These were comments I gathered by sending out a survey. These comments answered the question, “What is the most important thing an expectant mother needs to know about labor and birth?”  Here are the answers:

1.    That birth is something you do WITH your child –and that making informed, thoughtful, open choices about the way she wants to experience birth with her child is the first step in building a relationship of respect, trust, and communication.

2.    Don’t worry when everything doesn’t go as planned.

3.    Having a support to advocate for your wishes/birth plan is necessary! Also- your body is amazing & can get you through so much

4.    That things don’t always go as planned so keep an open mind.

5.    How to be empowered by birth and not afraid.

6.    Be informed. Practice yoga. Ask for help. See a lactation consultant if breastfeeding.

7.    Home birth is a safe option.

8.    Cannot be controlled. Give in to the experience. Have support!

9.    It is a natural process that you are equipped to do. It is important to understand all the options and possible turns your birth can take and make sure you are in a safe (emotionally and physically – medical support available) and supportive environment for your choices.

10. It hurts! But that the contractions hurt the baby too (note from Liza: contractions don’t hurt the baby at all. They actually stimulate the immune system, the circulation, prepare the lungs for breathing, turn baby and help baby descend into the correct position for birth. Labor is actually good for your baby.If you want to know more about this see:http://www.sarahbuckley.com/pain-in-labour-your-hormones-are-your-helpers/ ) and you’re both in it together and it’s helping to get them out of there. And not to lie in bed! Use gravity.

11. Your choices.

12. Be informed. If delivering at a hospital, get a doula!!

13. Even if you don’t want to C-section strongly sometimes happen so be prepare any worse situation so you don’t panic. Also get support as possible as you can.

14. Medicated birth is harmful to you and your baby and should be avoided by all means possible. True emergencies take place is 3% (or less) of births and midwives are trained to handle them safely or get you the help you need to keep you and your baby safe.

15. Having a birth plan and trying her best to stay with it, allowing flexibility for the best and safest outcome for Mom and baby!

16. It is going to hurt, but it is only temporary! It is a marathon. Think about how amazing the finish line is!

17. Do not get talked into anything but ask lots of questions before consenting to things

18. To keep an open mind, sometimes birth plans do not go accordingly and to listen to the doctor’s

19. Know your choices!

20. Relax, get out of the way and let your body do what it was made to do.

21. That her body was built to do it and to trust what her body tells her.

22. Be informed about ALL labor and birth options available. Understand the different procedure options, medications, and know your rights as a mother AND patient.

23. Natural birth was the most incredible experience, and my midwife, nurse, and most importantly my husband made it that way. Having a detailed birth plan that my midwife supported and defended the day we were birthing was critical to making sure that our birth went the way we had hoped it would.

24. Labor and delivery is doable and very empowering.

25. Breathing is very important. So your nerves can stay calm and the contraction won’t be so intense. The more you tense up on a contraction, the more of each contraction will be as painful.

26. Your body was made to do it, you CAN do it!

27. Prepare for your labor as much as you can (with classes, information, working out), but be flexible because it will not go according to your plan

28. Expect the unexpected, no matter how well you prepare or how you imagine your birth experience will be your body and the baby has it’s own plan.

29. Real facts and happenings about/in labor and birth.

30. It’s not a medical procedure. Your body is made to do it.

31. Say what you want/need regardless of whom it upsets. Stay focused and remember to keep breathing.

32. Have a good support system and be prepared for anything. You don’t always get what you want.

33. Your body knows what it is doing. Don’t stress out about it…let things progress naturally!

34. TO be prepared for the unexpected and to be open to what needs to be done for the safety of the baby.

35. To be well informed off all possibilities and options

36. That the mother makes the decisions, not the nurses, and that staying calm and relaxed is the key to a better experience. Have a great support person with you.

37. It doesn’t always go the way you plan it to.

38. I think it is just important to be informed about the process and options available. The more you know, the less room there is to be fearful.

39. Your care provider is the number one factor in determining your birth outcome. Choose wisely and change if you don’t feel supported in your decisions.

 

Get educated. Good luck! Happy Birthing!