I would love to share my 7 tips on how to have a positive birth experience, but also how to go into labor with confidence and trust.
- Have a birth plan.
You know those scenes in the movies where a woman’s water breaks, and the husband frantically searches around looking for the keys, the hospital bag and cannot seem to keep their head on straight because they are so stressed? Having a plan can help you from reliving that exact moment for you and those along for the ride.
Having a birth plan allows you to focus on what you can control, and also how you can prepare for any unexpected scenarios. This will help you be in the present moment and remain as calm as possible when the time comes.
- If you can, hire or consult a doula.
Working with someone who has worked with moms and frequently helps others through the birthing experience can help you embrace your pregnancy and birthing experience with a little more ease. They can also help you create a customized birthing plan based on your wishes and needs.
- Choose carefully who you want in your room. While the “frantic dad” scenario and the “stressed out mom” can be somewhat amusing, you will not find them funny when you are mid-birthing.
If you are having family members – aside from your partner – attend your birth, make sure you discuss this THOROUGHLY first. Gauge what their reactions are to some of the choices you may be making regarding your labor, or how they would be in a situation that was unexpected. This will help you decide if they will be supportive during the experience.
- Make a play list.
We all know that our partners cannot take away our pain, but they still want to help! It can be a nice thing for your partner to do, to help them feel both involved and “in control”.
I personally had a birth “chill out” and birth “upbeat” play lists and my husband was the DJ (and the entertainer, but that’s a whole other story J).
- Consider bringing a bathing suit to your labor.
I found that laboring while the warm water from the shower is running, lessens the pain. It also helps that you are standing – gravity is working for you and your baby.
Consider letting the heat of the water both relax your muscles and your mindset during this process (though I know this is not as easy as it sounds).
- Set the tone.
I found that battery operated candles set a calming and soothing atmosphere that added to my experience.
- Be flexible!
Even in all these tips, a key ingredient to successfully feeling more comfortable and confident is understanding that you cannot control everything.
Unexpected things can occur. If you can accept and embrace the experience, have a positive partnership with your loved ones and your healthcare team, you will derive more pleasure and be aware of more beauty in this experience.
I would love to hear from you. Whether you have already gone through this process, or are an expectant parent, I would love to hear your thoughts, worries, and helpful strategies in preparing for labor.