For all families, the day of birthing a new child is one of the most important days of their lives, filled with emotions, anxiety, and a life-changing event. Preparing yourself in advance will ensure that this day goes as smoothly as possible. There is always more to learn for mothers of all ages, whether it’s their first child or not. So, for a safe and healthy delivery process, you can follow the list to make your day memorable for life.
- Adopt A Healthy Lifestyle To Stay Fit
It has been noted that women who stay fit during pregnancy tend to have shorter labors. The fitter you are, the better your endurance will be, and the less likely you will need medical intervention during delivery.
You should consult a health care provider about the type of exercise that is safe for you. The best ways to exercise during pregnancy are to walk, swim, or take prenatal exercise classes.
- Carefully Choose Your Health Care Provider
Make sure your midwife or doctor has enough experience to perform a safe delivery. Complications that might arise during delivery should also be discussed with the mother. There is a possibility that the situation might demand aC-section, and in some rare cases, the life of the infant can also be at risk.
Negligence by a doctor or nurse can also cause serious birth injuries, resulting in permanent disabilities. For any severe birth injury, you could file a lawsuit against the hospital through the birth injury justice center.
- Take a Childbirth Class
By familiarizing yourself with the stages of labor and practicing comfort measures before labor, you’ll feel less anxious, which makes labor easier.
It’s important to shop around for your childbirth classes, recommends Teri Shilling, director of Passion for Birth and ex-president of Lamaze International. Make sure the class is small (fewer than ten couples), has a certified instructor, and aligns with your goals.
- Ensure Good Support
It may be a good idea to line up additional help even if you have a partner who will be by your side throughout labor. People who had continuous support during labor from a doula (a person trained to support a laboring person and their partner) had lower chancesofC-sections, instrumental vaginal deliveries, and labor augmentation.
It is crucial that you hire qualified doulas to provide you with enough support at home and assist you in breathing through their physical techniques. Furthermore, they can also help you during your postpartum period.
- Keep Yourself Distracted
During first pregnancies, active labor typically lasts 12 to 14 hours.You’ll wear yourself out if you start worrying right from the start, counting contractions, and breathing through every discomfort.Instead, try to lose yourself in other activities, such as taking a walk, taking a shower, or baking cookies. The more relaxed you are, the quicker things will go.
- Healthy Eating And Fluid Intake
While you’re still at home in the early stages of labor, a light snack will help maintain your energy level. However, avoid fatty and hard-to-digest foods since a too-full stomach may cause nausea and vomiting during later active stages of labor. You can also lose fluids during labor due to rapid breathing and muscle contractions.
An analysis by Cochrane published in 2013 found that intravenous fluids at twice the standard rate can decrease the length of labor when people don’t drink fluids during labor. Despite this, the authors note that it may be possible to increase oral fluid intake rather than IV fluid intake. As a matter of fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends drinking clear liquids and administering IV fluids as necessary during labor.
- Take A Bath
It can be very comforting to soak in a warm bath during labor. Many people find the weightlessness they experience in the water helpful in providing relief and allowing them to change positions more easily.
In accordance with ACOG guidelines, immersion in water during the first stages of labor may shorten the labor process. Even if you’re not planning to have a water birth, relaxing in a tub early in labor may help you keep things moving.
- Take A Massage
Using pressure or heat to stimulate an area in pain softens pain signals sent to the brain. Therefore In labor, a lower back massage significantly reduces pain and enhances satisfaction with the birth process.
Tell your partner what feels best to you. You may want to rub your shoulders or neck during the first few hours of labor, and when the intense contraction begins, press firmly on your lower back and hips.
- Avoid Lying Down
During most of the labor, you should remain upright to allow gravity to work for you. Your cervix will dilate as the baby’s head presses on it. It may also help to try a variety of positions during labor.Kneeling or squatting can ease discomfort and speed up the process. As you move, your pelvis widens, allowing the baby’s head to pass through.
- Open Your Mind To Medication
Although epidurals are considered safe, they do carry some risks. As an example, according to ACOG, if an epidural contains opioids, the fetus may experience changes in heart rate, breathing, and drowsiness. These effects, however, do not last very long.
Epidurals can limit mobility, so some people opt to receive an analgesic via IV, such as butorphanol. The main effect of analgesics is to reduce pain perception, not eliminate it. Additionally, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) can reduce anxiety and make labor easier to tolerate.
- Stay Calm And Keep Breathing
The use of pattern breathing not only lets you concentrate throughout contractions but also allows you to rest and relax between them. You can use relaxation strategies that you use in everyday life during labor, such as deep breathing, picturing a favorite place, or listening to music.
The most important thing to remember about labor and birth is that there is only one certainty:it will end eventually. Those final moments signal the beginning of a new life, both for your baby and you as a parent. For that reason, even the hardest labor will likely be the most rewarding work for you.