep adrenalin levels low. Panicking about finishing work etc can maintain high adrenalin levels which may delay cervical softening/ripening. It may also delay onset of labour leading to potential induction etc.
Build emotional well-being:
Evening primrose oil thought to help soften the cervix
Raspberry leaf tea to tone uterine muscle
Practice relaxation and breath work
Use affirmations to build confidence
Visualise giving birth
Communicate with birth partner
Attend a birth class
Write a birth plan
Start building list of support groups post baby - breastfeeding, mums group, yoga etc
Sitz bath - lavender oil for healing, cypress oil haemorrhoids
Get a massage to relax and distress
Acupuncture to help energy flow to uterus
Reflexology to ripen cervix
Homeopathy - ripen, deal with emotional stress and turn baby
Do nice things
Eat well - stay hydrated
Build a birth toolkit and supplies
Start perineal massage - see perineal massage leaflet for details
Pack your hospital bag
Stock your freezer
Have a mother blessing
Hypnotherapy if really fearful and panicked
Homeopathic labour kit
Lavender oil and tea towel
Eye mask/ear plugs
2 Light loose nightdresses or pyjamas (front opening if possible to facilitate skin-to-skin contact with your baby)
Light dressing gown Slippers/Flip flops (your feet might swell at end of pregnancy)
Disposable underwear/comfy underwear
Face cloth or water spray (eau thermale is really nice!)
Towel, Toiletries, nipple cream, breast pads, sanitary towels, toothbrush, toothpaste and hairbrush
Shower cap (if you wish to have a shower)
Something to tie up your hair
Mobile phone charger
Going home clothes
Change for the parking meter
What to pack for baby:
Long sleeved grows X 6
Vests X 6
Pre-washed baby towel
Pack of nappies (newborn size)
Cotton wool balls/pack of baby wipes
Baby bibs X 6
Muslin clothes X 6
Baby blanket X 2
Cot sheet X 2
Car seat (to be brought in on the day you are going home)
How to help yourself at home:
Try to stay as relaxed as possible- it is normal to be anxious.
Listen to relaxing music.
Take a walk with your birthing partner.
Take a warm bath or shower at regular intervals (baths are only allowed if the waters are not broken).
Ask your birthing partner to give you a back massage- this helps with the backache and relaxes you.
Eat small light meals and drink plenty.
Empty your bladder every 1-2 hours. (a full bladder can block baby’s descent)
Sleep – if the contractions are mild or stop, sleep or nap between contractions (being tired reduces a body’s ability to handle stress).
Breathing - keep your breathing deep, steady and slow during a contraction. Once the contraction is wearing off close your eyes and allow your body to rest before the next contraction.
Try to remain upright once the contractions become strong. Gravity will help your baby to be born. Being upright doesn’t have to mean standing- you may also try squatting, kneeling or leaning/sitting on a birthing ball. You may try rocking your pelvis gently, swaying your hips, walking up and down stairs.
It is safe to take a painkiller such as PLAIN Paracetamol (if you are not allergic). You can take two (500mgs) tablets every 4-6hrs. Do not take more than 8 tablets within a 24hour period. This helps with mild pains, allowing you to have some rest.
Use a birthing ball
Laugh - watch a funny movie
Remain in a quiet, dark, warm environment to release oxytocin, light candles, use essential oils
Consider using a homeopathic labour kit
Turn off mobile phones
Use eye mask/ear plugs to focus internally on your breath and to help you work through pain