Preparing for childbirth doesn’t just mean hiring a doula and packing your hospital bag; it also means getting ready for what might be the most challenging physical task you’ve ever faced. Improve your odds of having an easier, shorter labor by incorporating these healthy habits during your third trimester:
- Eat dates
- Sleep more
- Strengthen your legsDoesn’t this sound easy …it is! Check out Fit Pregnancy’s article for some simple things you can do to make your labor easier.Who would not want an “Easier Labor”.Have any of you ever used any of these tips?What was you labor like….easier….what you expected or difficult?
In some cases, yes…but the key to accomplishing this feat is to “do your homework“. It is up to you to enable a ‘natural birth’ for yourself and your baby.
Whether or not you will be successful will be partly due to your preparation and partly due to your particular labor and your body’s and your fetus’ response to it.
It is my belief as a former Labor and Delivery nurse that every woman’s labor is unique as is their response to it. If you remember this, it will make sense for you to do your birth ‘homework’ because no one knows you like you.
You can use other mom’s experiences to help you plan what you would like your own birth experience to be. Always keep in mind that you are unique and things will happen that may throw your plan off kilter.
- Choose your obstetrical care very carefully… remember you should be aware of how your caregivers feel about ‘natural birth’. You will also need to know how their partners feel about it also. Remember to ask about what their hospital offers for women in labor. It will not help if your doctor is okay with tubs and showers during labor if they are not available at the hospital where you will be delivering. Put together a great team…such as doctor, midwife, doula, coach/support person.
- Take classes to learn all you can about labor and delivery … a one day class is, in my opinion, not enough…you are on overload by the time it is over. If it is the only option then by all means do it. Try to find classes to accommodate your needs…sometimes there are nurses who will do this privately if that is helpful to you. Remember, you have nine months to get ready use your time wisely and try not to procrastinate.
- Get a good pregnancy book and use it…read it, dog ear it, discuss it with your partner. Stay away from multiple sources of information that will make you confused. Ask questions of your doctor, midwife and doula…trust them and yourself.
I just finished reading “Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds” and I loved it! It’s written by medical anthropologist and doula, Cynthia Gabriel and it’s solidly helpful for women hoping for this kind of birth.
Home birth is not for everyone for a whole host of reasons, but some women feel they’d like to have something close to it in a hospital setting. And for those women there are strategies. This book is dedicated to that concept.
Desperate times …desperate measures…this is how I describe the use of castor oil in labor.
Back in the day, when a mom came to L & D in early labor more likely than not she was given an enema “high, hot and hellavu lot” was the non-medical term we used for this procedure. SSEs (soap suds enemas) were used to empty the bowel and stimulate labor. An added benefit was that mom did not have to worry about “pooping” during delivery.
Castor oil may or may not work…it is unpleasant tasting, the results of taking it can cause cramping and diarrhea, not a comfortable experience, especially at 40+ weeks pregnant.
Moms …check with your physician or midwife for tips on encouraging labor before resorting to this nasty choice.