Lara Sodergren has been a home birth midwife of seventeen years and recently joined Thrive’s midwifery team. Merging evidence based care and informed consent into every interaction with our clients, Lara upholds our vision for quality midwifery care through the childbearing years. We asked her to share her 5 favorite tips for a healthy pregnancy and birth, and here is what she has to say:
Pregnancy is a time of profound transformation; a journey into the unknown that encompasses a full range of feelings, emotions as well as a myriad of physical changes. There is a whole host of things that a woman may experience while pregnant, from joy to fear, elation to uncertainty, profound love to curiosity. Each woman’s experience of pregnancy is completely individual and unique. Here are five suggestions to help you rock your pregnancy, labor and birth experience.
1. Find a provider that you trust! Explore your options. Interview. Dive deep and figure out where it is that you feel the safest having your baby. Whether that be at home, at a birthing center or in the hospital. Only you can decide where that is! If you have a provider and it isn’t feeling right, keep looking. Don’t stop until you know you have found that person who can meet your needs and can support you and your family in the best ways possible. Even if that means changing providers a month before your due date.
2. Keep your mind and your body healthy. Try to do something daily that moves your body or quiets your mind. Walk, swim, find a yoga class that works for you, dance in your living room. In addition to movement, quieting your mind is one of the best ways to prepare for labor and birth. Even if you only find 5 minutes a day to sit and still your thoughts, this will help you when it comes time to have your baby. Your body knows how to give birth! We just have to ‘get out of the way’ so to speak and meditation is a great way to prepare your mind to step aside and let your body do the work.
3. Boost your immune system by building up your gut flora. It is a well known fact that the seat of our immune system lies in the gut. Eat a diet rich in probiotic foods to help build up healthy gut flora. This includes fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, dairy kefir as well as probiotic beverages such as water kefir. By cultivating a strong immune system, you can prevent things like Group Beta Strep, which is tested for at around 35-37 weeks and can require IV antibiotics in labor if you test positive.
4. Learn about optimal fetal positioning. Help your baby find the best position before labor by going to www.spinningbabies.com and working some of the exercises recommended there. Avoid reclining back in big cushy chairs and keep yourself upright in order to keep your baby aligned with your spine thereby preventing positions that can make labor longer.
5. Trust yourself and your body! Your body knows how to grow and birth your baby. If something doesn’t feel right or you need more information, seek it out. Talk about it and don’t push it aside. Your body is your guide, trust it!