Tips for Labour Preparation in Childbirth

By Anna-Maria Boelskov - April 11, 2020

What is childbirth labour?

Labour is the process of contractions and cervical opening that takes place for several hours before the birth of a baby. Labour is multidimensional; labour is work - it is all the steps you need to go through to birth your baby into the world.

When should you start preparing for labour?

Preparing for labour will prevent you from experiencing unnecessary fear and anxiety, and it can reduce your chances of burnout during the labour process. Meanwhile preparing for labour can enhance your chances of a positive birth experience. I have written about how to prepare for birth here. Preparing for labour is, just like preparing for birth, a process that is best done over time. It's not just a case of how labour unfolds, although a crucial part of the preparation, but about learning where your challenges and strengths lie within the labouring process. Hence learning about the physical factors is only a part of it, taking time to tap into where you need to prepare is what takes time - such as;

  • If you are prone to anxiety, this has to be attended to so that you are as relaxed as possible during the arrival of your baby.
  • If you are worried about the pain in labour and birth, this has to managed prior as well to ensure you're able to surrender to the inevitable sensations.
  • If you are hoping for a natural birth, orgasmic birth, water birth or a home birth - whatever it maybe - you need to have plans and steps in place to increase your chances of achieving your desired experience.
  • If you have anaemia or other health challenges you're going to have a better labour and birth experience and ultimately a safer and happier postpartum period if you are in optimal health. 

Hence, all of these (and much more) is part of preparing for labour. It is a step by step learning journey that will take you to your most prepared physical and mental state. It is no secret that being unprepared can be a risk factor for traumatic and unpleasant labour and birth experiences. I suggest preparing for labour as early as possible in pregnancy.

What should I eat in preparation for labour?

Here are the fundamentals:

  • Avoid refined foods 
  • Focus only on whole foods, such as fresh and clean produce (organic where possible) with a large proportion being plant-based, natural fats from plant and animal sources and mixed protein from plants, legumes and animals.
  • You do not need more food in preparation for labour, but you do need high nutrient-dense foods. Avoid empty calories in the lead up to labour. 
  • Hydration is perhaps more critical than ever before - deep and thorough hydration, including electrolytes is best done gradually and has enormous benefits for labour. Without proper hydration, you'll automatically loose 30% of your potential capacity to endure labour - just like any athlete going into an important event that requires endurance.

Nutrition, your secret weapon for labour and postpartum

Preparing nutritionally could be your secret weapon for a better postpartum, more energy, more endurance during labour and birth, fewer complications and more joy. Too many women feel burnout before, during and after welcoming their baby and become at higher risk for postnatal complications, physically and mentally. I have supported women for over ten years in being and feeling their best in preparation for motherhood - and I would argue it is the most essential work you can do.

Does walking make labour easier?

Yes it can. Being active is highly beneficial for your cardiovascular health, it will improve your breathing capacity and reduce unwanted pregnancy discomforts such as swelling, haemorrhoids, reflux and constipation. Avoiding as many of these before labour will undoubtedly make labour easier. Additionally, walking before and during labour will help your posture/alignment, your flexibility and thereby can improve your baby's positioning in your pelvis - which makes a big difference for how labour and birth unfold. Being stuck in a position during labour can be unhelpful for the process of labour and prevent your baby from descending smoothly. 

Top 10 tips for labour and birth preparation:

  1. Be active.
  2. Have a support team you trust and can rely on for comfort and physical help.
  3. Be fully informed to avoid disappointment, misunderstandings and unnecessary trauma.
  4. Know how to give true consent in a medical situation.
  5.  Surrender your intellectual mind and learn to be more present in your body.
  6. Be clear about your needs and ensure you express them to your support team and medical caregivers.
  7. Drink and urinate often.
  8. Personalise your birthing space, set it up, so you feel comfortable and safe.
  9. Rest when you can, and stay soft in your body even when you work your hardest.
  10. Let go of control and fear - labour may go up and down, take detours and bring unforeseen challenges - and going with the flow of your labour will ultimately be your best bet. 


Get Virtual Birth Support


Clinic Services
Doula Services
happier healthier mum.png

Get A Free Gift

My Top 10 Foods for a Happier Healthier Mum

As a fellow mum (of three wonderful girls) I really know how challenging and exhausting being a mum can be at times! 

When I first became a mum I realised just how much my lifestyle and diet played a part in how well I coped with the demanding tasks of caring for my little ones.

I help so many women through all kinds of burnout, exhaustion, weight gain, digestive and hormone problems, illness and general low's.... and I never get tired of seeing just how well they respond to my graspable and nurturing support. It really makes my job such a blessing, to be able to help you.

Alright, let's get to it! Here are my top 10 tips to become a happier and healthier mum!

Free Gift

I will never spam you or send automated promotions - my mission is to provide you with valuable useful content