You're rounding the corner of what's felt like an elephant pregnancy (you know they gestate for nearly two years, right?) and finally gearing up for the fun stuff: packing a hospital bag, putting the finishing touches on the nursery, and nailing down your labor and delivery plan. And speaking of that plan, when those contractions start rolling, who should give you your pre-labor pep talk?
Romper reached out to Liza Maltz, founder of Birth Your Own Way, for her input. While some women consider a little motivational session an important part of their birth plan, Maltz says that if you have been well educated and prepared for the big event, you don't really need a formal pep talk. But a vital part of feeling prepared, she insists, is having a supportive team who can encourage you when you need it.
According to Maltz, this birthing team might include your spouse or partner, another family member, a doula, midwife, or attuned OB-GYN. She says if you feel supported, you will already believe that you're ready to birth your baby, which is why who you surround yourself with (and their level of preparation) is more important than the specific words they might say.
But for many women, the words they hear during labor are critically important to their overall experience. Be prepared to speak positively to yourself, and surround yourself only with people who are prepared to be as calming a presence as possible. If you feel nervous when contractions first make an appearance, Maltz says having someone you love by your side who is trained to keep you calm, loose, and centered through breath work is "the best pep talk ever."
Your body was made to birth this baby. If you remind yourself of that, and have a support team who will remind you when you doubt it, you really can go into labor with all the confidence you need.