Everybody has advice for you when it comes to giving birth. Advice on what to do, and what to avoid. Opinions on pain, positions and even what to pack are passed on. Here’s what you really need to know going into birth.
Don’t rush off
In the movies it may seem that as your water breaks, you need to put the car’s hazard lights on and scream off to the labour ward. This is hardly the case. In fact, the first stages of labour can take a very long time.
Home is where the heart is, and in labour it is often where a mother can be the most relaxed. In the comfort of your home, it is easier to relax and progress in a calm environment. Do head off to the hospital if any warning signs arise though.
Be prepared from 38 weeks for labour to start
Babies are ready to be born at any time from 38 to 42 weeks of gestation. So, have that bag packed and plans in place for D-day.
Your birth plan is not concrete
Do understand that while it is a good idea to have a plan in place, it is equally as important to ensure you provide for some flexibility. Sometimes babies don’t follow the plan. This can mean that while you had hoped intervention may not be needed to safely deliver your baby, it could happen.
It takes two of you to get the baby out
Your birth partner is vitally important during the birth for support, encouragement and strength to draw on. If you feel you may need a little more help, consider getting a doula to assist.
Lying flat on your back is going to slow your labour down. You need gravity to work with you and by being upright and moving around slowly, you are helping to move that baby down into the birth canal.
Conserve your energy
Birthing a baby is a long-distance endurance event. Don’t exhaust yourself in the first few hours. Try to relax between contractions and rest to ensure you have the strength needed to push the baby out.
Try not to be afraid
Fear in labour can slow things down. Try to view any pain as positive and encouraging. It is showing you that your body is working and that your labour is progressing.
Make sure you have water and snacks
Have a steady supply of cool liquids to drink and easy things to snack on like dried fruits and nuts to help keep your energy levels up and keep you hydrated.
Enjoy your labour
Most importantly enjoy your labour. It is one of the most awesome, inspiring, wonderous achievements you will ever have in your life.
Pippa is a Registered Professional Nurse and trained as a Registered Midwife at Chris Hani Baragwanth Hospital. She has extensive experience in all things baby related with a special interest in preparing couples for the exciting journey of parenthood as well as supporting them in the weeks that follow the birth. She and her husband Richard are the proud parents of Becca age 6 and Tom age 4. Pippa has a comprehensive private clinic service that includes Childbirth Education classes, a Well Baby Clinic including Immunization as well as Post Natal and Lactation support. With over 5 years of running a private clinic facility and raising 2 children Pippa comes with a wealth of knowledge and first-hand experience of parenthood. Learn more about Pippa Hime