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VIDEO SERIES: How Does an Olympian Prepare for Labor?

 

STEP 1: MENTAL PREPARATION

“As I prepare for a major competition, I dial in my mantras, I will myself to believe I can overcome the challenge that lay ahead and that I can handle it. This is a daily practice. So for me, as I prepare for childbirth it makes sense that I prepare my mind before anything else for what I would like it to help me do. In my mind I believe it, conceive it and achieve it, then the next step is to apply this thought process to the physical aspects I may endure.” – Alysia Montaño


STEP 2: NUTRITION

“It’s no secret that athletes must be conscientious, as should we all, with what we consume. Given the fact that I believe labor is physically taxing why wouldn’t I take the same approach to feeding and fueling my body so that it can perform optimally and efficiently when my physical demand is at its most high. Furthermore, my little bud is relying on me to set off the foundation of healthy development through my choices. Focusing on nutrition in pregnancy to help my growing baby as well as to aid in sustaining energy and health throughout pregnancy is a huge component in how I think about training for labor. This element to my labor training is key to help get me through all phases of this process.” – Alysia Montaño


STEP 3: INTERVALS – VISUALIZING CONTRACTIONS

“Visualizing contractions through interval training: Step 3 of this @bloom.life series.
In my experience, I find it to be true that contractions are much like intervals, they get tougher and tougher, rest gets shorter, and at times one may think, how many more? The truth is when the intervals are at their toughest and the rest is the shortest the mountaintop is just a few steps away. By incorporating this physically in my routine as I think about labor it helps me tap into my mental toolbox so I can apply the mental with the physical aspect during childbirth. I engage my mind to endure what my body will go through as I await, yet facilitate my baby into the world.” – Alysia Montaño


STEP 4: STRENGTH

“Strength: what’s in a word? This word holds so much meaning in all the right areas physically and mentally. When I think of empowerment, I think of strength, when I think of women, I think of strength, when I think of mommas giving birth in whatever way they do, I think of strength. I harness my strength, both mental and physical in the weight room and through bodyweight exercises, because I believe the tools I have learned on how to incorporate the body and mind in an orchestrated way through strength training will help me through the physical intensity that is labor, just as strength testing trained my body and my mind for the Olympics. This event I’m about to endure however will reward me better than any Olympic Games ever could.” – Alysia Montaño


STEP 5: INTERNAL CHECK-IN

“I use my Bloomlife tracker at this stage in my pregnancy as I approach the final stretch to not only be sure my daily activities are treating me well, but to help my family understand what’s going on inside so they can help me alleviate any added and unnecessary stressors. All I can say is my due date is only one week away and with all of these 5 steps in place, I feel at peace. I’m ready to meet Baby Montaño #2!” – Alysia Montaño

 

Looking for even more inspiration from an inspiring mama? 

Check out our interview with Alysia!


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Molly Dickens, PhD

About Molly

Molly has her PhD in Physiology and spent over a decade as an academic research scientist slightly obsessed with the colliding worlds of brain science, hormones, stress and the reproductive system. Nowadays she heads up Content and Community at Bloomlife and edits Preg U. Science is still her jam and she can't help but continue to dive into the research world to find interesting bits about pregnancy and parenting.

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