how to prepare for an easy labor delivery and psotpartum

7 Way to Prepare for an Easier Childbirth and Postpartum Period

How to Prepare for a More Simple Labor and Recovery

Preparing for childbirth is no easy feat. It is important to make some sort of a birth plan and do a lot of fo research and preparation before going into labor on the big day.

Whether or not you are planning a 100% natural birth, or ready for that epidural, this post is still for you! These are the steps I took the second time around which made my labor so much easier!

My labor was far quicker, less painful, and the recovery time was much reduced when compared to my previous pregnancy.

I would assume that being my second child it would have been faster than the first anyways, however, I do believe that these steps I took to prepare for labor and postpartum really made all the difference in how my labor progressed as well as how quickly I healed postpartum.

**This post contains affiliate links to items I own and love and am confident will benefit you immensely! You can read the full disclosure here.**

how to prepare for


How I Prepared for Labor with Each Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I was young and had no idea about anything babies. I read through an enormous stack of pregnancy and baby books including Pregnancy for Dummies, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and tons more! (I highly recommend reading What to Expect When You’re Expecting if you never have before. Out of the mountain of baby books I read that one was actually very helpful for a newbie.)

Beyond that, I didn’t prepare too much at all for the labor and postpartum period.

I was much more focused on preparing for the baby.

  1. How to take care of a baby.
  2. Getting all the things she needs.
  3. Saving up some money to move to a more baby appropriate place.
  4. Finding that baby appropriate place in our budget and furnishing it! (We were in a tiny furnished but kinda ratty apartment on the beach that always had riff-raff nearby. Which was a dream for a young beach-loving couple, not great for a new baby.)

I THOUGHT I was doing everything I needed to for preparing for a baby. But forgot one key element, preparing my own body for the experience. As a result, my labor was long, I caved to an epidural (which was not in my plans), I tore badly, and recovery was long and difficult.


Needless to Say, I Prepared Much Better for my Second Pregnancy

While I felt quite comfortable with mothering and all the preparation I did for baby before my first child was born, preparing myself for labor and postpartum wasn’t even part of my plans.

So being comfortable after 4 years of mothering, when my second child came along, I was able to devote all my new research and preparation time to have a better labor and postpartum experience.

I focused on proper preparation for my body and preparing goodies for the postpartum period and it made a world of difference! My labor and recovery were so simple. Not painless of course, it IS childbirth after all, but not horrible either.

With preparing for labor and delivery correctly my recovery period was smooth. There are 9 keys to preparing for labor, delivery, and postpartum that made a world of difference for me.

Prenatal nutrition and fitness feels like a mystery to many of us. I mean your doctor hardly even touches on that area at all.

And yet, we now know that what you eat and how active you are while pregnant directly affects your baby’s genetic outcome, turning on and off certain genes based on your nutrition and fitness!

How’s a mom to know what to eat, what not to eat, and how to safely exercise to have a fit bump-only pregnancy and grow the most healthy baby possible through her diet and exercise?

There is this new ah-mazingly extensive, detailed, and easy to apply 2-part prenatal nutrition and fitness course called The Perfect Pregnancy Plan.

It’s created by a Personal Fitness Trainer who’s also certified in Nutrition and Lifestyle During Pregnancy and it breaks down EVERYTHING about prenatal nutrition, has tons of amazing recipes, and even has a full 40 week workout plan that addresses all your prenatal needs from pelvic floor, to diastasis recti, to prenatal backache.

If you have ever wondered about anything related to prenatal diet and exercise, the Perfect Pregnancy Plan is exactly what you need.


prenatal nutrition and fitness


7 Ways to Prepare for an Easier Childbirth and Postpartum


1. Get Mentally Prepared with a Labor and Delivery Course

I am a planner and a list maker by nature. I like to study and feel prepared for things. Pregnancy and childbirth is a huge change whether it’s your first or third! Being prepared for the experience and all it entails can make you so much more ready to take on the challenge ahead.

There are certain courses I find it super helpful to retake through the years like CPR, fitness training, and labor and delivery!

Lots can change in the years between pregnancies, and lots can be forgotten in the whirlwind of motherhood. Being totally refreshed for your labor and delivery can make you feel more in control over your body and aware of the choices available to you during labor.

My favorite prenatal class is available at home to take on your own time whenever you want! Seriously, not loading up and driving to a hospital to take a course is priceless! You can do it in your PJs with no makeup.

AND it’s created by an L&D nurse of 18 years, so she knows a thing or two and has a great understandable way to share all the info you need to feel prepared before baby arrives. Check out the best prenatal class here.


2. Make a birth plan that fits your personality.

There are lots of birth plans available online and from your registered hospital usually too. Heck, I’ll probably make one that you can download for free one day.

Everyone weighs in on the huge importance of a birth plan, but you need to make one that fits your unique style.

With my first pregnancy, I was excited to build my birth plan, print off copies for all my doctors and nurses, and know that everyone will respect those plans.

