Some Labor Tips for First Time Moms

Mastering the art of being pregnant takes time. As soon as you start to get the hang of things, labor starts to approach and fast. This is an exciting moment for mothers to be. You’re about to meet your new baby! But it’s also something that many women fear and dread. Birthing videos have scarred you, worst case Internet scenarios race around your mind, and worry settles in. However, giving birth is a natural phenomenon. As women, we’re equipped with all of the tools we need to give birth safely and naturally. In fact, it’s been said that even if you’re in a coma, your instincts kick in and your body knows exactly what to do.

If we’re able to deliver babies unconsciously, having control over the situation should put your mind at ease. To help you get through the hard parts, we’ve put together a few labor tips for first time moms.

Stages of Labor

Before diving into the details, it’s important to know the signs and stages of labor. The first thing you should understand is what a Braxton Hicks contraction is. These types of contractions feel almost like menstrual cramping that continues to come and go, but they don’t actually indicate that you’re going into labor. They’re sporadic and will eventually stop.

A lot of women head into the hospital thinking they’re going into labor when in reality, it’s just Braxton Hicks contractions. That’s okay! Especially if it puts you’re mind at easy.

Prodromal labor occurs over a prolonged period of time during early labor, yet there aren’t any changes to cervical dilation. To help move things along, stay hydrated, distracted, and keep in contact with your primary care physician to communicate about any changes.

Early Labor – at this stage, your cervix starts to dilate and you’ll experience mild, irregular contractions. This happens before your water breaks.

Active Labor – your cervix will dilate from 6cm to 10cm and your contractions grow stronger and closer together as time progresses. It’s important not to push at this stage, unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Early labor and active labor are part of the first stage of labor.

Delivery – it’s time to push! Your cervix is dilated completely and you’re actively pushing to deliver your baby.

Placenta Delivery – the final stage of labor is placenta delivery. This is a relaxing stage compared to the rest and your contractions will be less painful.

Labor Tips

Now that the process of labor is better understood, let’s look at some tips to use to help get through labor in one piece.

Be Prepared

The first major tip is to be prepared, educated, and observant. Know the signs of labor, understand what happens to your body during the process, and avoid any surprises. It’s not always like the movies; labor tends to sneak up on you instead of hitting you immediately. In fact, only about 15% of women even have their water break!

The best way to make sure you’re ready is to time your contractions as soon as you start experiencing them. This is how you’ll know when it’s time to grab your partner, your hospital bag, and head to the hospital. There are even apps available to help you time your contractions accurately.

Talk to your doctor to learn about hospital admittance. A lot of places won’t submit you until you’re dilated to a certain degree.

You should educate yourself on postpartum recovery, just in case. No body thinks it will happen to them but if it does, trying to understand it while it’s happening will be extremely difficult. Talk to your doctor, get a support system, and stock up on the necessary supplies

Join a Class

When you find out your pregnant, don’t hesitate to sign up for a birthing class. They’re a great way to physically and mentally prepare for the journey ahead. Try to sign up as soon as possible as there are a number of classes that run for 10-12 weeks. Plus, depending on where you live, they will fill up fast! If it’s too hard to get there, or if there are no spaces available, checkout this free, online course taught by an RN!

To find a class near you, a simple Google search will do the trick! Try to find something that’s conveniently located and during a time that works for you. The easier it is to get there, the more you’ll attend.

Learn How to Focus

If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you’ve heard the importance of focus. Focus allows you to concentrate on your task, while remaining completely calm and centered. Applying the same mentality during birth is a great way to make sure you stay strong and keep going.

To help strengthen your focus, try prenatal yoga. We recommend starting it early and continuing to practice throughout your pregnancy Not only will it help you focus, it will also keep you healthy, bendy, and active.

Stay Positive

Having a positive outlook and eliminating negativity does wonders for stress and pain management. Positive affirmations affect your subconscious, so find a few that work for you and train your mind throughout your pregnancy to listen to them.

Learn a Few Tricks

There are hundreds and thousands of pregnancy books on the market that talk about what to do during labor. While different things work for different people, it’s a good idea to get familiarized with some of the most important tricks. That way, when labor comes, you have a list of things to run through to find something that works for you.

  • Learn a few simple breathing techniques
  • Create a playlist of your favorite songs
  • Find a distraction
  • Change positions —walk, squat, lay on your side, sit, get on all fours, etc.
  • Consider having a water birth
  • Moaning, not screaming, helps with pain relief
  • Have your partner massage you

Know When to Push

Understanding when to start pushing is important and will help your delivery go smoothly. For more information on when to push and some great pushing tips, check out this article.

Utilize Your Insurance

Different insurance companies have different regulations for hospital coverage after birth. Find out what yours is and milk it. If you’re allowed three days, stay in the hospital for three days. It will be a tremendous help while you’re still going through the initial recovery stages.

When you do go home, see what your hospital allows you to take with you. Some hospitals will send you off with bags and boxes of newborn supplies, which is a huge help for new parents.

Create a Soothing Environment

When you’re in a calm and soothing environment, it helps you stay de-stressed and focused. Don’t wait until your delivery day and expect things to be stress free. Take initiative and plan a stress free environment ahead of time. Talk to your partner so they know how to help make sure things go smoothly on your big day.

The best thing for you to do is choose the people who will be allowed in the delivery room carefully. Don’t allow stressful, negative people inside. This is your day! You shouldn’t have to try and comfort others.

Some other soothing techniques include playing calming music, dimming the lights, having your own clothes, pillows, and blankets instead of hospital gear, and adding a few of your things around the room.

Trust the Process

Creating a delivery plan is an important step in the planning process. You and your doctor will go over all of the details together and choose your birthing options. You’ll discuss pain management, position changes, feeding plans, and options for what to do in an emergency. You are in control here.

Unfortunately, things don’t always go 100% as planned. Instead, trust the process. Don’t expect your birth to follow the plan exactly to the t. Instead, be ready for nature to take its course. When you understand potential situations ahead of time, you’ll be less stressed when you veer away from the original plan.

Conclusion

Every woman experiences labor differently and each pregnancy will be different than the last. The most important thing to remember is that labor means you’re about to meet your new baby! You should be excited and try not to worry about things out of your control. Your doctor and their staff are on deck to support you in every way possible and to make sure that your labor goes smoothly. Hopefully these labor tips for first time moms have helped to put your mind at ease and set you up for success. Learn more about Byram Healthcare and browse our selection of pumps. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, you’re eligible to receive an electric breast pump covered by your insurance provider!

If you have any other tips, tricks, or trade secrets about dealing with labor, head over to our Facebook page and leave a comment today! We love hearing from our readers!

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