You go into the hospital in labor, everything goes really fast and you find that delivery was smooth and easy with minimal pain or tearing.
Can this actually happen? Yes, it can and I will tell you ways to shorten labor and make delivery go easier and smoother than you thought possible.
This is every pregnant moms dream labor and delivery and in order to have something go this way you need to prepare your body and do a few things to help it along.
Ways To Shorten Labor
There are a few things you can do to make sure that your labor is shorter and easier.
Some of these involve exercise and eating certain foods along with some added tips that will help.
Exercise for easier labor and delivery
It can help widen your pelvic opening allowing for a smoother exit for baby. Start doing these using a wall or chair and slowly bend at the knees, hold for five seconds and repeat 10 times.
Strengthen your abdominal muscles and help with back pain during labor.
Get on your hands and knees with your head level and pull in your stomach pushing up with your back. Hold it for a second and repeat four or five times.
You can also do this against the wall and pull your butt in while pushing your pelvis forward.
Make sure to bend at the knee slightly and squat down a bit.
Strengthen pelvic floor muscles which help support your uterus, bladder, and bowels.
These will help you push when you are in labor so it’s important to do them.
Squeeze your muscles that help stop urine flow while breathing out and hold for five seconds, repeat ten to fifteen times about three to five times a day.
It helps you relax, burns calories and builds strength. You can find a class online or ask your doctor for help finding one near you.
Women that did yoga during pregnancy have said labor went smoothly and they felt better during labor and postpartum recovery was easier.
This is a great way to stay in shape!
This is a great way to stay in shape, burn calories and keep your blood sugar where it needs to be.
It also helps your baby move into the right position for labor and helps you go into labor on your own.
Foods that make labor easier
Here is a list of foods to eat in your third trimester to help you go into labor and have an easier delivery.
Some of them you may know and some may be a surprise to you! I didn’t know these until recently so I needed to share them with you.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, it is recommended that you get 75 to 100 grams of protein per day during your pregnancy.
The reason why you need so much is to help your baby grow tissue, help the brain develop properly.
What you may not know is that you need it to help your uterus expand and breasts get bigger so that they produce milk.
Having the right amount of protein in your diet is going to help everything function as it should during labor and speed things along.
You should start drinking bone broth and eating high lean protein foods like salmon, lean beef, lamb and chicken along with dairy products, nuts, lentils, and eggs.
It is essential for you to get enough protein during pregnancy for your health and the health of your baby.
It also has a big part in helping your muscles work correctly during labor and will keep things moving as they should.
Protein aids in the healing process as well and helps you to recover faster and produce milk for breastfeeding.
For more on what to eat during pregnancy, you may want to read this article.
Leafy vegetables are important for a healthy pregnancy and are a good source of vitamins that your body needs.
Vitamins like K1 and K2 that you get from leafy plants when you cook them helps your blood clot properly, preventing bone loss and promoting bone health along with promoting heart health.
You also get calcium, magnesium, omega 3’s Iron Zinc, and vitamins A, C, and E.
These will help in the growth of your baby in the last trimester and give your body a healthy boost to work as it should and help you have a quicker, easier labor and recovery.
I’m sure you have read a few articles on how to recover postpartum quicker and they all seem to have in common the nutrition needs of your body and making sure you are getting the nutrients you need.
It is so true that you will recover faster and easier if your body has what it needs to repair itself after birth.
Make sure you are getting enough greens like spinach, brussell sprouts, kale, asparagus, and swiss chard in each meal you eat.
Even if you don’t like leafy greens it is best to eat them anyway for the major benefits they have.
Nuts and seeds
You need at least a serving or two of nuts and seeds per day for the vitamins and minerals they contain and some of the benefits they provide to your body.
Pumpkin seeds are great for regulating insulin and help moms with gestational diabetes control their sugar.
Sunflower seeds and almonds have vitamin E which helps with progesterone function and makes up the nutrients you find in amniotic fluid.
They are great for helping you avoid preterm labor and other complications.
Quinoa has 9 essential amino acids and helps keep healthy enzyme and hormone functions because of all the minerals it contains.
Make sure to grab a handful of sesame seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds and quinoa for the added nutrients in your diet each day.