As I mentioned before, I like making lists and feeling prepared. Well, absolutely nothing on my birth plan ended up happening. And that really threw me for a loop. Why had everyone put so much pressure on creating a birth plan when it felt like nothing on it meant squat? Or that’s how I felt.

The second time my birth plan was to have no plan. I had a general idea of what I wanted to happen which I relayed to my midwives and nurses. But there was nothing set in stone in my mind. Which worked far better for my personality. No disappointment to deal with and everything still went great, though of course not exactly how I expected.

Now I am about to have my third baby. And by now I have a really good idea of how I’d like the experience to go. That is what led me suddenly away from a planned hospital birth 2 weeks ago, and settling instead on a birth center.

What you want your birth experience to be and your birth plan to be is fully up to you. It can be as specific or as laid back as you need it to be. But the key is to keep your personality and not only your desires in mind when creating it. If you get really disappointed when nothing goes to plan, maybe you might want a more lenient plan.

Just a thought.


how to prepare the body for labor and delivery during pregnancy


3. Prepare your perineum with essential oils.

This was what I believe to be my secret weapon to an easy childbirth and recovery.

Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants that harness not only the amazing strong smells of plants but also their concentrated healing properties.

After much research, I created a 6-week plan of custom essential oil blends to prepare my perineum for labor. After suffering 2nd-degree tears that took over a year to feel normal again with my first labor, I was ready to do anything I could to entirely avoid that experience again.

AND I DID! (Avoid it that is.)

Learn exactly how to prepare your perineum for childbirth using essential oils. These oils are safe for pregnancy and specifically selected to nourish, moisturize, and prepare the skin for stretching.


how to eat and exercise during pregnancy


4. Prepare your perineum with massage.

This is something that totally freaked me out with my first baby. I didn’t want to be massaging and stretching out down there. I mean, of course, it HAD to stretch out to get a baby out. But I didn’t want to help it along and stretch it out any more than it had to be.

Well, that was foolish. By properly preparing your lady parts for the stretching to come you are actually a lot more prone to getting them more closely back to how they started.

So, learn how to do perineal massage and prep that part of yourself for the big day. You can even use the special essential oil blends from #3 for even better results. (That’s why this link is directing you to the same post. Along with the essential oil blends to prepare for labor and delivery, that post also explains how to properly do a perineal massage.


5. Practice the malasana pose daily.

Once again you want to prepare for labor. You want to be strong and flexible for the possibly long and arduous day ahead.

The simple yoga stretch known as a malasana is the best yoga pose for preparing your perineum for labor. A malasana is a deep squat where your booty is almost touching the floor. Knees are spread wide and held out with your elbows.

Relax in this position twice a day for as long as it is comfortable. 20 seconds is a good goal. Deep breathing and calming your mind during this time can also help you prepare for labor.


6. Keep your pelvic floor strong.

There is not a single body part that is going to be strained more from pregnancy and delivery than your pelvic floor. While I stayed fit with baby #1, I neglected to work on my pelvic floor throughout my entire pregnancy.

After pushing out a baby, tearing and healing, that still left me with a weak pelvic floor and a slight prolapse. Causing embarrassing incontinence for a long time.

My pelvic floor was so weak postpartum I couldn’t do a kegel at all. Nothing would happen. I ended up working with a physical therapist to FINALLY rectify the problem.

By keeping my pelvic floor strong with not only Kegel’s but an entire pelvic floor strengthening routine through my entire second pregnancy, it was a lot easier to recover those muscles postpartum. I’m pretty sure not tearing by preparing with essential oils and perineal massage helped make that recovery much easier as well.

I’m sharing all these tips I used in an order that makes sense, to build upon each other and be the most help so you too can have an easier childbirth and postpartum recovery!

Check out how to strengthen your pelvic floor and do Kegel’s correctly here!


7. Continue taking high-quality food-sourced vitamins through your recovery period.

Did you know that you are supposed to continue taking your prenatal vitamin during breastfeeding as well as during your pregnancy?

Taking a high-quality food sourced prenatal vitamin will not only ensure that no matter what nutrients your diet may lack from day to day, that baby still gets the nutrition they need… but also that YOU get the proper nutrients that you need for postpartum healing.

The postpartum period will be a whirlwind of little sleep, tons of messes, and overall exhaustion. Being sure to take your prenatal vitamin continually during that time can make your recovery go a lot smoother.

If you aren’t sure if your prenatal is high-quality, food-sourced, or contains the right type of folate you can learn everything you need to know about prenatal vitamins here.

RELATED: To keep your nutrients high for an easier postpartum recovery, check out “Healing Postpartum Freezer Meals for Breastfeeding Moms.”


8. Wear a postpartum girdle/bellyband.

Wearing a belly band support girdle after having a baby is really helpful for the recovery period.

A belly band not a magic belt that is specifically going to shrink your belly down faster.

