So, I have had a round up from the NCT girls on the whole labour experience. Here are their additional thoughts from:
- The crazy cats who have given birth already
- Those of us who are yet to pop
Katy & Jo, thoughts on LABOUR following the birth of their babies:
- BREATHING! This and back massage got me to that point of transition with no pain relief. This helped me stay focused and in control. It also kept me relaxed as it is hard to tense up when you’re doing this steady kind of breathing.
- Mentally each contraction brings you closer to meeting your miracle: I had in mind the whole time that each contraction was helping my baby out and bringing me closer to him being born. This stopped it being scary, instead it felt positive and kind of exciting.
- Remembering that our bodies are designed for birth and women have given birth forever helped me mentally – I was quite excited to be told I was fully dilated, and remember thinking ‘right, here we go!’ and Scott arrived a few mins later 🙂
- Your body really does tell you what to do – however I found it very hard to hold back when pushing to try to allow everything to stretch so listen to the midwife on this one.
- Stay hydrated, bendy straws are good
- Request to be checked for dilation when you want – we think I was fully dilated for a while before they would check me (hubby to be proactive for you on this one)
- If you need to lie down for a bit that’s fine
- Local anaesthetic before any stitches – the injections really do not hurt one bit! (But hopefully you won’t need any!)
- Eat fruit and bran as much as you can -I ate quite a bit of fruit during labour and this meant that the first poo was soft and not remotely scary (also was able to go on day 1 and get it done!).
- Get into the birthing pool/water/bath as soon as you can to help soften everything! It is also wonderfully calming!
- Don’t go too mad on the gas and air
Katy & Jo, thoughts POST delivery:
- First wee – lean right forward on the loo (think kissing your knees) to reduce stinging.
- If you can start your pelvic floor exercises soon after birth – it does help with any discomfort as well as with getting the muscles engaged again.
- Getting organized: Having little labeled bags with a baby grow, vest and nappy was very handy – I was taken away for investigations and stitching for a few hours so Stew had to dress bubs by himself and just had to pull a bag out and check the sizing on the outside.
Uma, Elaine, Rachel & myself: Additional thoughts on LABOUR from the rest of us who are waiting to pop:
- Don’t panic. Apparently, our bodies know what to do (which makes me wonder why there are so many books / classes / DVDs on it) and we should trust that. Did you know that women in comas have laboured and given birth?
- Supportive partners: Most importantly, I think its important for partners to keep reminding us to drink, pee, breathe and so on and so forth as us mums to be will be in the throws of labour and will not remember to do anything but scream.
- Try to stay ‘in control’, so if it comes to pain relief options, or a c-section or induction or whatever it may be, we feel like we’re a part of what is happening rather than something happening to us.
- Breathing is important to help a) distracted and b) it helps to relax your nerves. Breathing through your mouth with your lips in an ‘O’. So make sure you pack lip balm and some sweets with you so you don’t end up with dry lips/mouth!
- Keep changing positions until you find something that’s comfortable for you.
- Labouring and giving birth in water: tips from the 2013 home birth conference (mindthebaby.ie)
- Making a Birth Plan..Is That Why They Call it Labor – Pregnancy (everydayfamily.com)
- Avoiding Episiotomy – Labor and Delivery (everydayfamily.com)