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Empowering Yourself for the Journey: A Guide to Prepare

Preparing for the much waited arrival of your little one can be incredibly exciting yet overwhelming at the same time. I've put together a list of some tips and things that can help you along your journey. If you are like me, being prepared is the only way!

1. Finding a provider that is supportive of your wishes and takes the time to listen to you. If you are not happy with the care you are receiving, it is perfectly okay to switch providers. This period of time should be exciting and you need a provider to support you. I switched halfway through my first pregnancy and it was the best decision I could’ve made because I ended up with a group of providers who listened to me and were so kind and supportive. It made my delivery so much less stressful.

2. Create a birth plan. Yes, we know that not everything always goes as planned. However, this will get you thinking about things that you think you would want or not want during delivery. For example, who do you want in the delivery room? An epidural vs natural birth? Delayed cord clamping? These are things to communicate to your provider as well as partner.

3. Practice self care. Taking care of yourself is essential for a healthy birth. Pregnancy is not the time to put yourself on the back burner. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat healthy, exercise, and practice relaxation techniques if you are feeling stressed.

4. Pack your hospital bag… and its never too early to start! I would order things as I thought of them even if it was months before my due date and I just put them aside. It eliminated a lot of my stress. If overpacking is what makes you feel better- then pack away!

5. Educate yourself. Take time to read books, attend childbirth classes (they offer many online now too), and talk to other moms about their experiences with childbirth and the postpartum period. The more you know, the more confident you'll feel. We have many books here that you are more than welcome to take home and read.

6. Communicate with your partner on what you expect from them during labor and delivery. Remember, as much as they have been apart of the journey with you they are not experiencing what you are. Do you want them taking photos? Do you want them updating your friends and family during labor? Are there any pain management techniques that you want them to help you with?

Preparing for birth is an intimate process that requires time, attention, and self-care. By finding what works for you, you can feel confident and empowered as you embark on this incredible journey. Remember, you've got this!

In health,

Dr. Claire

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