Many women both eagerly anticipate and dread the onset of labor. While this decidedly painful stage of pregnancy does mean that baby is but moments from entering the world, it can be a scary experience as mom struggles potentially through a great deal of pain and worry about a plethora of possible complications. While nothing can make labor easy, the mom-to-be can do some things to make labor a more positive experience.
Labor is not the time to make decisions. Often, moms-to-be are overcome with excitement or too wrapped up in discomfort to make effective decisions. To ensure that your labor goes as you would like it to, plan ahead. Decide what type of childbirth techniques you want to use, who will be in the room with you and whether you intend to use pain medications. While you may deviate from this plan, having a prepared plan cuts down on the number of decisions you have to make as you work to bring your baby into the world.
Move It Along
Many doctors advise their patients to walk during labor. This practice can quicken a slowly progressing labor along and alleviate back pain, reports the Sutter Health website. Along with helping the labor progress, walking around during the early stages can help assuage your nerves as it gives you something to do besides sitting in your bed and waiting for the baby.
Many women rely heavily on breathing techniques during labor. Numerous techniques, most notably Lamaze, tout the importance of rhythmic breathing. The power of this structured breathing can help to calm mom and reduce pain, reports the American Pregnancy website. If you took part in a childbirth class prior to labor, consider the techniques you studied and try to apply them. If you didn’t take a class, your doctor or nurse can likely advise you on a breathing practice that you can use to help you make it through the difficult stage.
Deciding whether to use pain medication is difficult for many women. Some women elect to take advantage of any medication available, while others try their best to give birth without pain-relieving drugs. Regardless of what you planned prior to labor’s onset, many doctors recommend you listen to your body and do what you feel you must to make it through labor successfully. The Sutter Health website warns that while women certainly can give birth drug free, some become too tired and begin to struggle with the birth process if they are not assisted with medication.
Expect the Unexpected
No two births are alike. Even if you are an old pro, you never know how your childbirth process is going to go. If you expect everything to go without a hitch, and a complication occurs, it can be difficult to deal with. As you prepare for labor, keep in mind that a wide array of things can happen during labor that you might not expect. Do not let these complications upset you or throw you off your childbirth game. Listen to your doctor’s advice and roll with the punches as much as you can. If you remain calm and do as your trusted health care professional advises, you will be able to navigate the unexpected more effectively.
Eyes on the Prize
At the end of labor, you will have your baby. As difficult as the labor stage may be, it is only a temporary discomfort that will result in a lifetime of joy with your new child. As you move through labor, focus on the fact that it is only a temporary process and that the pain will be worth it in the end.
- Pregnant 1 image by Infs from Fotolia.com