New Mama: Labor and Delivery
The most stressful part of the whole process of becoming a Mom can definitely be the thought of giving birth!
Here are some tips to make it through Labor and Delivery:
Take a childbirth class!
>Nothing will totally prepare you for Labor, but at least you'll learn the whole process and the options you will have.
>If you aren't taking a class, at least know what effacement is, what dilation is, what stations are and what kind of pain management options there are.
>Many stress you to make a childbirth plan. That's a nice idea, but in reality, you just need to know what options you would prefer and then BE FLEXIBLE! Nothing will go according to plan, but at least you'll know what you prefer!
>Many of us new Moms go into labor thinking, I'll go all natural or I want all the drugs! The truth is that back labor can change the all natural candidate to an epidural with just a few contractions. Or maybe an emergency sends you right in for a C-section.
>Knowing all the options and your preferences will help you make wise choices while keeping flexible with how it all works out.
>You will definitely need to be flexible, but you need to have an idea of what your choices are. Here are some things I have learned.
-An epidural can slow things down.
-An epidural can also cause your blood pressure to go down.
-Pitocin will increase your contractions and the power behind them.
-Several people I have known have been given Pitocin without knowledge or choice.
-Make sure the nurses and your doctor know your preferences and if you don't like what they want to do, ask if there are other options. Remember you have a voice :)
It's all in the family!
>Ask your Mom and Grandmas how labor went with them.
My Mom only had one child and ended up with several days of early labor. She had a tilted uterus though that slowed things down. Once her water broke, she went to full dilation pretty quickly and then had a short delivery. My maternal Grandma had very short labors with all 3 of her children. Her longest was around 3 1/2 hours. I am built like my Grandma and I followed her labor pattern. My longest labor, which was my first, was right around 4 hrs. With my third child, I went right to 2-3 minutes apart with my contractions when labor started. My short labors meant I had a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions. With my third, I had early labor for 2 weeks and BH starting at week 14. Of course I dilated a lot ahead of time too. I was always around 4 cm and 80-100% effaced for a little while before I went into labor.
>Knowing your family history will not guarantee how your labor will be, but knowing the information will help you as you determine when to go to the hospital.
>This information really helped me. Many will tell you that you will be in labor for a long time with your first and to just hang out at home and keep comfortable. If I would have done that with any of my kiddos, I may have had an at home birth, especially with my third.
Go With Your Gut
>The biggest thing I have learned is Ask Questions and Go With Your Gut!
>I was in a lot of pain in my back and leg with my first pregnancy. I just sucked it up because the doctors basically said it was just normal pregnancy pain. I should have stood up for myself but instead I ended up with back surgery when my daughter was 4 weeks old.
>It doesn't hurt to call a nurse or doctor to get their opinion!
>It doesn't hurt anyone to go into Labor and Delivery if you think something is wrong.
>And when you still feel like you need help, push for it. A mom's intuition is sometimes all that you can go on. Have them check any possibilities and if they don't find anything then you can rest knowing it's ok.