Avoiding These Game Changing Mistakes Can Help You Achieve Your Natural Birth
- Pay attention to your labor.
The best thing to do when labor begins is to IGNORE YOUR LABOR! Believe me, your labor will get your full attention when it kicks in to high gear. For now, if it is the middle of the night, go back to sleep. If it’s dinner time, eat dinner. If you were going to a movie but labor began, go to the movie. If you were heading out to do some shopping, go shopping. In other words, whether your contractions start out 4 minutes apart or 10 minutes apart, ignore your labor.
- Don’t rest or sleep in early labor
The biggest mistake pregnant moms (especially first time pregnant moms) make is getting so excited or anxious or nervous that they are unable to sleep in early labor. This will inevitable make a pregnant mom exhausted after as little as 8 hours of labor. So, if you want a natural birth, SLEEP OR REST IN EARLY LABOR AND STAY CALM.
- Time your contractions
As I said in the previous paragraph, no matter how close your contractions are, they should pretty much be ignored. It’s the emotions of labor that you need to pay attention to. If you can still chat between contractions, or continue to do what you would normally do at that time. Once contractions reach 10 minutes apart and one minute long, time them for 30 minutes, then don’t time them again for another couple of hours.
- Don’t learn about the emotional signposts of labor.
Doulas, midwives, and childbirth professionals all know that the pregnant mom’s emotions, how she’s feeling, the way she’s acting, and the sounds she’s making can tell you exactly where she is in labor. If you can say, while in labor, “ I think it’s time to go to the hospital or birth center.” THEN IT’S NOT TIME TO GO YET! It’s time to go to the birth place when the moaning begins, the pregnant mom can’t carry on a conversation between contractions, and she is totally focused on each contraction.
- Go to your birth place when you’re first tempted to go.
STAY HOME, GET IN THE BATH OR SHOWER AND EAT AND DRINK. Most first time parents go way too early. When you arrive at your birth place too soon, you risk slowing down your contractions, delaying progress, making labor many hours longer, and getting exhausted. You also add the risk of getting medication for pain relief, then getting artificial hormones to speed up labor, having time limits put on you by your birth place, and lastly an unexpected and unplanned cesarean section.
- Don’t eat and drink during labor
Labor is a marathon! It’s an athletic event. I’ve heard it so many times. “I’m not hungry. I don’t want to eat anything.” Well, imagine running a marathon, or going on an all day hike and you don’t eat or drink anything. How do you think your body will respond to the lack of nutrition and water? Labor is a huge physical task and your body and your baby need food and water. What to Eat and Drink in Labor
- Don’t Take A Bath
Get in the water during labor-bath or shower, known as an “AQUA-DURAL”. You get the pain relief, relaxation benefits, and more labor progress. So if you wake up in the middle of the night and contractions are keeping you awake, labor in the tub. You can even pour in 2-4 lbs of Epsom Salts to relax you and slow your contractions enough so you can get back to sleep. Or sit on the birth ball in the shower. Throw a towel on top of the ball so you don’t slide and roll another towel to put around the base so the birth ball doesn’t roll.
- Go to Your Birthplace If Your Bag of Waters Breaks Before Labor Begins
Studies show that your risk of developing infection comes when you insert anything into the birth canal ie: checking cervical dilation. Most pregnant moms will begin labor within 24 hours and a smaller number will begin within 48 hours. So stay home, walk, sleep, eat, drink, take a shower and continue to do what you normally would do. If you want to get things moving along, try acupressure, acupuncture, and other natural techniques to induce labor. Just don’t put ANYTHING in the vagina. Read more about why it’s best to stay home when your membranes rupture before labor begins. What to Do if Your Water Breaks: Is Your Baby Coming Quickly
- Don’t Ask Questions and Leave The Decisions To Your Doctor/Midwife
There is one thing you can always count on when it comes to labor and birth-THE UNEXPECTED! Know the right questions to ask-Informed Consent Questions which means: —-What is the problem? Why is it a problem? How serious is it?
Describe the treatment. How is it done? What are the risks/benefits?
If it does not succeed, what are the next steps?
What are the alternatives? What are the risks/benefits to the alternatives?
What if we wait and do nothing?
Can we have time alone to talk about it?
- B.R.A.I.N. a simplified version of informed consent
FOR ANY TEST OR PROCEDURE ASK:
What are the benefits?
What are the risks?
What are the alternatives?
Once you have the information, use your intuition.
Ask if you can do nothing or wait.
- Have An Audience
Having people (friends, family, doctors, nurses) standing around watching you try to labor and birth will have the same effect as if you had an audience while you’re trying to do a poop. If you don’t feel a sense of privacy, quiet, safety, and support, your cervix will never open.
- When You’ve Reached the End of Your Tolerance in Transition, Get Medication
When you reach transition in labor, your contractions are the most effective and the most powerful. When you feel like you want to give up, you’re almost done. So hang in there!