Sweet potatoes are your friend you need these for an easier labor because they mimic natural estrogen that helps stimulate an increase in the productio0n of estrogen, oxytocin, and prostaglandins.
What this means in plain English is that it will help you not have as much pain during labor because it decreases nerve inflammation and pain perception.
These delicious potatoes are also great for moms with gestational diabetes by helping regulate blood sugar levels.
Some say that dates will help kick start labor, though it hasn’t been known to actually work according to studies say, parents.com.
Here is what was found though when it comes to dates and why you want to start eating them in your third trimester.
- You are less likely to require oxytocin to help induce contractions.
- May help prepare and stimulate your uterus for contractions.
- Help shorten how long you are in labor by a few hours.
- Aids in dialation during labor.
While you don’t want to eat a ton of these fruits you should include them in your diet each day and have a few.
In your last trimester, you will want to eat these delicious fruits for various reasons. According to Web MD:
- You get the right amount of carbs and they are safe for those with gestational diabetes to have half a banana for a snack.
- Help fight constipation and keep your bowels moving.
- Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol balanced and ease any inflammation you may have.
- Full of potassium and help your body get rid of more sodium when you pee in short it will help keep you from swelling up and retaining water.
- It contains probiotics that help with maintaining your gut health, help fight flu and colds and make them less severe and improve yeast and urinary tract infections that can be common during pregnancy.
These wonderful tasting fruits contain vitamin B6 and vitamin C which aid in your immune system and brain development, especially for your baby.
Bananas also help prevent birth defects and premature labor because they contain folic acid which is needed for fetal brain and spinal cord development”, says momjunction.
Eating muskmelon and cantaloupe is very helpful to your body and baby during pregnancy.
You may have heard it is harmful due to listeria but this is only found on the surface, make sure to wash it well before cutting and eating it.
Here are the many benefits of eating melon according to medical news today:
- Prevents Blood Clots – helps you avoid getting blood clots during pregnancy by thinning out the blood. Helping you avoid complications after birth as well.
- Improves the Immune System – contains antioxidants that prevent the formation of free radicals thus improving your immunity.
- Reduce Heartburn – in the last trimester this is one of the biggest complaints, eat this in your diet to help prevent it at this time.
- Prevent Anemia – anemia is common during pregnancy and is caused by low iron in your body, melon is a good source of iron and also vitamin C which helps you absorb the iron into your body.
- Leg Cramps – prevents leg cramps because of the potassium it contains. This also helps with pain during labor by reducing swelling in the body.
- Regulates Blood Pressure – which will help you avoid preeclampsia. Melon will help keep it under control due to the essential minerals it contains.
- Aids in Postpartum Recovery – vitamin A it contains will help your body heal faster after birth because your body stores it and will use it for its recovery.
Why do you need dairy in your pregnancy diet and how does it help with labor?
Dairy is essential when it comes to healthy bones and teeth for you and your baby.
During pregnancy, your baby is taking the calcium in your body so it is important to replace it daily by eating and drinking pasteurized low-fat dairy products.
You need to have dairy in your diet because of the calcium, protein, vitamin D, vitamin K, cholesterol and phosphorus that it contains.
These help aid in fetal growth and reduce the risk of neonatal complications according to ncbi.com.
Dairy also contains cholesterol wich helps with estrogen and oxytocin production and helps ease you into labor.
Vitamin D helps regulate nerve sensitivity and pain, when you get enough it may greatly reduce the pain you feel during labor and help you get through it more easily.
Vitamin K helps with the absorption of vitamin D and also helps prevent hemorrhaging that could occur after giving birth.
It is important to have dairy products that are from grass-fed animals so that you get the actual vitamins and they aren’t lost in the processing of the product.
final thoughts on ways to shorten labor
As you approach labor make sure you are prepared, have a birth plan ready to go, hospital bag packed and take some prenatal classes so that you know how to breathe properly and what positions to be in for an easier birth.
Take some time to relax and enjoy the time you have with your family and spouse before you have a little one to take care of.
You should start eating these foods listed and doing the prenatal exercises in your third trimester to better prepare your body and be ready for labor.
I am not a doctor and you should always talk to your doctor or health care provider before changing your diet or doing new exercises to make sure they are right for you.
Make sure to pin this post for reference!!