The three most important things to remember during labor.
Giving birth to your baby is an empowering, emotional time. There are so many feelings rushing in as you begin to labor: (whether you are a seasoned pro or this is your first)
This is going to hurt.
I get to meet my baby 🙂
Will everything go as planned? (Trust me, things do not go as planned… )
Am I ready to breastfeed?
Did I buy enough bottles and diapers?
Did I install the car seat correctly?
Will the baby like the paint color in their nursery? (Babies don’t care about paint color, silly!)
But really what all women should be thinking of during labor are these three things:
- My body grew this baby, now it is going to birth this baby. I am a woman. This is what my body is meant to do. Say that again, this is what my body is meant to do. Women all over the world, since the beginning of time, have been growing and birthing babies! You can do this.
- Whether or not you have chosen to do it naturally or with the drugs you will experience contractions. And yes they do hurt. It is called LABOR, not a walk in the park. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to handle them.
Each contraction is different.
You will never have that contraction again. Was it a ‘bad’ one, did you feel like you couldn’t go on? Once it is over forget about it, clear your head of it. That one is gone and you will not have that contraction again! Move onto preparing for the next one.
- Do NOT say OW. This will make it hurt worse. When your body acknowledges it is in pain the natural response is more pain! Again, contractions do hurt but they are purposeful. There is a beautiful reason for experiencing this pain. (No screaming during labor either. You want to groan in the back of your throat or blow through contractions.)
- The number one way I got through my natural labor was to visualize the pain traveling through my body. I started with a cool calming color (green or blue) and visualized breathing the color through my head, down to my shoulders, over my stomach, moving it through my hips, down my legs and out of my toes. I did this with each contraction!
- An extra tip: With each contraction pick a spot in the room to focus on. This could be a person that stands there during the whole labor and you focus on, it could be a picture you hang on the wall, it could be the sink in the hospital room. Whatever the object is, look deep into that spot, breathe deeply, that is your focal point during your contractions. After the contraction, look away from that spot, breathe. When a new contraction begins find your focal point! (You can do this!)
Those tips will help you through labor but the ultimate thing to remember: whether you birth naturally, get the drugs, or have a c-section (emergency or scheduled) the goal of labor and delivery is to hold your baby in your arms! That sweet precious baby you have been growing and toting around in your body for approximately 40 weeks will now be in your arms! There is no greater feeling in the world. Enjoy those first moments, they are gone so quickly.