There are many different ways of preparing for birth. We’re all different and we all have our own way of doing things. There are countless books, blogs and courses available to help you.
Mother-of-two Klara Svensson did next to nothing to prepare before her first (vaginal) delivery, which explains why she was so motivated to be thoroughly prepared the next time!
Here she shares some empowering advice with those of you preparing for birth.
Preparing for birth: your empowerment checklist!
1. Teamwork rules!
Involve your partner/birthing companion as much as possible. Giving birth together as a team makes it a much more wonderful and enjoyable experience.
2. Accept that (most likely) nothing will go (exactly) the way you plan.
It’s extremely important that you mentally prepare yourself to cope with unexpected developments. Nothing ever goes according to plan. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
3. Focus on you and what you need.
Don’t try to be brave or to please other people. Brave people are dull. Put your own needs first, stand your ground and do what feels right for YOU. Your partner/birthing companion is your most important ally. They are your rock.
4. Get more massages and cuddles!
You deserve oodles of massages, caresses and cuddles. From the moment you conceive until a long time after you give birth, to be precise. Loving physical contact is a fantastic and effective remedy for everything from mild panic to baby blues and pain.
5. At least consider taking an antenatal course.
When you’re preparing for birth, NEVER be too cool for school! (Klara prepared for birth the first time by reading one book. Job done, or so she thought. Until that moment of rising panic on the delivery ward when she realised she had NO idea what to do. Editor’s note.)
I’m a Swedish TV producer and present a podcast about kids, careers, nostalgia, modern-day worries and so much more.
My best tip for new mums: get a baby bouncer with a calming rocking movement. It’s truly a life-saver if you want time to yourself to grab a meal/take a shower/check Instagram/sit staring into space.