Pre-Labor: 3 Ways to Prepare for Birth

If you’re at the end of your pregnancy, you might prepare for birth by frantically cleaning out closets and finishing the nursery.

But taking some of that burst of energy and preparing for birth with your body can really pay off.

Take long walks like you’re training for a marathon. Go beyond where your brain tells you you need to stop, just to keep reminding yourself that you have so much more energy and strength than your mind can know.

Eat healthy food, do prenatal yoga with experts who can customize the class for you, and enjoy these last weeks of freedom.


prepare for birth

And in pre-labor, once contractions start… of course you don’t have to run to the hospital. There will sometimes be days – at least many hours – before true labor begins, and then lots of time before you’re actually pushing your baby into the word.

Here are three ways you can prepare for your birth during this pre-labor time:

Prepare for Birth by Resting

It’s hard to avoid the excitement of meeting your new baby, but please remember that labor can take a long time.  It’s exhaustion, not pain, that often causes a woman to change her mind and opt for pain relief.  If this is your first baby, you will likely think that you are further into your labor than you are.

Resist the urge to “work” through your contractions and try to ignore your labor as long as you can. 

When you can no longer ignore it, you’re probably still somewhat early in the process and you will have saved vital strength and energy.

Prepare for Birth by Eating and Drinking 

Dehydration causes fatigued muscles that have to work harder.  Cramping sensations and uterine irritability are more intense with dehydration, so your level of comfort is dependent on your fluid intake.

A sign of dehydration is long, painful contractions with little progress.  Eating will provide you with the fuel you need for this amazing journey.

Prepare for Birth by Moving with Your Breath 

When we move with our breath, we can move consciously, listening to our body and responding to the messages it sends.

Healthy Moms - prepare for birth


If you’ve been doing prenatal yoga, you already know some poses that feel good to you.

If not, it’s never too late to hop in to a prenatal yoga class or do a labor prep video.

Exhale away stress….

Remember, releasing tension helps the baby descend, and the cervix open.

Inhale all the way in to the back of your lungs….

Oxygenation is critically important for your muscles to work efficiently.

Take long slow breaths and practice moving in a gentle, easeful way that feels good. 

Get on hands and knees and let your hips and body move the way it wants to.

Exhale nice and long to stay connected to the space inside. 

What mantra can you use to remind yourself of the power and wisdom flowing through your? Maybe:  I have everything I need to birth this baby beautifully.



This article was written with help from: Margie Levy, who has been a certified doula since 2002 and has served over 275 families.   It was the birth of her own two children in 1991 and 1993 that made her realize how critical support is for birthing families, and she loves supporting these families as they grow.




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