What Type of Delivery Will It Be?
After you have been carrying a child for nine months, you are ready for your body to return to normalcy and finally see what you have produced. More than likely, you will experience the same painful, but exciting ending as many other expectant mothers. Labor and delivery is the last phase of the period of preparation for parenthood, also known as gestational period, or simply pregnancy. Along with actual parenthood, your labor may not go as smoothly as planned. However, you can take care of a few details to make the experience as painless as possible.
Decide Where to Give Birth
Do you want to have the baby in a hospital, birthing center or at home? Women who decide to give birth at home often do so because they feel more comfortable at home. They prefer a more personal environment, and will often invite a midwife to come help with the birth. Fewer options are available for pain relief and no actual medical equipment is around in case of a complication, but there is also less risk of infection at home. Many women choose hospitals, though, because it seems like the safer choice.
In most cases, the woman's regular obstetrician is there with her along with several nurses and medication. Birthing centers are not quite the same as home, but are less impersonal than hospitals. Unless there are serious birthing complications, birthing centers allow for a woman to feel less stressed in a comfortable environment, making the labor progress more smoothly.
To Medicate or Not to Medicate?
Do you want painkillers or do you want to experience every cramp and contraction that comes? Even if you do not want medication, do you believe that you can handle the pain? Not all women experience the same level of pain when they are in labor. Some have higher thresholds for pain than others. You may not want to take any medication, but once you begin experiencing some pain and discomfort from the labor you may change your mind. Depending on how far you have progressed in your labor, the doctor may offer to give you a painkiller. Discuss your options with your doctor beforehand so that you will know all of your options.
Be Prepared for Anything
You may plan on giving birth vaginally, but complications could arise that cause you require a C-Section. You may already be planning to skip the pushing and having a C-Section. Either way, if this is your first birth, or even second or third, your body is going to go through changes that you have never experienced before. Your baby could be much bigger than predicted or may never turn into the position it should be in for vaginal delivery and will need to be delivered by C-Section. Also, your labor has no time limit. It could last a few hours or a day or two. Anything could happen and not go the way you expect them to.
Make a checklist of all the things to take with you to the hospital or to have ready at home and make sure you have easy access to it when the time comes. This can help ensure that you are not searching aimlessly for missing items when you should be on your way to delivering your baby.
The most important thing you can do in preparing for labor is take care of yourself. Maintain a healthy diet and try to do pregnancy-friendly exercises throughout the pregnancy. It is the best thing you can do for yourself and your baby to ensure healthy labor, delivery and recovery.