Training for the Workout of My Life: Childbirth
I’ve trained for and completed quite a few fitness events that I’m pretty proud of. There have been half marathons, one full marathon, mud runs and even a few CrossFit-esque multiple-day competitions that I’ve successfully completed. But now that I’m pregnant, all of those seem to pale in comparison to the workout I’m currently training for: childbirth.
And not just any childbirth — if all goes according to plan (famous last words, right?) — an unmedicated and natural childbirth.
I’ve been reading a ton of books and articles and research studies on childbirth, and pretty much just soaking in every little bit of knowledge I can about pregnancy and birth. And I’ve decided that I want to go the natural childbirth route.
I know, I know. A lot of women say they want to do it, but then, um, the pain of labor hit or complications occur and they’re getting an epidural faster than you can say contraction. But, I’m pretty gung-ho about this natural childbirth thing (which, naive as I am about it all — first-time mom, right here! — I do think that’s the first step to actually having a natural childbirth), and I’m really setting myself up to make it as real of a reality as I possibly can.
Ryan and I hired a doula. I’m still doing the acupuncture thing. I’m visualizing my natural childbirth. I’m reading up on it all (this book is everything — thanks for the recommendation, Erin!). I’m going to a birth center that supports my birth plan. (More on all of this in later posts!) And — I’m working out with a serious purpose.
My workouts have always been about feeling good and feeling strong, but now more than ever that’s true. I’m being more intuitive with everything, and I’m targeting my workouts to preparing for THE day. The day the baby comes!
My current 17-week bump may not be very big yet, but I’m already doing prenatal yoga DVDs to stay limber and have my eyeballs on a live class, I’m keeping up with my daily walking to keep my hips loose (midwife’s orders!), I’m doing my kegels, and I’m really working on those squats. Mentally, everyday, I tell myself I can do this. And that I will do this. And it’s beginning to sink in and feel good and normal. Millions of women have done this — I can do it, too!
Any other moms out there planning for a natural childbirth? Any moms who have already done a natural childbirth have any advice? What exercises did you do to prepare? Would love to know! —Jenn