10 Tips To Help You Prepare For Childbirth

Buckle up, muma bear-to-be! The thrill (and yes, maybe a tad of the terror) of preparing for childbirth is real. But fear not, because we've got your back with these 10 top-notch tips to get you ready to rock that labour room!

Now, let's talk about the baby elephant in the room: giving birth is a monumental milestone. It's like the Olympics of life events, with a gold medal in cuteness waiting at the finish line. But hey, a little prep can go a long way in turning those anxious jitters into confident mama swagger.

So, before you embark on this wild ride of pregnancy and those sleep-deprived first weeks, let's arm you with some savvy strategies to make the journey smoother than a baby's bottom.

Ready? Let's do this!

1. Baby Bootcamp: Get 'Em Ready!

Alright, mum, it's time to rally the team! Did you know that from around 33 weeks, you can start coaching your little nugget into the perfect position for their grand entrance? It's like giving them a crash course in Birth 101!

Grab your trusty birthing ball or get cosy with a chair (preferably not the one with the squeaky wheel) and start practicing your best kneeling stance. Picture yourself as the coach, and your baby as the star athlete gearing up for the big game... or should we say, the big push!

This simple move works wonders in coaxing your tiny human into the optimal position for their grand debut. Think of it as your baby's very own red carpet moment, except instead of paparazzi, it's your adoring family waiting to welcome them into the world. Ready, set, kneel!

This simple position helps move your baby into the right space for birth. You can take a closer look at how to practice the exact positions here.

2. Stay Zen, Mum: Coping 101

When it comes to tackling labour like a boss, it's all about channelling that positive mojo straight to your birthing battlefield.

When you're in the throes of labour, the last thing you need is Aunty Lynda chiming in with her ancient wisdom about how she gave birth on the back of a unicorn (we wish!). So, here's the deal: tune out the noise, focus on your breathing, and let those good vibes flow.

When the big moment arrives, you'll be surrounded by a whirlwind of activity. But fear not! You've got this. Stay laser-focused, keep those thoughts positive, and don't let anyone rain on your parade (or your contractions).

Now, about those "helpful" tips from everyone and their gran? Take them with a pinch of salt. Sure, you'll hear tales that rival something from a horror film, but remember, most of them are as tall as your pregnancy cravings. Tune out the drama, and get ready for the greatest show of your life: the miracle of childbirth, starring you and your partner.

3. Baby Bumps and Bicep Curls: Stay Fit, Mum!

You have a better chance of having a straightforward birth if you are strong and fit. Did you know that staying strong and fit can be your secret weapon for a smoother ride through labour? It's like having your own superhero training montage, with a cute little sidekick kicking in your belly.


But before you hit the gym like a boss, make sure to check in with your trusty GP or midwife for the official thumbs-up. Once you get the green light (cue the confetti!), aim to squeeze in at least 30 minutes of activity a day, five days a week. And guess what? Walking totally counts! So lace up those trainers and go for a wobble.

Feeling fancy? Dive into the wonderful world of prenatal yoga and aqua natal classes. It's like a spa day for your bump! Plus, bonding with other mums-to-be is always a win.

Now, let's talk safety first. We're all for breaking a sweat, but let's skip the extreme sports for now. Say goodbye to skiing, horseback riding (unless you're riding a unicorn), and anything that involves more contact than a friendly smile. Remember, you're growing a tiny human in there, not auditioning for the Olympics!

And hey, don't forget to keep that fitness fire burning all the way to the finish line. If you haven't already grabbed yourself a fitness tracker, now's the time to treat yourself to a Fitbit. Consider it your trusty sidekick on this epic journey of baby bumps and burpees.

4. Perineum TLC: A Massage Mission

Alright, ladies, let's talk about the unsung hero of childbirth: your perineum. There are lots of great studies that suggests massaging your perineum (the tissue between your vagina and your anus) can be like a superhero cape, swooping in to reduce the chances of tearing during childbirth and can help antenatal recovery times. This is especially pertinent if it's your first baby. While it might not be the most glamorous topic, trust us, giving it some TLC now can make all the difference later!

