After 8 months of stressing out if your baby will stay healthy in your tummy, dealing with leg cramps, sleepless nights and just straight up being uncomfortable the 9th month brings even more anxiety. The most common question I find that moms to be ask is
“How in the world am I going to push this baby out of me?”
You have this birth plan all written up but to be honest things are totally different while you are in that labor room and you have to be prepared to make game time decisions. Your doctor will (and should) try to follow your birth plan the best they can but mentally prepare yourself that something is most probably going to not go the way you planned. Remind yourself the end goal is a healthy mom and baby and it’s OK if things don’t go the way you planned.
Delivery is different EVERY time for all women. For my first son, my water broke at 38 weeks but I had no contractions. 30 hours later with the highest dose of pitocin and 4 hours of pushing my little 5 pound son came out. I was exhausted but did not feel actual contraction pain because I was on the epidural so early.
For my second it was the complete opposite. I had no idea what a contraction felt like and I kept asking my chai mommas “how am I going to know if I am contracting” and their response is umm you just know! Well they were right. I started contracting at 1:15pm at my house and they were 3 minutes apart and delivered my son by 5:2opm in the hospital. This time I was 7 cms dilated by the time I got to the hospital and didn’t get an epidural until I was 8.5 cms dilated. I definitely won’t sugar cote it for moms to be, contractions hurt badly but it’s so worth it to hold your bundle of joy!
Here are some tips and advice that I hope will help ease your anxiety when delivering your baby. Also check out our post on top 10 fears women have before delivering a baby
- If you go into labor real late at night, and you are not dilated enough, and contracting, take the epidural, rest up for a few hours and save your energy for pushing because that is the most time you will need your ENERGY saved up and use.
- Take something sentimental with you, I took pictures of my kids, and have it as your focus point when you are pushing or contracting.
- Take a comfy blanket or pillow you like as a comfort zone.
- Relax, the more you are relaxed and calm the smoother the delivery will go, I know it is easy to say and hard to do, but trust me it HELPS!
- Take music with you, something that can calm you, take your ipod or use your iphone (if you have one) and play music off it to relax your nerves.
- When it is time to push, push from your bottom, not your upper body because you will be in PAIN after wards. Pushing from your upper body does not help, the force from your bottom is what helps.
- Push like you are having a bowl movement. This may be TMI but it’s true!
- Download a contractions app and know how to use it before your contractions start
- You can have front contractions or back contractions. Front contractions will feel like your uterus is getting super tight and back contractions will feel like you are having a bowel movement
- Be prepared to make a game time call…learn about vacuums, forceps, c-sections etc because you may have to make a decision on your birth due to unexpected changes such as a low heart rate
- Breathing is key to help cope with your contractions. Remember to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth
- Don’t be afraid to ask for an epidural if you are in too much pain you will need energy when it is time to push the baby out
Hope these tips help you! Don’t stress to much about delivery because that baby is coming out one way or another! I know that the anxiety can sometimes carry on after birth, which is why it’s helpful to find tips for after the birth too. I know using products like carlys cornbread can be useful to relieve your anxiety and even any pain you could be experiencing after a traumatic and stressful birth, so taking a few moments for yourself in this situation and not being around the baby would be a good idea. I know many mothers who have recommended the tangelo strain as a way of reducing stress and fatigue at a time where even the best of us are stressed and absolutely shattered as well! Like I said there are many other things you can use and tips to read up on about the afterbirth as well. Oh yeah, before you even think about all this stuff, make sure you read 10 things pregnant women should do for themselves BEFORE they deliver.