Ways To Make The Birth Delivery Easier
Pregnancy brings on a lot of new changes in your body. Whether or not it took you a long time to conceive – you are no doubt excited about finally being pregnant and looking forward to the day that your baby will be placed into your loving arms.
But that day can bring on certain fears – of the unknown – especially if you’ve never experienced birth before. But relax, there are things you can do to prepare for that day – whether you are planning a home birth, a hospital birth – going at it naturally – allowing an epidural or even planning a cesarean.
The best advice I can give for preparation for the delivery day is education. Read all you can on the process of labor and birth. Ignorance is not the blissful way of approaching such an important milestone in your life. Knowledge of what your body will be going through on that day will greatly help to alleviate the stress and fear of childbirth. There are countless books, magazines, true-life TV shows and websites that are chocked full of information.
Take a childbirth class. This is a great way to have the opportunity to ask questions and to learn what you are to go through. It’s also beneficial – because you will choose a childbirth class that will narrow down to the type of birth you wish to experience. I am very thankful for the 2 different childbirth classes I took with my first 2 children.
Exercise. This will benefit your body in more than one way. Find an exercise that is approved by your healthcare provider. Exercising during pregnancy will not only prepare your body for labor and delivery – it will give you a leg up on loosing that pregnancy weight after the baby arrives. Exercise will greatly help labor and birth to be easier and possibly quicker.
Do the perineum massage. This will help to possibly avoid an episiotomy. About 6 weeks before your due date – take some (vegetable, olive or vitamin E) oil or some type of lubrication on two (clean) thumbs (with trimmed nails) put pressure toward your rectum – at the perineum – about to the first knuckle of your finger until it burns – about 2 minutes. Then gently massage and stretch the area for about one to five minutes. You will build up to this – as it strengthens and conditions the perineum for birth. Finally gently massage the tissues between your thumb and forefinger back and forth for one minute. Do this every night – you can even have your partner do this to add some spice!
Learn the methods of helping to move labor along. Had I known this with my first pregnancy I believe my labor wouldn’t have had to be induced. I simply laid there – not knowing that I could get up – or at the very least to even turn over in bed to help augment labor. Instead I got the maximum Pitocin drip (the drug used to cause uterine contractions) and ended up having to have my water broken. If you are able – walking and moving around – changing positions will greatly help labor to advance.
Another good thing on making labor and delivery easier is to practice your breathing exercises that you learned in childbirth class. Whether it is Lamaze or Bradley – these will help you to relax and remain calm – even if you are having a cesarean.
Knowing what you are headed into will be the most effective way of easing labor and delivery. That will knock out the fear of the unknown and prepare you for what to expect. Even if things don’t go as planned – which happens sometimes so prepare for it.
Write a birth plan and go over it with your doctor or midwife. Make sure to be flexible and open to the possibility that you may have to change a few things. This way you will know for sure what actions will be taken once labor hits and there will be no surprises. Leave room in the birth plan for the unexpected too – such as emergency cesareans.
Give all this advice some thought and try to relax. Mentally go over your big day in your mind – going over all possible situations – this will help to prepare for the “what-ifs” If your childbirth class does not include a tour of your hospital or go over hospital procedures (if you plan on giving birth in a hospital) then make arrangements to tour the labor and delivery unit at your hospital and ask the nurse to go over all the things that could possibly happen with you once you are checked in. This will help to familiarize yourself for the big event and help you to better visualize the big day.
Above all, talk to your doctor or midwife at length about any concerns or questions you may have. Don’t be afraid to find out all you can – as fear is the base of stress and stress can make the labor and birth hard. Knowledge erases fear. Look forward to the day with confidence and assurance that you are as ready as can be.