There are so many things that can happen in the course of a labor and delivery. While we can’t always control the way our babies come into this world, there are steps we can take and preparations we can make to make sure that we are happy with the result.
Educating yourself and being open to outcome are two of the most effective methods that can enable you to walk away from your birth experience with a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.
Being open to outcome doesn’t just happen… You have to work at it.
A mother has to educate herself about her pregnancy and all the possible procedures and treatments to which she is exposed Without the knowledge, she can’t make an informed decision that based on her baby’s and her well-being. By making educated decisions that are in her best interest, her experience will be more gratifying and less disappointing. Remember this… knowledge is power.
Here are some ideas to get you on the path towards an empowering and triumphant birth experience:
Childbirth Education: Sign up for a childbirth education class that best fits your birth plan. Educate yourself about the birthing process and everything that comes before and after. This helps ease your mind and answers any questions you or your partner have.
Establish a Birth Plan: There are dozens of templates for birth plans on-line or you can ask your primary care for one at your next check up. Write it out and discuss it with your birth partner, your midwife or OB, and anyone else who is an advocate for you during this time. The last thing you want to do during labor is explaining your birth plan to the ones who are administering your care.
Hire a Doula or Birth Assistant: These are women who are there to help guide both you and your husband through this roller coaster of a journey. Additional support during labor can mean all the difference in the world. Studies show, doulas and birth assistants increase the likelihood of having a non-medicated, vaginal delivery without any interventions.
Practice Makes Familiar: Moving around, changing positions during childbirth, and using gravity to your advantage helps speed up the laboring process. Specific massage techniques applied during labor help ease the tension during contractions. Practice different techniques with your birth partner. Get into the different birthing positions discussed in your birthing class. This lets you know which techniques work for you, and gives partner more confidence in their abilities to guide you through your labor and delivery.
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Get Physical: Being pregnant for nine months doesn’t have to be debilitating to the body. Whether its your own daily routine, a walk, the gym, or a class… get your body moving! The result is less tension while pregnant, shorter labors, and quicker recovery time. Please note: Always be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine.
Get Mental: Childbirth is much like a marathon in that you have to prepare both physically and mentally. The human mind has great power over our perception of pain and we often forget powerful we truly are. You have to believe in yourself and trust that your body & your baby know what to do.
Let Go: On the flip side, childbirth is unpredictable and often out of our control. So as much as we plan for this momentous occasion, nothing is a sure thing. Be open to whatever happens during your labor so you can let go of anything that is out of your control. When all is said and done, the most important thing is that mom and baby are healthy. How they come in to this world is up to them. Our job is to trust in our bodies to do what they are designed to do.. birth babies.
A positive birth experience can have a profound effect on your recovery process and how you feel about becoming a mom… And becoming a mom is hard enough!
Preparing ourselves for one of life’s biggest milestones gives us the power to make informed decisions when it matters most. With a little preparation and planning, you can have the best chance at having a birth experience that is empowering and something you on which you reflect with confidence and satisfaction.
Comment below and let me know what your birth experience was like. Do you consider it a positive moment in your life? What did you do to prepare for your L&D?
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