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Time passes in the blink of an eye when you are pregnant and it somehow feels two times slower when you are in labour. Should it feel that way, or are there certain things going on that you do not know of?
There are many questions running through a pregnant mother’s mind, some of which are unfortunately often left unanswered even until after they have had their baby. Questions like ‘Is there a possibility that I would not be able to go through vaginal childbirth?’, ‘What’s placenta delivery?’, and so on.
If you have only browsed through others’ experiences, childbirth may sound like the most painful thing anyone has to endure – and that may not be wrong for some since everyone tolerates pain differently. Hence, we understand why some expectant moms are reluctant to discover the reality of childbirth.
Despite everything, know that there are also mothers who manage to go through a smooth delivery, which means it is not impossible. Whether you are well informed or in the dark about what is going to happen during and after childbirth, nothing is going to change unless you do something about it. Therefore, if you have the option to learn or do something better, do not let that chance go to waste. Knowledge and preparations, after all, are privileges that not every pregnant mother gets.
While having a baby is one of the most fulfilling events you will ever experience, certain aspects of it can cause stress and aches upon you. If you have talked to enough experts or read enough materials, you will find that there are many ways that can help to relieve your pain during the pregnancy phase.
Similarly, whether you are in your first trimester or already reaching your final week of pregnancy, it is never too early or too late to prepare yourself for your childbirth. There is always something you can do to ensure it will go better, so read up to find out how!
Pregnancy can take quite a huge toll on you. You may feel overly sensitive at this particular point due to the increase of certain hormones released through your body which can impact your emotions. Hence, it is important to lift your mood up and not be too bothered about small things.
Remove things that can cause distress or bring negativity into your life. You should be able to go through pregnancy without having to deal with negativity. Not only negativity can eat away at your spirit, but it can also be harmful to your physical being. Some experts believe that emotional stress may lead to a kind of mental block that can stall labour.
To prevent the likelihood of it happening, remove the sorts of things that can stress you out or be the cause of your worry. Always try to think positively. Of course, this is almost always easier said than done. When at a loss, count your blessings. As we are sure you already know, not all sources of negative energy are external. Sometimes, it can come from the inside as well.
Do bad thoughts just occasionally linger in your head? Do not worry if they do for this is common for almost everyone. If your negativity mostly stems from within, identify the causes of your bad thoughts and whether there are any trigger points. Once you know what they are, find ways to fix it.
For example, if you are concerned about how you are going to cope with your role as a parent, talk it out and come up with a plan with your partner. You may also consult a counsellor for professional help. There should be no room for negativity in your life, and especially not when you are carrying a growing baby in you.
Taking a lukewarm bath is a great idea for pregnant women who have achy joints and experience swellings frequently. If you are already in your third trimester or far along, just be sure that you have someone to help you get in and out of the bath to avoid slipping on the wet floor.
One of the most critical things to take note of is the temperature of the water. Make sure that the water is not boiling hot as this will raise your body temperature which may restrict the blood flow and put your baby under stress. However, if a warm bath is still too much for your body to handle, then you should opt for a warm shower instead as the soothing effect can still be felt either way.
Joining a childbirth class will prepare you for what to expect during labour, give you childbirth options, teach you breathing techniques, better sleeping positions and even teach you other relevant methods that can help you take away any birth-related stress or anxiety. It would be best to join it with your partner so you both can know whether to be worried or not when certain signs show.
Nevertheless, such an education can go a long way in letting you be in charge of what is happening to your body. You teacher or instructor in the class would be someone who is highly skilled and knowledgeable, so list down all the questions you have and ask away. Yes, no one really thought that having a baby will require you to experience being a student to school all over again, but you will be surprised by how much you need to know and learn.
Experts recommend enrolling when you have already passed your second trimester and have at least 8 to 10 weeks left before your EDD. This will give you enough time to practise and revise what you have learnt in the class.
Do not let your fear of discovering unpleasant things stop you from finding out new things. If you have concerns or worries regarding childbirths in general, pushing them to the back of your mind is not going to do you any good. Instead, it might make you grow more anxious as you are nearing your EDD.
Browse through a few books about childbirth and life after it and slowly start reading them. You will soon realise that being educated about these issues can make you feel more in control of what is happening and what is going to happen in the future. If your body is going through certain changes, you will know exactly what causes them and how to deal with them.