Instead, wearing a postpartum girdle is about training your body and your muscles back to where they should be. A postpartum girdle helps to:

  • remind you to hold in your abdomen
  • remind you to stand and sit up straighter
  • improve your posture
  • holds things in place while all your organs shift back to their prepregnancy positions

I found that wearing a belly band postpartum was a huge help in keeping everything that’s loose where it should be and helping remind me of my posture.

There are lots of different postpartum belts available that drastically range in price.

The most popular top of the line product is the Bellafit. This corset probably offers the most support but is definitely an investment. Think, something you can buy now and use for subsequent pregnancies.

Another highly popular brand for postpartum belly wraps is the Belly Bandit. These take a huge leap down in price but do not offer the same level of support as the Bellafit. And overall they are still quite expensive. However you may find them more comfortable and less restrictive.

Don’t worry though, if these aren’t up your alley and are out of your price range there are some super great postpartum belly wraps for even a fraction of the price of the Belly Bandit.


Some postpartum girdles will provide support from your ribs down to your hips, and others just wrap your belly. This doesn’t necessarily make one better than the other. Personally, I like having a full support girdle.

But you need to take your personal comfort levels into consideration as well. You should be ready to wear this postpartum wrap for at least 6-8 weeks postpartum. So be sure your choice is a good fit for you.

You can pick up any of these different styles for only about $20 give or take.


9. Be sure to add extra easy nutrients into your busy days.

The postpartum days and even months will be a whirlwind.

You will be busy every second. You will be sleep deprived. And your hormones will still be all over the place as your body comes back to normal and adjusts to breastfeeding.

When you are in that crazy postpartum period it is really difficult to focus on your own nutrition, but it is really important!

You have just lost a lot of blood and fluids and will be losing a lot more for weeks to come. Your muscles and ligaments need to rebuild and recover and all that takes a lot of nutrition and also a lot of protein.

My secret to being sure I get that nutrition in postpartum in a 5 second, low calorie, nutrient-dense way is protein shakes. Don’t get me wrong, I love creating fancy lactation smoothies loaded with extra scoops of fruits and nutrients, but I don’t always have time for that postpartum.

What I do have time for even with one hand is to pour some almond milk in a glass and stir in some awesome protein powder that is rich in vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids, digestive enzymes, and greens. AND tastes great.

Because no matter how healthy something is, if it’s disgusting, it’s tough to stomach. That why I always keep Shakeology and Ora Organic vanilla on hand postpartum (they both come in multiple flavors too). Because I know I am giving myself the nutrition I need with the seconds I have to spare and it tastes great and makes me feel refreshed.

My top pick for protein powder hands down is Shakeology. The amount of extra nutrients and incomparable improvement it makes to my digestion when I drink it daily is 100% worth the high price point to me. You can learn more about the nutrients in Shakeology and how it helped me eliminate over $100 from supplements from my diet!

(Hint: if you do want to try Shakeology, subscribe to save a bunch each month and don’t worry about the headache of backorders!)

I also adore Ora Organic’s So Lean and So Clean. I keep it as my backup and use it if I need to have a second protein shake to keep up with my busy mom days because the ingredients are super clean and the price is great.

RELATED: Learn all my secret tips to losing the 35 pounds of baby weight before 6 weeks every time.


10. Stock Up on Healing Postpartum Meals NOW!

If you are looking for the BEST way to nourish your body postpartum after filling in with nutrient dense protein shakes you can try my little secret trick, freezer meals!

I used these freezer meal recipes that increase breastmilk supply for the first 6 months postpartum. It really helped my body to repair and kept my supply high while helping me create rich breastmilk for my new baby.

Plus I was able to save hours of headache meal prepping by creating freezer meals in batches over my last trimester. It’s a win, win, win and major sanity saver! I didn’t have to cook dinner for a full month postpartum and was eating nutrient dense easy dump and go freezer meals the whole family adored!

This is the steal-of-a-postpartum recipe book I used!


Wrapping Up How to Prepare for an Easy Birth and Postpartum

Childbirth and recovery will always be tough, but it doesn’t have to be horrible!

By properly preparing for labor and delivery you can possibly avoid tearing, have an easier birth, and have an easier recovery period!

I hope that you are able to apply some of these tips that were a huge help to me, and see the same amazing results!

If you hung out to this part of the post I have a super awesome trick to make the postpartum adjustment easier. Get baby to sleep on their own. Newborns like to be held and snugged. How could they not? They think they are still a part of you.

But once you’re up and moving postpartum, carrying baby while they sleep 24/7 isn’t going to help your body recover at all. In fact it can become a huge hindrance.

So pick up the amazing Zen Swaddle now. It’s what I use… because once I needed to start some pelvic floor and diastasis recti repair exercises baby needed to sleep in her bed. The Zen Swaddle has weighted spots on it that mimmick the feeling of baby being held! What?

So to further your postpartum healing and help baby sleep on their own try out the 100% money-back guaranteed Zen swaddle now.

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