Hey there mama-to-be! So, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed with all the information (or lack thereof) about giving birth. But don’t worry, I got you!
Here are 10 things your doctor probably didn’t (and probably won’t) tell you about giving birth that will help you feel more prepared and in control.
And hey, if these pique your interest, bring these up to your doctor at your next appointment! Here’s a FREE PRINTABLE CHECKLIST ready made for you!
You don’t have to give birth in the hospital.
Giving birth at home or in a birth center can provide a more relaxed and intimate setting for the birth of your baby. It allows you to have more control over the birthing process and can provide a more personalized experience. This option is safe for low-risk pregnancies and has similar or better outcomes compared to hospital births.
Question for your doctor: Would he/she support you and work with a home birth midwife if you decided to go this route?
Epidurals are not the only form of pain relief available during labor.
Epidurals are a common form of pain relief during labor, but they are not the only option available. Other forms of pain relief include nitrous oxide, spinal blocks, and natural methods such as hypnobirthing, acupuncture and massage. These options can provide a more natural and less invasive form of pain relief.
Question for your doctor: What other pain relief options do they see often that’s effective other than epidural?
You can bring your own music or sounds to the delivery room.
Music can have a powerful impact on our emotions, and it can help create a calm and soothing environment for you during labor. You can bring your own playlist, a sound machine, or even your own voice to help you relax and focus during labor. Taking some time here and there throughout your pregnancy to create and add songs to a labor and delivery playlist can also be a great way to commemorate your pregnancy, and the whole experience of your baby’s birth. Since memory is so closely related to emotions, music is one of the most powerful evokers of memory. And you’ve just created a playlist specific for the whole experience of delivering and meeting your little loved one, that each and every time you listen to, will bring back those memories and moments!
Question for your doctor: Can I bring music to the birthing room?
Birthing pools can help you feel more comfortable and relaxed during labor.
Warm water can help ease the pain and discomfort of contractions, and it also allows you to move around more easily, which can help the baby move down the birth canal. Birthing pools can also provide a sense of privacy and intimacy during labor.
Question for your doctor: Are there birth pools at the hospital or another way I can use water to relax?
You will probably poop during labor (and that’s okay!).
It’s a normal and natural part of the birthing process, and your nurses and doctors are used to it. Don’t let this concern hold you back, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
Birthing positions – there are many different positions that can help make the birthing process easier.
There are various birthing positions that can help make the birthing process easier, such as standing up, sitting down, on your hands and knees, or even lying down. Experiment with different positions to find what feels most comfortable for you. More on birth positions and how they impact the birth canal here.
Personally, I gave birth to four living babies, 2 of which were full term vaginal births, 1 emergency c-section, and 1 vaginal birth after cesarean (or vbac). For my first two babies, I was younger, less knowledgable, less researched, and put 100% of my faith and trust in the birthing staff. I had intense back labor with my first baby, and although I had previously been adamantly against any pain medication use, I changed my mind by about 4 centimeters and requested an epidural. I did the remainder of that labor and delivery lying in the hospital bed, on my back. I pushed for 2 hours. For my second, I barely made it to the hospital before he was born. Most of that labor took place in my shower at home, and then the birthing ball at the hospital. I was moved to the hospital bed when I told the staff I felt like I needed to push, pushed for 10 minutes, and delivered my second baby on my back in the hospital bed. After experiencing an emergency c-section and some significant trauma from my 3rd baby’s birth at 28 weeks, (more on that topic another time), I decided to try for a vbac with our last baby. and you’d think by this point I was well versed in birth positions and options. But I was hyper-focused on getting that vbac and delivering my (also preterm at 33 weeks) baby safely, so I ended up giving birth in the hospital bed again, on my side this time. If I could go back and do either of my first two births over again though, I’d definitely work with my doctor and request support for trying one of the standing positions.
Question for your doctor: In what positions are you willing to help me birth my baby?
Doulas are a great support and aren’t only used for birth.
A doula is a professional trained to provide emotional and
physical support to a woman and her partner during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and the postpartum period. A doula can help you with relaxation techniques, provide emotional support, and advocate for your wishes during birth.
Question for your doctor: Do you work with doulas often? Are there any you recommend? (And if you’re in the southeastern Connecticut area, looking for a doula, here’s one I’d highly recommend: The Doula Granny)
You can eat and drink during labor, if you want to.
Having a light snack can help keep your energy levels up. It’s important to listen to your body and your healthcare provider during labor, and to make sure you are well hydrated and nourished.
Question: Under what circumstances will I not be allowed to eat or drink in labor?
The power of the mind – visualization and other relaxation techniques can help during labor.
Visualization and relaxation techniques such as hypnobirthing, yoga, and
meditation can help you stay calm and focused during labor. It can also help to lower
stress hormones and increase endorphins, which can make labor more manageable.
Question: Is there anything I can do now to learn how to cope with labor?
Cesarean sections are not as scary as they seem.
C-sections are a common form of delivery and can be planned or unplanned. Your doctor and nurses will take great care of you and your baby during the procedure. It’s important to remember that a c-section is a surgical procedure and there are risks associated with it, but it can also save the lives of both mother and baby in certain situations.
Question: In what circumstances do you perform c-sections?
So, there you have it, mama. I hope reading these 10 Things Your Doctor Never Told You about Giving Birth was informative and will bring you closer to having a safe and beautiful birth experience. Now that you’re armed with some new information, hopefully you’ll feel more confident and excited about your birth!
Want to read about how easy it is to have a newborn session done at home? Read more details here.