Trimester Length: 13 weeks
Preparing for Birth
Technically, you have been preparing for birth throughout your pregnancy, but now might be the time to take a few prenatal classes specifically about labor and delivery. While you can take classes about pregnancy and preparing for baby throughout your pregnancy, it’s good to have some special coaching in the weeks leading up to the birth to plan for that experience.
Two common methods for childbirth breathing, relaxation, and exercise are the Lamaze technique and the Bradley method. Each of these has a different related philosophy. For example the Lamaze technique encourages women to be empowered through birth by education and support to approach this natural and healthy process.
The Bradley method also places emphasis on the natural approach to childbirth, but particularly on partner coaching. Your partner or husband will be your birth coach, and the major goal of the philosophy is to give birth without medications unless absolutely necessary.
Writing a Birth Plan
You may also want to consider writing a birth plan. Birth plans help your doctor and/or midwife remember the particulars of your case and your preferences or choices throughout the experience. Here are a few things that a written birth plan can help you choose:
- Do you want to be able to walk around and move as you choose? This may mean delaying the placement of an IV (and meanwhile drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated)?
- Do you want to let your water break naturally?
- What pain relief techniques do you want to use?
- Do you want to be offered pain medication?
- Do you want coaching on when to push?
- Do you want to touch your baby’s head when they crown?
Planning for these and other choices will help smooth your labor and delivery experience as much as possible.