Getting to hold your baby after its birth is a wonderful thing. No way is it selfish if you have a birth plan prepared before to help you through the labor and the childbirth. Here’s a five-step labor and birth guide to get you through your D-day.
This guide is going to help you:
• Keep you and the baby safe
• Give your baby a safe birth
• Keep you safe during labor and childbirth
• Build a strong connection with your newborn
• Have confidence about labor and childbirth
This childbirth prep is one that would help you find balance between learning between the different choices and doing pragmatic preparation for the same.
Make Sure To Have A Healthy Pregnancy
We know that being pregnant for nine months and staying healthy can prove to be taxing and stressful, especially if you are making quite a few changes in your lifestyle. However, remember that all this pain would pay off when you would hold a healthy baby in your arms. Therefore, it’s important that you stick to being healthy.
Being a strong and healthy mommy would mean that you have to eat a balanced diet, take your prenatal medicines (prescribed by your doctors), exercise regularly and take ample rest. Enduring all of this for nine months would pay off during childbirth and postpartum. This means that there’s a lot riding on you, so be safe and be happy!
Ensure To Take Informed Decisions About Childbirth
There are loads of options for childbirth available for the modern pregnant woman. This means that you have to think through things and choose the ones that best suits you.
To begin with, decide on who would attend your childbirth. This choice would also shape your birthing experience. You need to decide whether your parents, friends, partner or family would be there to attend the childbirth.
Secondly, decide whether you want to give birth at home or at a hospital. Remember to talk to your healthcare provider about this. You can also choose from a birth center and/or hospital with an attached bath center.
Thirdly, you have to decide what happens to you during childbirth. We understand that you have done your due diligence in figuring out what actually happens to your body, (by this we mean the dilation, the baby’s head coming down, the contractions, etc.) but there is much more going on. By this we are trying the emphasize you and your concerns and fears. Understand that in a hospital you might just see yourself spread-eagled and hundreds of monitors beeping around you, with a bunch of people looking at your private parts! Scene of a scary movie? But that’s what happens, so decide before if you want a private room and want minimum people around you. Talk to your healthcare provider and understand before taking the final decision. It’s important that you feel safe and secure.
Lastly, you might also want to think what happens to your baby. By this, your baby is the prize after all that labor, effort and pain at your end.
Prepare Yourself For The Childbirth Experience
If you choose natural birth, understand that there are multiple aspects that needs to be thought through. This would include you prepping yourself during those nine months. This would include the following:
• Tools (like birth ball, squat bar, etc.)
Understanding more about your childbirth will help you survive even if labor is tough. Enroll in classes which would give you enough information on practical techniques of childbirth.
Decide When To Go To The Hospital
While there are quite a few indications that you have started labor (like passing off the mucus plug) sometimes you might have to decide to wait it out before you head to the hospital. The best way to decide this is create a mental checklist after talking to your healthcare provider and a doula. Once all those boxes have been checked, you can head to the hospital straight away.
Having said this, don’t brush away your motherly intuitions if it gives you some form of warning. Head to the hospital straight away and get yourself checked up.
Be On The Move Always
Okay, we don’t mean you to hop, skip and dance your way through the labor, though this woman actually did that:
What we mean is that keep moving if you find yourself in labor. Infact, moving about would keep you distracted from the pain and research has shown that waiting for 2 hours would generally lead to a natural childbirth.
Don’t stay still and don’t lie down on your back, even if that is tempting. Keep swaying if you are sitting or alternatively sit, lye, and sway every few minutes. The reason we ask you to keep moving is that your baby would move about too and this would be ideal in a natural childbirth.
Keep The Environment Safe And Calm
As much as it is possible, keep your surroundings safe and calm. Listen to some relaxing music, limit the people in the room, make sure that your other children (if any) have a baby sitter, call for your support system and even go to the extent of asking some healthcare officials to empty the room if you are not comfortable.
Understand that childbirth is like a marathon, and here, as an active participant, you have to prep yourself physically, emotionally and mentally. You have to research and take informed decision for only then would you have a smooth run.
Inspite of all this, always remember, that there are going to be lot of other unexpected challenges, don’t lose heart, because at the end of it all, you would be holding your love, your child in your arms.