6 Ways to Prepare {Heart+Body} for Labor and Delivery

I’m 33 weeks today and feeling large and in charge. I’m also feeling like, “Whoa, this baby’s almost here!” Nesting urges have certainly set in, and I’m working on a few organizational and design things around the house that I want done before baby, but I realized the other day that preparing my heart and body are as important (if not more!) than nesting my house! So, here’s my list of what I’m doing in the last 5 or 6 weeks before our 5th child arrives…

1. Tummy Team Prenatal Core Training Program

Ya’ll know I’m a huge fan of the Tummy Team since they led me to healing from chronic back pain last year. I did their Core Rehabilitation Program and learned the why and how of a properly functioning core.

labor and delivery


Tummy Team is the reason I was able to go hiking last week, and actually carried my 18 month old on my back for the 1/4 milk hike down the hill from our favorite cliff jumping spot!

I’ve retained much of what I learned during that program, and experienced much less back and hip discomfort in this pregnancy as a result, but it’s definitely time for a refresher! Besides, I’m excited to learn about and practice proper engagement of my abdominal muscles during labor and pushing so I do as little damage to my core as possible during delivery!

So, I signed up for Kelly’s Prenatal Core Training Program and am loving it so far! It’s just the refresher I needed on the basics of proper alignment and functional fitness, and is getting me reacquainted with my core muscles as I approach delivery time. God designed our bodies so well, and Kelly reminds me of that and is helping me practically prepare to labor with confidence!

2. Drinking Tea

81uY3PRI10L._SY679SX463_SY679_CR,0,0,463,679_PIbundle-3,TopRight,0,0_SX463_SY679_CR,0,0,463,679_SH20_One of my past midwives made me an herbal tea blend when I was pregnant with Jesse, and I just loved the natural pampering of making myself a cup of that tea. Imagine my delight when I found this Third Trimester Tea which contained all the same herbs I’ve come to love for pregnancy–Red Raspberry, Stinging Nettle, Rosehips, and Oatstraw, conveniently packaged in teabags–and organic! I ordered myself the 3-pack, which should get me through the rest of the pregnancy with a cup a day!

Preparing My {Heart} for Birth

3. (Re)reading Natural Birth Stories by Shannon Brown

This book impacted me so much the first time I read it right before Lydia’s birth, I knew that I would revisit it each time I was nearing delivery. This was my original review…


“At 39 weeks pregnant, nothing makes for better reading and a healthy emotional state than a great birth story. I read Natural Birth Stories a week before my 4th baby was due and it filled me with joyful anticipation, reminding me of how empowering and incredible the entire birth process is.

I was impressed by the research and birth information that Shannon present in the chapters between the birth stories. Doubt and anxiety about natural birth will be replaced by hope and confidence as you read this exceptional book.

Because of the wide variety of experiences in the book, I can recommend it to anyone! No matter what your ideal birth scenario is, you will be inspired. This is awesome ‘baby shower gift’ material!”

4. Talking to Mothers and Mentors.

I collect mothers–besides my own mother and my mother-in-law (who each gave birth to 7 children and chose natural birth plans!), I have intentionally cultivated relationships over the years with several mature women I love and respect. Reaching out and making time to connect with my mothers and mother figures in this season means I’m full up on encouragement and the extra affirmation and cheerleading I need to get through these last few weeks of pregnancy and the marathon of labor. I may or may not have listened multiple times to the voxer message from a dear friend encouraging me, “You’re a champion birther!”. Yup, that’s what I need to hear right now!

5. Embracing Beauty

Cover001This is definitely one of the hardest seasons for me to feel beautiful. At 8 months pregnant, I mostly just feel BIG. I’m rereading my own words and dwelling on the truth of God’s beautiful design of motherhood–in every season. Embracing beauty is crucial for moral these last few weeks and also during the postpartum healing phase!

I’m taking just a little time to prepare in this area before baby comes–scheduling a hair cut, and making sure I’m stocked up with my favorite natural makeup so that I have the tools I need to continue to embrace beauty over the next few months.

This morning I ordered foundation, lipstick, and eye shadow from Cowgirl Dirt, plus I snagged a few lip shimmers from BeeYoutiful. (I was never a lipstick gal till I found natural lip options! I love the look and feel of natural stuff on my lips!) Find my full review post of my favorite mineral makeup here.

6. (Re)reading my own birth stories

It’s good to look back and see God’s hand in our lives in past seasons. Rereading how perfectly He orchestrated the timing and the birth team for each of my previous labors, as well as His sustaining grace through the tough moments of waiting and tduring delivery remind me that I’m not in this alone–my Creator Himself is willing to be my birth coach and is beside me each (waddling) step to the end of this marathon!

I’ve published 3 of my babe’s birth stories so far–you can read them here if that’s your thang…

This all is in addition to the stuff I do throughout pregnancy, which I detail in this post…10 Favorite Things That Help Me Love Being Pregnant. 

So, that’s what I’m doing to get ready for labor and delivery. What do you do to pamper, build up or encourage yourself for the marathon of birth? I’d love to hear your ideas and stories, and appreciate your prayers for our family as we approach the birth of number five around the beginning of July!!! 

This post contains affiliate links because I’m my husband is techy like that. 😉 



19 responses to “6 Ways to Prepare {Heart+Body} for Labor and Delivery”

  1. Rebecca Avatar

    Praying you are still doing well, Trina.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Thanks, Rebecca!

