ADVICE ON Prepping for Labor
I’ve had this blog topic on my mind for months but I always held back on sharing my thoughts…which you know isn’t like me. A lot of you have asked me what I did (or wish I had done) to prep for labor and TBH, it’s a hard question! Mainly because I truly don’t think there’s much you can do to prepare. I know some people will disagree and those same people probably spend hours creating a birthing plan, learning breathing techniques, and all that sh*t, but you know that’s not me.
I went into both of my labors with, in my opinion, a realistic view of the situation. I knew that no matter how much I prepped, the outcome would depend on my baby, my body, and what the doctors thought was best.
So while you won’t get a list of breathing techniques or birth plans in this post, I can tell you what felt good to me leading up to labor AND what I wish I did more of.
WHAT I DID BEFORE LABOR
+ BATHS: With both Walker and Capri, I LIVED in the bath by Month 9. By that point, I still felt decent but my body was hurting by the end of the day. The bath (or pool) helped me to feel weightless, to unwind, and it felt like a special time with the baby.
+ GOT MY BAG TOGETHER: I overpacked like crazy for my birth with Capri and then went very minimal for my second birth with Walker. I found the process of ordering and organizing my bag to be calming and like it was one little thing I could control. Oh and YOU KNOW Paul made us get everything else in order WELL in advance. Annoying at the time but ultimately helpful.
+ NESTED: Nesting is real and I definitely felt it with both kids. Give yourself time to nest the f*ck out your house and their nursery because you’ll want to. Read this post for my nesting tips.
+ KEPT ACTIVE: I worked out throughout both pregnancies. I also tried to keep up with stretching and walks which I think came into play during labor, with recovery, and with losing the baby weight.
+ STAYED HYDRATED: Pregnant or not, I’m obsessed with being hydrated. I drank as much water as possible leading up to birth since I heard it could help with the process. It also helps keep your skin’s elasticity and helps with digestion (aka constipation which is a common problem during pregnancy).
+ PREPPED WORK AND DELEGATED: Owning your own business(es) comes with its own set of pros and cons when it comes to maternity leave. On one hand, you essentially make your own schedule, and on the other, there’s no typical maternity leave. With Capri, I had a lot less on my plate business-wise and I was able to prep out blog content and things like that in advance which I recommend. By the time Walker came, I had two full-time businesses on top of my influencer stuff, so that was trickier. Luckily, I have a team I trust with my life and they were able to run the show while I was out. I only took a few weeks off which felt okay to me, though I do recommend planning as much as you can in advance for your own peace of mind. Mental health can be hard after labor / a baby so anything you can do to take things OFF your plate, do it.
WHAT I WISH I DID
+ REST / TIME OFF BEFORE BABY: Everyone tells you to rest as much as possible before the baby, but relaxing, in general, is hard for me – unless I’m OOO on a beach somewhere, cocktail in hand. Especially before Capri, I wish I would have taken some time off work BEFORE the baby came to relax. Once the baby comes, you’re tired and overwhelmed with emotions, both good and bad in my case, so a time to truly unwind before that would have been nice.
+ MASSAGES: As I said, I was generally comfortable up until the end of pregnancy, though I wish I would have treated my body to more massages.
+ PREPPED FOR POSTPARTUM: Honestly, I think so much attention goes into labor when in reality, it’s over within a few days. And while, just like with labor, there’s only so much planning you can execute before actually going through it, postpartum is a WHOLE SITUATION. I could have been more prepared for things like night sweats and bought more f*cking sheets LOL. I shared all the postpartum realness in this post if you’re interested.
For more baby talk, here’s The Advice I’d Give to All Parents (or Future Parents) and My Baby Essentials.