Now, we get it. The mere thought of tearing might send shivers down your spine (or anywhere but down there). But fear not, mum, because we've got your back(side)! Around the 34-week mark, it's time to break out the oils and get to massaging. Think of it as a bonding session with your bump, with a side of self-care thrown in. And don't hesitate to recruit your partner for some extra hands-on support.

So go ahead, give that perineum some love and attention. Trust us, your future self will thank you. And who knows? You might just emerge from childbirth feeling like a perineum pro!

Check out this fantastic video tutorial below on how to massage your perineum from myPelvicFloorMuscles.

5. Home Sweet Home: Consider the Cosy Option

Picture this: your own cosy nest, familiar surroundings, and the comforting presence of your loved ones. Yep, we're talking about the magic of a home birth!

Now, before you brush off the idea, consider this: homebirth numbers have been on the rise, with more mums embracing the idea of bringing their bundle of joy into the world right in the heart of their own sanctuary. In fact, in the UK, around two percent of babies are born at home each year. Talk about a rising trend!

We get it. The mere thought of giving birth outside the hospital walls might send your anxiety levels into overdrive. There was no way I was having a homebirth. But here's the truth: for many mums, a home birth can be just as safe and serene as a hospital delivery, minus the fluorescent lights and beeping monitors.

So, before you let the scare stories hijack your birth plan, take a deep breath and trust your instincts. As long as your pregnancy is sailing smoothly and you've got a great midwife by your side, there's no reason why you can't kick back and welcome your little one in the comfort of your own home sweet home.

It's all about what feels right for you and your growing family. Read more about some of the advantages and disadvantages of a home birth below:

Advantages of a home birth

  • You will be able to recover from labour in the comfort of your own home.
  • Higher rates of having a normal birth compared to those within hospitals.
  • It is very likely that you will have the same midwife throughout your labour.
  • You can have all your family close by for support.
  • If there are complications you can easily be moved to the hospital.

Disadvantages of a home birth

  • If your pregnancy is considered high risk having your baby at home is dangerous to the health of you and your baby.
  • Gas and air will need to be administered by your midwife.
  • If there are any complications, you will likely have to transfer to the hospital at a very late stage of labour.

6. Fuel Up, Mum: Powering Through Labour Like a Boss

Alright, let's talk energy, because let's face it, labour is basically a marathon in disguise! But fear not, mum, because we've got the ultimate set of tips to keep those energy tanks topped up and ready for action.

At the onset of labour, think slow and steady wins the race. Load up on wholemeal goodies like sandwiches, rice, or pasta. These carb-packed champions release their energy gradually, ensuring you've got the stamina to keep those contractions at bay.

As labour kicks into high gear, you might find yourself craving something a bit lighter than a carb-loaded feast. Cue the high-energy snacks! Pack your bag with goodies like wine gums (who knew they were multi-purpose?), energy drinks (the non-alcoholic kind, of course), and cereal bars for that quick energy fix when you need it most.

And let's not forget about hydration, because mum, you're going to need it! Keep those fluids flowing, and don't underestimate the power of the humble straw. It's like the secret weapon in your labour arsenal, making sipping between contractions a breeze.

So there you have it, mum: carb-loading, snack-packing, and hydration domination. With these energy-boosting strategies in your corner, you'll be tackling labour like the rockstar you are.

7. Dive Into Doula Delight: Your Birth Friend Extraordinaire

Picture this: a wise, experienced guardian angel by your side, guiding you through the twists and turns of pregnancy and labour like a seasoned pro. Enter the doula: your ultimate birthing BFF!

In modern times, a doula is like a superhero sidekick, swooping in to offer a hefty dose of emotional and practical support throughout your journey to motherhood. Think of a doula as your personal birthing coach and calming presence all rolled into one. From holding your hand during those intense contractions to offering sage advice on breathing techniques and optimal positioning, they've got you covered like a cozy blanket on a chilly night.

Doulas have become very popular in the UK because they are masters of the birthing battlefield, adept at navigating the sometimes overwhelming sea of doctors, nurses, and well-meaning family members. Consider them your buffer, ensuring your wishes are heard loud and clear amidst the chaos of childbirth.

And here's the best part: a doula isn't just there for the main event. Nope, they’re with you before and after labour too, offering prenatal and postpartum support with a sprinkle of expert guidance and a whole lot of heart.