  2. Kerry Avatar

    Great post…I’m sharing it with my daughter!

  3. Danielle Avatar

    I love your posts! I liked to wear dresses and long skirts while pregnant because they made me feel pretty and not tight around my belly so I didn’t feel huge! To prepare for my last labor I did a lot of cleaning around the house because if my home was in order then I felt I could relax more once baby girl was born! Prayer was a huge help too! Praying for you and your family.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Yes! Maxi skirts and dresses are my uniform when preggo. I have other outfits, but I feel the most elegant in something long! And I’m totally nesting…usually my house is immaculate by the time baby comes!!! So nice to relax in that in the weeks after birth. So cool that God gives even messys (like me) that urge before birth! 😉

  4. Tammy Avatar

    You have it covered girl! It’s seems to me you are ready….and excited. I would be too. I’ve always prepared the other kiddos, for the new arrival, through talking and reading and them helping me with any prep I am doing-ie. washing and folding and giving a home to baby clothes. I, too, cannot watch/read enough birth stories. And after a few babies, I started to mentally prepare myself for those first few months after the babes arrival. I thought, after the 1st two arrived, that being a “good mom” was getting myself and the schedule of the household back in order asap but soon learnt the time after birth was so precious in so many ways. I would allow myself to do the bare minimum of outside commitments & activities & visits and just really settle in with the little one. All the daily tasks a house full of children was enough for me. I tried my hardest to be present in their feedings and bonding with their siblings and the simple tasks of running the house-that’s it. If I felt like taking a walk or going to the park, we did. If I felt the need to have a super relaxed day at home, we did. If I could pull off a nap after an all-nighter, we did. Such a beautiful time in our lives. And I eased back in to the household schedule naturally. I’m sure you will document the memories on paper(or computer;) Congratulations and I will be praying for a smooth birth and transition into mothering 5 children.

    1. Trina Avatar

      I love this so much, Tammy–not your average advice or first thought, but that season after baby IS precious and unique, so grateful for your advice to embrace it! Also, to involve the kids as much as possible in the preparations–also a good way to ready them for the transition.

  5. Stacy Avatar

    I can’t wait to meet this new little one. 🙂

    1. Trina Avatar

      You and me, both, lady. 😉

  6. Maria Avatar

    Oh Trina, you may feel big and barging but you look so beautiful! And that picture shows only two of your FIVE children! I know that last month isn’t easy, but oh what I’d give to be at that stage. Instead I’m recovering from another miscarriage and preparing my body for trying again to carry a baby to term.

    Give your big belly a cuddle in my honor. Hope the final weeks and the delivery are sweet and smooth.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Maria–no words. only wish I could give you a hug, dear friend.

  7. Jyl Avatar

    Oh my I’m there too. Almost 36 weeks! Right behind you. We just moved again to Indiana and are settling in still, looking for a place while staying with family. It makes it hard to prepare in some ways. Thanks though for the encouragement to prep myself though! Amazing how long it can take to remember! I’m working on knitting and baby blankets but I guess it’s time to think about labor too. I’ll be thinking of you as well in this season! Thank you for the encouragement!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Jyl! I saw your news on facebook! congrats! How do we keep timing it like this??? lol Oh, man, I have moved right after a birth, but not right before! Praying you get to a place of feeling settled before baby comes, even if it that simply means a state of mind.

  8. Gloria Avatar

    I love this list! I’m a Bradley Method teacher, and we teach regular exercise as well as specific exercises to prepare for labor and birth. So, I love that you went hiking when so many people would tell you to “take it easy” because you’re pregnant. You can’t sit around for 40 weeks before a marathon!
    What do I do? I freeze a few lasagnas and a whole bunch of muffin batter, I take an herbal blend designed for the last 5 weeks of pregnancy (because I can’t stand tea!) and then I watch all the sitcom birth episodes I can think of. I know that makes so sense, but how ridiculous they are makes me laugh.

    1. Isabella Avatar

      Hi Trina! I had my first baby 3 months ago, and now that I’m finished teaching for the summer I want to start exercising regularly and strengthening my core (which I think has been thrown completely out of whack over the past year). Due to your positive experiences, I’m interested in the Tummy Team program. Reading through their website, I see they recommend wearing a splint. Have you done this? I am not sure how much I like this idea, both because of the additional expense and especially because it’s summer in a house with no AC.

      Blessings on your continued preparation for your new baby’s arrival. I’ll be eager to read of his or her birth and to see the name!

      1. Trina Avatar

        Isabella, forgive my late response to your question–I’m afraid babies are hard on one’s inbox. 😉 If you need to splint, but it’s too hot, I suggest waiting until the weather moderates. 😉 The splint is really a big part of the healing, but you usually only need to wear it for about 6 weeks.

    2. Trina Avatar

      you are so encouraging! Thanks for your comment! OK, you have to tell me–how to do freeze muffin batter???

      1. Gloria Avatar

        Oh, it’s great! You put muffin papers in the pan and fill them just like you normally do, but instead of putting them in the oven you put them in the freezer. When the batter is frozen solid, you can pop them out and put them in a freezer bag, which makes it easy to store lots and lots of muffins. When you want fresh muffins, you just pull them out of the bag, put them back in the pan, and bake! It takes about 10 minutes longer to bake, but you can have fresh, effortless muffins whenever you want. And muffins are great one-handed nursing food.

        1. Tammy Avatar

          Wow! Great advice Gloria. I will definitely be trying this.

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