As your body slows returns to normal after pregnancy and childbirth, you'll experience lots of little milestones, like the day you can have coffee again or the day you can fit back into your favorite pre-pregnancy jeans. Getting your period again is a major event, too. And while you may have stocked up on feminine protection before going into labor, you probably won't need it for your period for at least a few more months.
Old wives' remedies include numerous do-it-yourself approaches to inducing labor, such as hot baths, enemas, herbs, sexual intercourse and castor oil. Castor oil, traditionally used as a laxative, has been the subject of study in some clinical trials. However, according to an article published in the May 2003 issue of "American Family Physician," there's no conclusive evidence that suggests castor oil is helpful.
So, last we let off, I was waiting for an operating room so I could give birth to my baby girl at only 34 weeks (6 weeks early). I had spent a long night on various medications to try to get me out of labor, only then to have many other medications pumped into my body to prep for my c-section.
As I left abruptly for the hospital that afternoon, I couldn’t explain how I knew, but I was certain that the next time I would be returning to my apartment, I would no longer be pregnant. In fact as I locked the door, I said to my mom, “I guess we won’t be able to get the kitchen redone before our little one is born.” She thought I was crazy and assured me we were just going to the hospital as a precaution, all was well and it will get done. Technically, we were both right.
Unless you are having an elective cesarean section, your body will go through labor to deliver your baby. Labor is a unique experience for each woman, but the process has some shared similarities. What causes you to go into labor can depend on your body, your baby and your doctor's treatment.
Once you find out you're pregnant, you're immediately faced with a million choices. In fact, if you've been planning your pregnancy for a while, your non-stop decision engine's probably been revving for a while. One of the most important decisions you'll make is the health care providers who support you throughout your pregnancy and help you bring your little one into the world. Finding a provider who supports your birth choices and makes you feel comfortable can reduce some of the stress of labor and delivery.
When it comes to the way you want to deliver your baby, you have options. Midwifery practices for delivering a baby often vary from what traditional doctors use, but this may be just what you need to have as relaxing of a delivery as you possibly can. Before you decide what type of health care provider to use, you might want to learn more about midwifery and its delivery practices.
Forty weeks is long enough, but sometimes it seems like your little one would be happy to stay warm in your tummy forever. If you've been experiencing some of the signs of labor -- occasional contractions, or your cervix starting to dilate, for example -- you may want to do what you can to speed up labor. Though these methods won't work unless you're body is ready to give birth, you can try to push the process along safely and gently. Every woman is different, so experiment to see what works for you.
Labor's a tricky thing to navigate. It lasts some women days and others hours. It's difficult to accurately estimate how your second delivery will progress. Many women find their second labor comes on quicker and that they delivered their babies faster. For other women, it's the exact opposite. Your births can be similar, or two completely different experiences. If you know the general signs of labor, you can act accordingly so if your second baby's coming in a hurry, you can act right away.
You have likely heard many horror stories about the process of labor and birth. People are quick to tell you how long it lasted and how painful it was. The good news is that it doesn't have to be extremely painful or last forever. There are many things you can and should do to make labor as quick and painless as possible. And, it just might be easier than you think.