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Sharp Health News

5 ways to prepare for childbirth

June 28, 2016

5 ways to prepare for childbirth

Felicia Carlucci, childbirth and lactation educator at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, sets up for a Baby Care Basics class.

When preparing for a new baby, many parents want a personalized birth experience to ensure the memory is as special as possible. Welcoming a new member of the family represents one of life’s biggest life changes, and it requires some planning.

To help those preparing for childbirth and labor, we sat down with Felicia Carlucci, childbirth and lactation educator at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, to discuss five useful tips.

1. Get educated

“At Sharp Chula Vista’s childbirth preparation course, we cover the end of pregnancy, the stages and phases of labor, explain medications and medical procedures, discuss breastfeeding and more,” she says. “It’s so important to attend a childbirth class so moms and dads know what to expect when going into labor. This helps them have a more positive experience and increases their confidence when facing childbirth.”

2. Be active

“Walking or swimming regularly, along with gentle stretching, will definitely help a mother as she labors. Average labors for first-time moms range between 12 and 16 hours, so it’s important for mom to be able to keep up with the physical demands of having a baby. That being said, moms should consult their OBGYN about any physical activity they plan to engage in while pregnant.”

3. Organize your support team

“Anybody who gives loving support to a mother should be on her support team,” says Carlucci. “That could be the father of the baby, grandma, sister, best friend or anyone else who makes mom feel comfortable, relaxed and happy.”

4. Train your brain

“Meditation or breathing practices can be helpful for some moms during childbirth and labor. The key is to have peace of mind and prepare for what’s to come. I am a firm believer in taking classes to give moms and dads an idea of what to expect,” she says.

“Many parents — particularly first-time parents — wonder if they can handle labor, and question if they’ll make good parents, if they can breastfeed and more. These are all questions that can be thoroughly addressed in a childbirth prep course. The best thing a parent can do is ask questions, address concerns and educate themselves.”

5. Set the scene in your labor room

Carlucci cautions, “Mothers are typically focused inward when they are laboring. Extra noise and movement can be very distracting. Once you’re in labor, limit visitors and keep the room as calm as you can by dimming the lights, using aromatherapy and playing relaxing music.”

If you’re pregnant or planning to be, read our quick guide to the best ways to keep both you and your baby healthy throughout your journey together.

For the media: To talk with a Sharp doctor about pregnancy and childbirth, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at

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