So you’ve done everything you need to prepare for baby. Now what? Once you’re 37 weeks along, you could be ready to deliver at any time. Here are the basics from the certified nurse-midwives at Desert Blossom Women’s Care about how to prepare for labor and delivery.
Know the Signs of Labor
First-time moms might not even realize they’re officially in labor in the early stages. You’ll experience quite a few signs and symptoms in the weeks leading up to delivery, but the big one to watch out for are your contractions. You know you’re in labor when your contractions are regular and increase in frequency, severity, and duration as time goes on.
Review the Advice You Were Given
Your midwife probably told you when to call them or go to the hospital, so stick with their recommendations. Ask your midwife all of the questions, no matter how stupid they seem, so that you know exactly what to look for and expect from your labor and delivery. When it comes to in-laws or anyone else offering advice about anything from laboring in water to relaxation techniques, it’s ok to hear them out, but listen to what you want to, but don’t feel like you have to go with it. It’s your body and baby, so do what feels right for you.
Take a Class
Enroll in a childbirth course once you get to your second trimester to learn the relaxation techniques you’ll need to get through hours of labor and delivery. Yoga classes can also help you strengthen your body and leave you feeling relaxed. Do some studying on your own while you’re at it because once labor starts, it’ll be too late to think about these things.
Avoid all of the terrifying documentaries and negative conversations people might be tempted to show or tell you. The only thing that’s going to do is make things more stressful, which isn’t good for you or your baby. Walk away from uncomfortable topics and unwanted advice, and once you’re in the hospital, breathe deeply and imagine yourself in your happy place.
Find Small Ways to Stay Comfortable
Whether it’s self-hypnosis, moving, heat packs, deep breathing, aromatherapy candles, wearing your favorite slippers, or taking a warm bath or shower, find small ways to make yourself comfortable, especially during the early stages of labor.
Try a New Position
Once you’re at the hospital, change positions every half hour or so—upright positions, in particular, can help move the baby down and out thanks to gravity, and jiggling or rocking can move them into position. If you can get out of bed, try climbing some stairs or marching in place.
Keep a Strong Support System
If your partner is able to provide emotional support in the delivery room, enlist their help to encourage you to push and rest. If your partner isn’t going to be the best labor support person because of their own anxiety, volunteer a friend, relative, or doula to do the honors.
Support from Desert Blossom Women’s Care
Things might not always go as planned during your labor and birth, but good midwifery can help things go a little smoother. Whether you have questions about your pregnancy or need care at any stage of your journey, Desert Blossom Women’s Care is here to help mothers and babies in southern Arizona have the best possible start. Get in touch today to schedule a midwifery appointment.