If you are mostly occupied throughout the day, reading a page or two before going to bed would be enough to teach you a new thing every day. It may seem like a chore, but it is far from one as it will give you all the knowledge that you need to go through this period. Plus, knowledge stays with you forever and you can pass it down to your kids, and then theirs’. All in all, being knowledgeable can give you a sense of relief as you will be well-prepared at all times.
Finding an individual or a group to offer you support is an excellent form of help that you would certainly need during pregnancy and after it. This is even more necessary if there will be no present family member who is experienced enough to accompany you. The people you engage with will help provide both emotional and physical support which, according to several studies, leads to a less stressful and even less painful delivery.
If you require constant support and wish someone can be there with you day and night throughout your early postnatal period, you can opt for services like those of a confinement nanny or domestic helper. Go through the job scopes of both roles to understand how different services will be able to help you through your postnatal journey.
If you already have other children, especially younger ones, it is important that you prepare them for the arrival of your newborn. Break the news to them separately before you plan to do it with your other family members and friends so your children will feel included. Remember, you and your partner are welcoming an addition to the ‘family, not just ‘the number of children you two plan to have’.
If your kid is old enough, slowly explain to your kids the situation and what they should expect. Make sure to answer their questions and address any fears that they might have, especially if they are still at a young age. If it is not made clear to them, it may cause them to be paranoid or worried that someone is coming to ‘replace them’. Sure, they may not be able to completely grasp what is happening, but it is important for them to have a constant reminder that they will be having a ‘friend’ soon. Do not wait until your baby bump is showing to explain what is going on since this may make them even more confused.
Explaining early can also prevent any unexpected situations like your children showing concerning reactions to insist that they do not want a younger sibling. Breaking the news early will also help you to plan ahead. For example, if you are planning to use the same crib that you previously used with your first kid, let them know that they are moving to a bigger bed because they have grown up, not because you solely want to use the crib for your new baby (regardless if that is your motive to begin with).
Having a ‘go bag’ is especially important when you are reaching your last few weeks before the EDD. Your water may break at any time and you will not have time to pack a bag to bring to the hospital. As your due date approaches, pack a duffle bag with everything you will need at the hospital for your own comfort.
Have your partner double-check to make sure you have everything from your toothbrush and socks to your pillow (we get it, sometimes we just need to have that one comfy pillow). Of course, bring several sets of clothes and a swaddling blanket for your little one as well! Think about what would you like to have during your short stay in the hospital and pack accordingly.
Seeking an alternative therapy is an excellent practice of self-care. A lot of soon-to-be mothers opt for therapies like pregnancy massage and yoga. Even doctors have recommended prenatal massages to many expecting mothers due to the abundant advantages you can obtain. The benefits include reduced stress, soreness, and pain, increase in blood circulation and lymph circulation and decreased swelling.
If you are indeed considering to get a prenatal massage session, simply survey around and you will notice that finding a prenatal massage therapist is not difficult at all. There are even a lot of home-based services available where your massage therapist will go to you rather than the other way around. However, while there are many choices out there, you have to make sure that you choose the right one with proper qualifications and favourable reviews to ensure you are getting the best experience and results.
That said, there is also a labour-inducing massage that you could opt for when you are due to get into labour naturally. Keep in mind that this is not the same as prenatal massage, so make your request and search as specific as can be.
No, this one does not involve tiny mittens and booties for your newborn. You have probably completed your ‘Newborn To-Buy List’ back when you were still in the first trimester, so we are not going to go over what should be on that list here. This time, it is only about you.
Think about what would you like to have or experience after you have gone through the labour. It could be anything from eating your favourite snacks (as long as it does not compromise your condition) to indulging in a postnatal massage for several consecutive days.
If you are anxious about your EDD approaching, knowing that you have those wonderful treats awaiting after the delivery should help put your mind at ease a little. Remember, your recovery and comfort matter as much as your newborn’s growth, so treat yourself lovingly.
Nevertheless, preparing for your birth is something the whole family should anticipate and be engaged in. Once you have brought your new baby home, things may escalate quickly and there is not much time for anyone to adapt and adjust. Therefore, it would be in your favour to keep yourself and others prepared for any possible circumstances.