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Labor and Delivery – How to prepare and succeed

November 25, 2011

Having a baby is one of the most wonderful experiences in an woman’s life.  It is also one of the most difficult things a woman will endure in her life.  You truly learn what the human body is fully capable of during labor and delivery.  I believe that preparation is crucial in order to be as successful as a woman wants to be.  What I mean by this is you need to have a set plan and goals about how you would like laboring and delivery to occur, in a perfect world, ie. a birth plan.  It’s not a requirement but I found it to be my “piece of mind” as I was approaching my delivery date.  It was a way for me to feel like I had some kind of control and order about what was about to happen.  In other words, I was scarred shitless about delivery!

1. What I knew before having a baby

I would consider myself to be averagely educated in the area of having a baby.  I knew that your water would break and then you would go through contractions, dilate, push, and viola a baby would appear.  I also knew that I would have an epidural because there was no other option in my mind.  I am a wimp when it comes to pain so I just figured there were no other options for me.  I went to my OB throughout my pregnancy, did what she told me to do, and that was it.  I never really did much research into various options for laboring and delivery.  And I just assumed that I was going to breastfeed and it was as easy as bringing the baby close to you and the baby will do the rest.

WOW, was I way off about everything!  I was so naive!  I have learned SO much since having my baby!  I definitely don’t regret not knowing what I know now about labor and delivery (and everything in between) but some of it would have been nice to know more information about.  I just wish I had done a lot more research and preparation.  But all in all I am happy that I ended up with a healthy baby and healthy recovery in the end.

2. What I have learned since delivering my baby

I have learned SO much from other moms by hearing their birth stories.  It’s amazing to hear their stories and personal experiences about their pregnancy and delivery!  It really goes to show that no two deliveries are the same whatsoever!

First, I never knew what a midwife or doula was.  I talked about this briefly here in a previous post.  I thought everyone went to an OBGYN and that was all there was.  WRONG!  Since learning all the amazing things about midwives, I have transferred to a wonderful OBGYN office that has a great OB Doctor as well as two midwives and great nurses!  A few moms from a group that I am a part of all know each other from that office and highly recommend them.  I took their advice and am SO glad I did.  At their office they have “centering” prenatal groups where expecting moms who have close due dates meet and talk about how their feeling, any questions or concerns they have, and are able to receive support and encouragement from each other and their midwife.  For more information, please take a look at this website.  So for our next child, I can’t wait to receive the services and expertise of a midwife.  I believe that this will be the start of where I can find the best support and information to ensure success in having a natural child birth.  Previously I was scarred to my wits end and never thought I would even ponder a natural birth but I believe with enough preparation, education, practice and support it is most definitely possible!

A friend told me about some great documentaries out there regarding the topic of birth.  The first one is “The Business of Being Born.”  I found most of the video here or of course you could purchase it or rent it from the library.  The other one is “Orgasmic Birth” which I haven’t had the chance to watch yet but plan to with my significant other before our next child.  The first video does a great job covering all the aspects surrounding child birth in America and facts that will really open your eyes about.

Second, I am going to look into doing Bradley Method birthing classes.  You can find complete information about what these classes entail here.  I have heard wonderful things about how these classes help prepare you during your pregnancy and birth as well.

Third, I am most definitely well educated about breastfeeding now but I do recommend for any new mom or new to breastfeeding to look into taking and/or reading about how to breastfeed and what you want to know before diving right into it.  It doesn’t come as natural as we all may think it does.  LaLeche League is a wonderful place to find lots of information on this topic, as well as find local meetings in your area.

All in all, labor and delivery is such an important area to be well educated about even before you get pregnant!  Or at least something you want to do lots of preparation and research about during the beginning of your pregnancy as you can.  There are so many options for women now.  It is definitely a huge topic to be well educated about!

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 13, 2011 4:25 PM

    Yes, yes, and yes! So much to learn while pregnant!! And even before. It’s an amazing journey!

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