The prospect of labor and childbirth can be overwhelming, particularly if it's your first time, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With some physical and mental preparation, you can empower your body, breath, and mind to guide you through an easier, quicker, and safer birth. 

In this article, we’ve outlined the 15 best ways to prepare your body for labor and birth. Learn how to let the worry go, build stamina, overcome fatigue, avoid severe perineal tearing, and prevent postpartum complications.    

How to Prepare for Labor and Childbirth

1. Keep Moving

Keeping the body moving during pregnancy with mild daily exercise helps to build strength and stamina, which in turn, allows the process of labor and birth to go a lot smoother. Gentle yoga, walking, or swimming for 20-30 minutes 4-5 times per week will help keep your pregnant body strong and your muscles toned amidst all the physical changes. 

2. Avoid Slouching 

Instead of sitting in slouched or reclined positions, it helps to regularly sit in forward-leaning positions during pregnancy. Encouraging the pelvis to tilt like this will help your hips and pelvis to open, in addition to making you and the baby more comfortable. To achieve this, try regularly sitting on a medicine ball or sitting backward on a chair. 

In the third trimester, forward-leaning positions where the pelvis is tilted encourage the baby to move into the correct position. When the baby is in position, labor is less painful and childbirth is easier.  

3. Eat Right

Eating a healthy and balanced diet during pregnancy is vital for fueling both you and the baby with adequate nutrients and vitamins. It’s also important to eat well in preparation for labor and childbirth with superfoods that will provide you with the strength and clarity needed to endure the process. A healthy diet also enables the vaginal and perineal skin to stretch more easily during labor.   

4. Kegel Exercises 

Practicing regular Kegel exercises during pregnancy helps to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which play an important role in childbirth. The regular practice of Kegels will also help the pelvic floor muscles bounce back quicker after childbirth thereby preventing complications like incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse. That said, when pregnant, many women find it easier to use Kegel Weights for pelvic floor toning.  

5. Relax the Pelvic Floor Muscles

Although it’s important to strengthen the pelvic floor during pregnancy, it’s best to focus on relaxing the pelvic floor muscles during the third trimester so they can stretch as required during childbirth. Practicing Yoga poses like deep squats and butterfly pose for 5-10 minutes daily will help to lengthen and relax the pelvic floor muscles for the birth. 

6. Learn to Breathe for Labor

Learning how to breathe through contractions is incredibly helpful in keeping mom and baby calm during the process of labor. Knowing how to control your breath so that you can push gently and slowly as the baby’s head and shoulders are passing through is also key to avoiding severe perineal tearing. 

7. Being More Mindful 

Being mindful means being aware of each passing moment. Rather than getting nervous by thinking about the entire process of labor and childbirth, try learning to focus on each breath to keep you in the moment.

Feeling each inhale and exhale can help you stay mindful of the current contraction and help you relax and rest once it passes. Going through labor like this, one contraction at a time can prevent the mind from becoming overwhelmed.  

8. Practice Relaxation

It’s perfectly normal for fear and anxiety to arise during the process of labor and birth, however, expecting mothers who practice relaxation techniques are known to manage these emotions better when they arise. Practicing meditation, conscious breathing techniques, and hypnobirthing are all incredibly helpful in releasing fear and anxiety during childbirth.   

9. Learn About the Birth Process

Learning about pelvic anatomy and exactly what happens to the female body during childbirth can help keep you calm during the process of labor and allow the body to do its work.

Essentially, knowing that the sensations felt during childbirth are not dangerous but just the cervix opening to allow the baby out is far less daunting when it is explained and understood. 

10. Perineal Massage

The perineum is the area between the vagina and the anus and during the last stages of labor, particularly for first-time mothers, this part of the body can tear when the skin is stretched to its limit. Research shows, however, that massaging the perineum from week 34 of pregnancy can significantly lower the risk of severe perineal tearing. 

Massaging the perineum is also known to reduce the need for an episiotomy and the chance of postpartum complications like pelvic organ prolapse, pain during sex, and incontinence. 

Since many women in the third trimester find it challenging to reach the perineum due to their growing uterus, Pelvic Massage Wands from Intimate Rose come in helpful. As well as relaxing and softening the perineal skin tissue before birth, these body-safe vibrating pelvic wands also help to massage and heal the scar tissue around perineal tears after birth.

11. Build Your Confidence

Don’t be afraid to believe in the power of the female body and listen to other mother’s birthing experiences. The majority of birth stories are positive and hearing them will help you to build confidence for your own If someone tells you a negative story, you can choose not to listen and keep your positive energy up. 

12. Practice Birthing Positions 

Birthing positions involving pelvic movement and gravity allow for an easier and faster birth without the need for intervention like forceps or a vacuum. During the third trimester, it can be enormously helpful to practice getting in and out of recommended birthing positions to see which one feels best for you. 

Two of the most popular birthing positions are coming to all fours or laying on your side with the upper leg supported. 

13. Create Your Birthing Plan

Creating a birthing plan is similar to creating a roadmap for your unique birthing experience. For one, it can help you to remain calm and feel somewhat in control of what your body is going through. Secondly, a birthing plan informs any unknown medical professionals in the delivery room about your birthing choices. 

Speak with your OB/GYN about your preferences and develop your birthing plan according to your choices and their guidance. 

14. Meet with a Breastfeeding Expert

If you’re a first-time mother, consider taking breastfeeding classes, or meeting with a breastfeeding expert to learn how it’s done before your baby is born. Encouraging your baby to latch on in the right way, holding them correctly, and knowing when they’re full will help you to feel more relaxed during your postpartum recovery. 

15. Rest & Rest Some More

The female body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy, and the last trimester in particular can feel especially fatiguing. So it’s important to get as much rest and take as many naps as you need during this time.  Beginning labor feeling rested and refreshed will help the body, breath, and mind to stay strong and positive throughout the process.


Labor and childbirth can be taxing on the female body, but with some preparation, the process can be easier, quicker, and safer for both the expecting mother and the baby. Above, we’ve outlined the best 15 ways to prepare your body for labor and birth as well as help it to recover afterward. 


American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists – Changes During Pregnancy -

Web MD – How to Prepare for Labor -

Parents - The Best Exercises to Prepare for Labor -

National Library of Medicine – Breathing Techniques During Labor: A Multinational Narrative Review of Efficacy -

Pregnancy, Birth, Baby – Perineal Massage -

Family Doctor – Why Should I Breastfeed? -

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