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I've just decided to switch to a homebirth at 27 weeks. I'm much less in shape than I was with my first, which was an intervention filled hospital birth. Is there any way to start preparing now to help my labor go more smoothly? Any exercises? Any tips on nutrition? Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!
 

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I did walking, stairs, stretching, yoga, etc. Also, stretching the inner thighs was crucial I think because I was in a deep squat (waterbirth) when DS emergered (HUGE head, no distocia) and I'm sure the flexibility helped.<br><br>
Nutritionally, I ate greens and lots of legumes (this also helps avoid constipation). <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
GL!!
 

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I second yoga! Never did it much before pregnancy but it was so great for flexibility and for perineal/groin strength. 20 minutes of pushing as a first time mom and I think yoga helped a TON.
 

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I second (third?) the others....regular exercise of any sort, even if it is mild and gentle, can do wonders for your body and your baby in so many ways.<br><br>
Has your mw done a diet review with you? Diet is another important thing for your own and baby's health, for sure. Sufficient protein is one element, along with plenty of fruits/veg and healthy complex carbs--and avoiding overindulgence in sweets/fats (may be easier said than done over these next few holiday weeks!).
 

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I have to agree with yoga! Not only does it stregthen your body, but it raises your awareness of your body and also teaches you how to relax certain bits while you are working hard with others. And you can more comfortably get into and hold upright birthing positions when you are strong and flexible. Find a prenatal class or just order a video!<br><br>
Diet-wise, I have been focusing on iron (so I'll be strong even if I lose blood), calcium and magnesium (which improve muscle function, inc. uterus) and water (same.) I drink raspberry leaf tea, dandelion tea, and nettle tea, which all have good vitamins, inc. vitamin K to discourage bleeding issues.<br><br>
I know this is controversial, but for me, I try to avoid excessive weight gain and getting out of shape by doing gentle cardio as much as possible. I never get so out of breath that I can't talk, and I stop whenever I feel twinges in the pelvis, but I believe that for me, staying in cardio-vascular shape will prepare me fo the marathon of labor. My last baby was a bit of a runt (6.5 pounds), though, so maybe I take this too far.
 

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Swimming is another great form of exercise during pregnancy, and the back stroke in particular is supposed to be great for strengthening those vital back muscles.
 
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