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Mindset Changes.

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

The 37 week pregnancy mark hits and all the suggestions of inducing labor start flooding in. Eat spicy foods and six dates a day. Drink red raspberry tea and walk miles every day. All of those are great, helpful suggestions, but the truth is, the baby is not going come until it is ready to be born. There are certainly things like the ones listed above that you can do to help the process, but sometimes all you need is time. I know that's easy to say as someone who isn't pregnant right now but I've been there, my second daughter came at 41 weeks, 5 days. It would be so much healthier on women mentally if instead of counting down the days of pregnancy starting at 37 weeks when the baby is technically "full term", we changed our mindset to not expecting labor until 41 weeks, especially for first time moms. What if we change our mindset from trying everything to induce labor, to preparing our body for labor and surrendering to the baby's timeline. Simple mindset changes can make all the difference.


In the first mindset, you may feel like you or your baby are doing something wrong. You are doing everything in your power to start labor, your baby is full-term, nothing is happening so something must be wrong. When you start self doubting your body and baby, your mental stability starts declining and your patience starts wearing thin. Instead of soaking up the last few weeks of pregnancy, you start dreading each day that passes.


In the second mindset, you are doing all the things to prepare your body for labor but aren't expecting them to take root until well past your due date, more like around 41 weeks. I could do an entire blog post on "due dates" alone but for the sake of not bunny trailing, I'll keep it simple and share a little excerpt from Evidence-Based Birth on due dates.


"The researchers found that 50% of all women giving birth for the first time gave birth by 40 weeks and 5 days, while 75% gave birth by 41 weeks and 2 days.


Meanwhile, 50% of all women who had given birth at least once before gave birth by 40 weeks and 3 days, while 75% gave birth by 41 weeks.


This means that for both first-time and experienced mothers in Smith’s study, the traditional “estimated due date” of 40 weeks was wrong!


The actual pregnancy was about 5 days longer than the traditional due date (using Naegele’s rule) in a first-time mother, and 3 days longer than the traditional due date in a mother who has given birth before." (Dekker)


I'll be the first to recognize all the aches and pains in the last trimester. I completely understand the desire to "try all the things" to start labor, so I made a list of a few things to do in your last weeks of pregnancy that will prepare you for labor.


  • ICE ICE Baby! What can ice do to help you prepare for labor?? Well, holding ice in your hand is actually a really effective way to to prepare your mind and body for contractions. Hold a few ice cubes in your hand and have your partner time it for 60 seconds (the duration of a contraction). A few seconds in, you'll start feeling uncomfortable and your mind will tell you give into the pain and drop the ice. This is a great way to see what makes you comfortable when you are experiencing an intense feeling. Do you like your partner touching you? Did you need complete silence? Did you make noise? Did you find comfort in your surroundings? Did you self talk? Did you stay calm? Did you want to give up right away? How can you and your partner better support you through an intense experience? There are so many ways the ice test can help you prepare for labor!

  • Yoga Ball. Now this one is more widely known across pregnant women but I don't think everyone realizes just how good it is in pregnancy. When you sit on the couch, you are more than likely in a relaxed, slumped back position which is A+ for comfort buuuuuttttt not A+ for baby's position. Sitting on the yoga ball helps you stay in an upright position which helps baby's position in the pelvis. By doing some big and small hip circles and fast figure 8's, you can encourage baby to engage the pelvis and even turn a posterior baby, anterior.

  • Curb Walking. We all know that walking is great for everyone, especially when pregnant, but have you heard of the benefits of curb walking? Curb walking is walking with one foot on ground and one foot on the curb. It feels pretty funky at first, but the benefits are *chefs kiss*. Walking on unequal ground provides more room in the pelvis, encouraging the baby to descend. I suggest having someone go with you when you curb walk because in late pregnancy, our balance isn't always great. Only do about 10 minutes of curb walking, don't exhaust yourself!


With a few mindset changes, we can go from wishing away the last weeks of pregnancy by chasing labor with induction methods, to preparing our body for the labor we are patiently waiting for. <3



xoxo

Kinsey Drea, Mother the Mother Birth Services











Citation:

Dekker, Rebecca. “The Evidence on: Due Dates.” Evidence Based Birth®, 25 Oct. 2021, https://evidencebasedbirth.com/evidence-on-due-dates/.



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