to Prepare for Labor
by Danielle Hollister
nothing anybody says can ever completely prepare a woman for the
day she delivers her first baby, there are some simple suggestions
that should help make this amazing experience a little bit easier.
of all there are three very honest realities about childbirth that
your doctor, mother, grandmother, and maybe even your best friend
will probably not tell you.
Unless you have an exceptionally carefree attitude about life in
general, you will be shocked if and when your water breaks.
Unless you have an extraordinary ability to see into the future,
you will be scared to death during the first hour or so of labor.
Unless you have an extremely high tolerance for pain, you will feel
excruciating, seemingly unending waves of pain.
simple facts come from personal experience and are not intended
to instill unnecessary fear. Each woman's experience is different,
so not all details will apply to everyone.
if you take the time to consider options to prepare yourself for
that big day, you may benefit by being as ready as anyone can possibly
be for the consequences of childbirth.
this much for sure, you will appreciate almost any helpful hints
you can remember when you realize you're going into labor. Most
pregnant people will find the following recommendations valuable
for reducing stress for you and your labor partner on the day you
deliver your first baby.
1 - Pack your bag to take to the hospital at least a month in advance.
Nobody can positively predict your exact due date and your baby
is actually the person who decides when your delivery will occur.
Make a checklist for what you want to take. You should definitely
include: a mirror and your makeup bag (believe it or not when you're
not staring at that little miracle in your arms, you will want to
look at yourself especially when the parade of visitors start marching
into your hospital room); two or three nightgowns (preferably comfortable
ones that provide optimal coverage of your post-pregnancy physique);
a hair brush and hair dryer (every hospital has showers, soap, and
towels); an outfit to wear home from the
hospital (and don't choose cute little pre-pregnancy clothes because
nobody loses the weight they gained in nine months immediately after
giving birth and it will only annoy you if you can't fit into the
only outfit you have to go home in)
Have a list of phone numbers of the people you can call anytime
of the day or night for help. (Don't even try to handle it alone
- YOU WILL NEED AND WANT HELP when this exciting, emotional event
begins to occur.)
several signs that labor has started. Warning signals vary from
woman to woman. Some people know what it is the second it hits them,
while others may not recognize what's happening for hours. Don't
expect the promises or predictions made by medical professionals
or even experienced great-grandmothers to actually come true for
you. In most cases some combination of destiny and mother nature
determine the details of your long-awaited delivery.
Some simple indicators that you're going into labor range from a
mild backache to piercing stabs of pain and vary from a feeling
of general discomfort to an abrupt release of water.
you don't feel right, but you're not screaming in pain, call your
doctor. If something suddenly takes your breath away, makes you
feel faint, breaks you down to the floor or wakes you in the middle
of the night, forget the doctor, stay as calm as possible and call
for whomever can come to help you the fastest.If your water does
break in the stereotypical way, gushing uncontrollably all over
the place, don't freak out. Maintain your control as much as humanly
possible at this point and realize you cannot stop this rushing
release running like a river out of your body. You can keep putting
towels between your legs to try to soak it up, but your shorts or
sweatpants are still going to get wet.
worry about what other people will think about your dripping drawers
when you get to the hospital.
You're about to deliver a baby -you're not supposed to look calm,
classy, elegant or graceful! Just concentrate on getting to the
You may feel like you're in the middle of an earthquake that will
surely destroy the entire planet and assume everyone else will realize
the urgency of this occasion. But they probably won't react with
any alarm because the reality is your world is the only place that
has been hit by this tidal wave of emotional trauma.
to expect when you get to the hospital...
wait and wait some more; to fill out forms; to find yourself pacing
the halls until they assign you to a room; to see other women in
similar situations; to be told your doctor has been delayed; to
scream at your labor partner when he forgets what to say and what
not to say to try to make you feel better; to forget something on
your checklist and to deal with the labor pain getting worse before
it gets better.
not to expect when you arrive at the hospital...
to accommodate you; everything to occur as you planned; any immediate
results; everyone to be organized; your labor partner to be perfect;
to find friendly faces among the other pregnant people; to hear
your doctor tell you to start pushing your little miracle out as
soon as he examines you; to get painkillers prescribed in mere minutes;
and to be able to remember all the things you learned to try to
prepare for this day.
Do's and Don't's:
try to maintain your focus.
try to preserve your precious energy (You will need it especially
if you happen to be one of those poor souls whose pregnancy just
won't end and your labor lasts for longer than a day or two)
hesitate to tell your doctor or nurses exactly how you feel.
hesitate to ask any question that pops into your head.
listen to what your doctor and nurses tell you.
listen to what your body is saying.
listen to what you're feeling in your heart.
listen to what your labor partner is commanding you to do.
forget how long you waited for this day to arrive and how special
this date will be to you forever.
forget how much you want this little baby to arrive healthy and
what a blessing this tiny person will always be to you.
finally trust your gut instincts, your doctor's words of wisdom,
your partner's suggestions to soothe you and your ears when you
hear the sound of your baby's first cry announcing his official
arrival into this world.
rest of this incredible experience will probably proceed with no
major problems, following the same intense, phenomenal pattern of
the billions of births that occurred before the day of your delivery.
it or not, no matter how much the pains of labor torture your pregnant
body or how many hours the process takes before your first baby
actually bounces into this world - you will forget about how much
your killer contractions hurt and how time seemed to standstill
as your labor lasted and lasted and lasted...
believe your life will never be the same from this day on. Your
new job as a mommy will be the most rewarding, most exhausting,
and most challenging career of your life. Nothing in the universe
can begin to compete with the passion, love, and wonder you'll experience
as you watch this tiny person grow and you feel like he's really
your own heart and soul with little arms and legs.
every moment of the miracle of motherhood.
Hollister Web Site: Ezine
for Writers - BellaOnline