Becoming a mother is awesome. However, the experience can be a stressful one especially if you lack the required support or you don’t know what is expected of you. When it comes to labor and childbirth, no woman is a veteran. Although a first time mum is more naïve, even those who have had babies before will attest to the fact each pregnancy comes with its unique demands.
Therefore, for you and your baby to have a better experience physically, emotionally and psychologically, you need to be well-prepared for the big event ahead. There are countless things you can do to have a positive labor experience but feeling pressured to do all of them just to have a perfect birth can be so overwhelming and end up creating unnecessary anxiety.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to simplify the process and enhance your birth experience for the better. If you are a mom to be, then consider these tips to help you ready your body and mind for a smooth childbirth experience.
Register with a childbirth course
Knowledge is power and it can help you make informed decisions during pregnancy and childbirth. Going to the hospital without any idea on what will happen when the labor starts can be very overwhelming. The information your mom, your grandma and your elder sisters have shared with you is not enough. You need to hear it from a professional because every woman’s experience is different.
Your doctor can still guide you but taking a childbirth class is more efficient. These classes are usually conducted by certified childbirth educators or registered labor nurses. The trainers have ample time to educate you on matters concerning pregnancy, labor process and how to take care of yourself and the baby after birth. From the knowledge you will gather during these classes, it won’t be difficult to know when the labor has set in.
Also, make sure you enrol on time to avoid missing your chance because these classes can fill up so fast. Besides, most of them run for 12 weeks, meaning you need to start attending them during the second trimester for maximum utilization of these super helpful classes. Don’t be left out.
Attend antenatal clinics
Antenatal care is essential and you need to start your antenatal clinic immediately find out you are pregnant to ensure you have a professional assistant throughout your pregnancy journey. There are so many benefits you and your unborn baby stand to gain if you attend all your antenatal clinics. If you attend your antenatal clinics as required, your obstetrician-gynaecologist is in a better position to detect any potential problem early and arrested it before it gets out of control.
Antenatal clinics will also help you to prepare for childbirth because you have an expert ready to answer all your questions. Take advantage of the time you will be visiting your healthcare provider to find out the best mode of delivery. Get to know your doctor’s take on elective caesarean section, epidural and drug-free ways of managing pain during labor. These are some of the things that will help you choose a method you are comfortable with.
This is your time to ask any question, sensitive or not. Your doctor will be ready to answer them all. If you realize that you forget some of your queries when talking to your doctor, write them down before leaving home. Knowing the interventions you may need during labor can help you make the right decision.
Choose your care team carefully
Childbirth is a transformative experience. While holding a baby in your arms is the best feeling ever, the journey to achieving this happiness can be emotional, messy and complicated. That’s why it’s vital to have a supportive team with you throughout your pregnancy journey. You need to be surrounded by people you trust for the best possible outcome.
Even if your partner is there to support you, you may still want to hire a doula. That’s because your partner may not have the first-hand experience in childbirth. The main reason why a doula is better suited to walk with you during labor and childbirth is that this person is trained to offer the best care possible to the mother and the baby before, during and after childbirth. During labor and delivery, a doula helps the mother to manage pain through laboring positions, breathing and relaxation techniques and massage. After the child is born, the doula can guide the mother on the best breastfeeding position and any other support she may need. This gives the mother and other family members an easy time to bond with the newest member of the family.
There are so many things you will not be able to do when you are already in the grip of labor. First of all, your hospital bag should be ready by the time you hit 36 weeks. Otherwise, you can’t pack the right items for you and the baby the last minute. If you have older children, then you need to know who will take care of them during the time you are going to be at the hospital and even after because you will not have the energy to resume to your normal duties yet. Ensuring everything is in order back at home will give you an easy time during labor.
Don’t focus on what worked for other moms
If you focus too much on what worked for other moms, you will be wasting your precious time because what worked for them may not necessarily work for you. It can be so heartbreaking to put all your hopes on a natural remedy that worked for your sister only for you to have a different outcome. You will not only feel cheated but you will also have a not so good labor experience.
As long as you have your doctor’s go ahead, you are at liberty to try any natural remedy of your choice but don’t put all your hopes on it. For instance, if your friends have told you that eating dates or drinking raspberry leaf tea will help you go into labor fast, don’t panic if you are overdue and the baby doesn’t seem to be in a hurry. If your doctor hasn’t detected any problem, the baby will still come at the right time.
Remember most of those natural labor remedies you will come across on the internet are more anecdotal than scientific. Don’t put your hope on them. More so, let no one pressurize you to use them or feel like your labor experience will be the most painful one if you fail to use them.
Safe and smooth childbirth experience
Although childbirth is usually associated with pain, these tips can help your prepare your body and mind in the best possible way. You don’t have to go nuts just to bring a life into this world, you can still do so composed and even end up enjoying the process.