1. Crawl on all fours
For 5-10 minutes, twice a day. This provides optimum room for your baby to correctly place itself within your pelvis. This posture, along with gravity, encourages the baby to move forwards into the pelvis.
It is believed that this helps to prevent posterior babies. In previous decades this appears to have been less common and thought to have been due to women frequently crawling round on all fours scrubbing the floor.
2. Keep upright while sitting
Avoid sitting in a reclined position on the sofa or in the car as these positions do not help the correct positioning of your baby.
3. Ensure your spine is aligned
Due to hormonal changes and changes in gravitational forces, pregnant women often develop restricted joints. Research has shown correct alignment of the pelvis and spine contribute to a more straightforward labour with less pain and trauma to mother and baby.
Whilst pregnant, many women develop a new posture to accomodate their changing body shape which can results in head, neck, shoulder and back pain.
Chiropractors work to align your spine and minimise restrictions. This is important during pregnancy due to the drastic weight and distribution changes, therefore regular visits during pregnancy helps to diminish your chances of complications during labour.
4. Pelvic Floor Strengthening
Keeping the pelvic floor strong gives the body the best chance of recovery post-birth. It is common for women to be unaware of how sore their body can feel following labour. It is important to gain full control over your pelvic floor as it also controls the bladder and bowel. This is important whether a natural birth or caesarean occur, all pregnant woman need to strengthen the pelvic floor.
5. Perform regular perineal massage
This is particularly important if this is your first birth or you have a history of perineal tears from previous births. This massage can be painful and difficult however, it is a way of physically preparing the body for birth.
6. Apply Vitamin E or Jojoba oil to your perineal area daily
This helps to soften the area. If you are a new mother, your perineum has never had to stretch to allow a newborn to pass through so help your body by encouraging elasticity, also useful if you have experience a previous perineal tear.
7. Apply oils and creams onto your stomach and breasts to help prevent stretch marks
It is recommended that you continue to apply these post-birth as you milk comes in and the breast tissue stretched further.
8. Be mindful of your diet
This should go without saying throughout life and pregnancy, however, it is particularly important in the last 2weeks of pregnancy. It is important to obtain enough vitamin C, B, E, K, iron, zinc and probiotics. Vegetarians should also obtain plenty of calcium and vitamin B12. If these can be obtained via foods this is the preferred method.
9. Have a nap each day
Adequate rest for you and your baby is important.More