Activities and Foods for early labour
So…. You think the day has come when your body is getting ready to meet your baby. How exciting!! BUT, don’t get too excited yet, let’s stay calm for a while until your body settles nicely into labour, because this could just be a warm up and you don’t want to be doing the kind of overthinking which could actually slow it down or even stop it completely.
“So what should I do now?” I hear you ask. The important thing here is to ‘go with the rhythm of life’. There’s lots you can do to encourage your body to keep in the optimum state for labour.
If labour is starting at night: Sleep, or at least rest, you will need to replenish your energy as you do every other night, you will be grateful for those stores of energy later on…. and don’t wake the partner, let them sleep because their energy is going to be needed to support you later on too.
If labour starts in the daytime: ‘Do life’. This means to continue with the kinds of things you would normally be doing at that time of day, keeping yourself distracted. Although there are some particular activities that can specifically be considered helpful which have the added benefits of releasing the kind of hormones which are helpful to labour and birth.
Hydration & Blood Sugar: First and foremost, keep well hydrated and make sure your blood sugar levels are stable, small snacks of nutritious food with slow energy release are the way to go. Sorry, but now just isn’t the time to ‘treat yourself’ with a big bar of chocolate all to yourself or an energy drink as they will spike your blood sugar levels and then when they C-R-A-S-H you will feel even more tired.
Get Romantic: Have some special time with your partner, lots of cuddling, kissing, nipple & clitoral stimulation and dancing to raise your oxytocin levels. Look through photo albums of your wedding, holidays, or other special times together. You could go for a walk in nature together hand in hand, perhaps in the woods where the trees are making oxygen, remember to take your phone!
Oxytocin Party: You partner is at work? Then invite your very closest friend(s) to have a good laugh together over the daft things you’ve done in the past, or your friend(s) could be encouraged to remind you of your ‘good points’, the things they really admire or love about you. They could brush and style your hair, massage your feet and hands and remind you of lovely times you’ve had together, perhaps they will even bring over some nutritious snacks with them. There is nothing quite like feeling loved to raise your Oxytocin levels which can in turn bring you more quickly and easily into labour.
Get active: Do the dance of birth (belly dancing), try stair walking like a sideways crab. Bouncing on your birthing ball or a little kerb walking (no, not that kind!), walking with one foot on the kerb and the other in the road will cause your baby’s head to jiggle a little, straighten up and move downward, just gently bouncing on your cervix, encouraging it to open and at the same time helping baby to make any head adjustments necessary.
Laugh: Watch a funny film, your favorite comedian or ‘You’ve been Framed’ on catch up TV. Try standing up with a partner or friend and imagine a golden thread dropping down from your vagina with a pen on the bottom of it and write your name by swaying your hips. If you have a couple of I’s in your name, the dots are great fun! You can even swear and no one would know! Keeping your body moving and gyrating like that is good for baby to move down, and it will almost certainly make you laugh!
Visualise & Relax: Do some guided visualizations or deep relaxations. Picture your baby in the perfect position for birth, as The Wise Hippo mantra goes…”Head down, chin to chest, hands to heart and back to belly. Picture your body opening up like a flower to release your baby.
Bake a ‘Groaning cake’: See my blog on why you would want to do this and how, here:-