Parenting really starts before giving birth. It is important to make an informed decision when it comes to your birthing options. There are some things you can do before the big day arrives to prepare. A perfect birth experience is a rare one. By addressing a few things before hand you might come close to the birth that you want. Here are a few tips that will help you in the birthing room. They definitely helped me when I had my first born!
Choose the Right Doctor
You will want to find a doctor who is both medically competent and experienced enough to deal with complications during birth. This is something all women know going into the search for an obstetrician. However, you also want a doctor who will help you through the process of giving birth. The ideal situation is to have a doctor who addresses the science behind giving birth and the art of delivering a child. You want a doctor who is a listener, and he or she should be open to hearing your ideas about what you want to happen in the delivery room.
Choose the Right Birthing Environment
The best place in most instances to deliver a baby is in a LDR room. LDR rooms are areas where a mother labors, delivers, and recovers. Most of these rooms have a comfortable feel to them, in essence a home like environment that is meant to relax and calm the mother. You might consider visiting one of these rooms beforehand so that you know what to expect if this is something you choose to go with. You want a room that gives you a good vibe.
When you are in labor your body will tell you when you should move or remain still. Listen to what it is trying to tell you. Not only will it speed up the birthing process, but it also can relieve some of your discomfort. Don’t worry about what others think or expect of you. There are a lot of stereotypes out there about what laboring “looks” like. You do not need to fit into some set mold.
Avoid Laboring on Your Back
Laboring on your back doesn’t make a lot of sense. It isn’t good for your baby or for you! If you labor on your back you will literally be pushing your baby “uphill.” It is more painful and the laboring process will last longer when lying on your back. There are a lot of different positions out there for mothers to utilize. You could squat, sit up, or get on all fours. It is best to let gravity help with the birthing process. Talk to your doctor about what options are available to you.
Think About Your Pain Relief Measures
Be informed about your pain relief options before making your way into a delivery room. Taking the time to inform yourself about these measures will make for a safer and more satisfying birth experience. Learn about both natural and medical pain relief options. Take a childbirth class to learn more about what you can do to deal with labor pains. There are always risks with pain relief medications so you will want to learn about these as well. The goal is to deliver a healthy baby while helping you to feel good about the labor process. Figure out how you want to combat labor pain and be flexible when the time comes.
Avoid Having an Episiotomy
The episiotomy is no longer necessary and is not a routine procedure in today’s labor rooms. You should talk with your doctor about ways to avoid having an episiotomy. Warm compresses, perineal massage, pushing technique, and birthing position can eliminate the need for an episiotomy in most cases. Wouldn’t you rather avoid being cut if you could? The first weeks after birth are trying enough without having to deal with a painful wound in a very private place!
Make Your Own Birth Plan
The more you plan for the birth of your new baby, the more likely the experience will be one you want. Having a birth plan lets your doctor, birth attendants, and other hospital staff know what you want and expect when giving birth. This plan is all about your personal needs. Remember that sometimes you won’t be able to progress through labor as you have scripted on this plan, so be flexible when going into the experience. Visit Writing a Birth Plan for some tips on how to develop your own birth plan.
Hopefully these tips will get you started on the road to parenting, since giving birth is where it all begins. Don’t be totally disappointed because you didn’t prepare. Start your new journey to parentage off right.
Resources: The Baby Book by William Sears, M.D., Martha Sears, R.N., Robert Sears, M.D., and James Sears, M.D.