Friday, March 23, 2012

4 Steps to Making Labor Easier - Guest Post

Who isn't looking for ways to make labor easier?  I'll never forget how scared I was going in to my first labor (little did I know my first would be 9 pounds 9 ounces...).  I spent hours reading books and reading up on delivery stories.  I'm excited to share the below guest post with 4 Fantastic Steps to Making Labor Easier!

Expecting moms have much to prepare for when it comes to getting their home and their body ready for delivery day. Making theses preparations usually satisfies a mother’s need to nest as well as helps her feel mentally prepared to take on labor. Here are a few tips to help you stay organized.

When you first discover that you’re expecting a child, making a doctor’s appointment with an ob-gyn is the first step to beginning a healthy pregnancy. From there you can learn about how to alter your diet to be sure you and your baby are getting plenty of nutrients. If you were already in an exercise regimen before you became pregnant, speak to your doctor about continuing your physical activities and how to alter the intensity and regimen to keep it safe for both you and baby. It used to be believed that exercising would cause miscarriages in women, but that’s not true; women who exercise during pregnancy generally have an easier time during delivery with muscle control and managing their pain.

Prepare the Nursery
At home, preparing a room or space as a nursery can be a very fun and creative preparation step. Not only will it satisfy a mother’s nesting needs, it will help you relax knowing that your baby has a safe place in your home to grow up in. Be careful when putting this space together, you don’t want to overexert yourself and painting is not a safe activity for you to help with. Get the help of your partner or family and friends. A nursery can be anything you’d like it to be, but standard furniture includes a crib, changing table and nursing chair. Stocking up on onesies, diapers, and toys can also help with your nesting feelings.

Childbirth Classes
Attending a childbirth class is a great idea for an expecting mother whether it’s her first child or third. It’s a great place to learn about your birthing facility, what pain management options you have and other optional procedures like cord blood banking. Knowing your facility can make you feel more comfortable about delivery day being able to visualize where you’ll be during labor. Your choice of pain management, whether it’s natural or medicated, is up to personal preference barring any medical needs. Outline what you’re comfortable with in a birth plan for your medical team. Optional procedures, like cord blood banking, are good to learn about and consider for the future health of your child. Cord blood banking is where the umbilical cord blood is collected to be saved and potentially used in the future to treat certain medical conditions. This is something that should be discussed and planned ahead for with your doctor.

Pack a Bag
Packing for your hospital stay a few weeks before your delivery is a good idea to do. Packing is easy; loose, comfortable clothes for mom, slippers, toiletries, and outfit to come home in and of course a cute outfit to bring baby home in, and anything else to keep yourself comfortable during your hospital stay. Having copies of all of your medical information and birthing plan is a great idea to put in there as well. If you have things that need to be grabbed last minute, like a camera and your phone charger, keep a list in an accessible place so you don’t forget anything.

Finally, moms need to remember that childbirth is a natural process so mental preparation is just as important as physical prep. When delivery day comes, you’ll be able to go into the delivery room with confidence and excitement as you welcome your new family member.

This article was written by Alan Cassidy, an active writer within the blogging community covering maternity and childbirth, and always advocating for infant and children’s health. Connect with him on Twitter @ACassidy22


LalaMoosh,  April 7, 2012 at 2:04 PM  

OCMom, what about helping out with the real labor? What I found much too helpful both in the hospital & home births are:
1.) Walking: Yeah, you're guts feel liked someone is tangoing & doing a Buffalo 2 step in them & you've just had just about enough by this point & nothing seems better than to lay there & grrrrr, but getting up off of your duff (if the doc, nurse or midwife allows, always ask 1st) & help that baby get into position to come greet the world.
2.) Warm (never hot) baths & showers (again, if allowed & always ask), or a simple "sponge bath" from your hubby or partner can do a whole lot of good to help relax you & again help baby get ready to greet the world.
3.) A focal point! This helped me so much more than all as things were getting hard & heavy as contractions were closer & closer. My 1st was a carousel music box. The 2nd was a goldfish in a little 1/2 gallon bowl my hubby snuck in. Just looking at something that makes you happy & forget the pain really can make a big difference with labor. What's funny is the 1st baby grew up loving that music box & carousels in general, while the next one loves watching fish swim, whether it's a single beta fish in a bowl, our fish tanks or a visit to a big ol' aquarium. Just thought I'd throw these tips your way & hopefully an expectant mommy or 2 can find some help from them as well.

Katie April 9, 2012 at 9:05 PM  

Great idea! I'd love to put together a compilation of ideas for what really helped during labor! I'll work on writing a post and will be happy to feature any tips from anyone who emails me directly OCMomActivities (at) gmail (dot) com

75 gallon aquarium April 25, 2012 at 8:38 AM  

This is exactly what I've been searching for. Thanks!

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