So if you're craving that extra layer of comfort and expertise as you embark on this wild ride of motherhood, consider welcoming a doula into your birthing pack. With their help, you'll be tackling labour like a boss and welcoming your little one into the world with confidence and grace.

8. Breathe In, Mum: Mastering the Art of Labour Breathing

Let’s talk about the power of your breath, because trust us, it's your secret weapon in the labour arena! Sure, we all know how to inhale and exhale, but when it comes to managing those contractions like a boss, it's all about mastering the art of labour breathing.

Think of your breath as your trusty sidekick, swooping in to save the day when those contractions come knocking. By tapping into the magic of rhythmic breathing, you're not just oxygenating your own body but also giving your precious bundle of joy a little extra boost. It's like a mini oxygen party for two!


When the big moment arrives, remember this mantra: deep, slow, and relaxed. Embrace those deep belly breaths like a pro, letting each inhale and exhale wash over you like waves on a serene beach. Not only does this help keep those muscles nice and loose, but it also gives your cervix the green light to do its thing and dilate.

Practice makes perfect! So, before the main event kicks off, spend some quality time honing your breathing techniques. Picture yourself in your happy place and breathe in that sweet, sweet relaxation. And remember, if you're feeling the need for a little extra help along the way, don't hesitate to reach for the gas and air. No shame in that game, mum! It's all about finding what works best for you and your journey through labour land.

9. Baggage Check: The Hospital Bag Edition

Picture this: you're in the throes of labour, contractions coming in hot like an underground train, and suddenly you realise...you forgot to pack your hospital bag! Cue the panic mode, right?

Listen up, because we've got one mission and one mission only: to ensure you don't end up at the hospital with nothing but a Sainsbury carrier bag (no offense to Sainsbury's, but they're not exactly known for their maternity line).

Your hospital bag is like Mary Poppins' magical carpet bag, but instead of pulling out lamps and penguins, you're reaching for essentials like comfy PJs, snacks, and all the toiletries to make you feel human again post-birth.

And here's a pro tip: don't forget the essentials for your little bundle of joy too! Think onesies, a shit load of nappies (get the right size!), hats, boots and gloves if it is a winter birth, and enough baby wipes to clean up a spaghetti explosion (because let's face it, newborns are messy business).


Packing a bag in the midst of pregnancy brain fog can feel like a Herculean task but it is essential.  When those contractions start kicking into high gear, you'll be thanking your past self for being oh-so-prepared.

So grab that bag, mum, and pack it with love and a touch of nesting instinct. Because when the big day arrives, you'll be rolling into the hospital like the boss mum you are, with everything you need to welcome your little one into the world.

10. Plan Like a Boss: Your Birth Plan Blueprint

It's time to whip out that metaphorical pen and paper and get your birth plan game sorted out!

Think of it as your roadmap to the big day, ensuring that everyone involved knows exactly what's important to you as you embark on this wild ride called childbirth. Before you break out into a cold sweat at the mere thought of crafting a detailed document, take a deep breath. Your birth plan can be as elabourate or as simple as you'd like, from a detailed plan to a few key bullet points outlining your wishes and desires.

The beauty of a birth plan lies in its clarity. By spelling out your preferences for each stage of labour and those precious first hours with your new bundle of joy, you're giving your dream team of doctors, midwives, partners and birthing partners (hello, doula!) the inside scoop on how to support you best.

But here's the thing: childbirth is like a choose-your-own-adventure book, with twists and turns you never saw coming. And while your birth plan is your guiding light, it's important to stay flexible and open-minded. Sometimes, life throws us a curveball, and that's okay! Your dream team will do their darndest to honour your wishes while navigating the unpredictable waters of labour and delivery.

So, mum, jot down those hopes, dreams, and must-haves for your birthing journey. Share it with your midwife and birthing team well in advance, and trust that they'll be there to support you every step of the way, even if things don't go exactly as planned.

Remember, you've got the power to shape your birth experience, and your birth plan is your ticket to making it as magical as can be. Every labour is unique. It isn't always possible for doctors, nurses, and birthing partners to meet all the expectations laid out in birthing plans but they will try their best as long as they are aware of what is important to you.