Many of you have already have children and there's a handfull of first-time mommas out there. Labor and delivery can seem like this very scary, mysterious thing for those who've never experienced it. So I want to encourage you to watch videos on YouTube and read birth stories. They may help calm your nerves. Not every birth story is exactly alike. Everyone will probably want to tell you their birth stories and scare you- don't listen to them! Push the scary ones to the back of your mind. It will cause you unnecessary worry, tension and fear.
Also, prepare a birth plan for yourself. If you need help coming up with one, you can use birthplan.com as a starting point. If something on their list doesn't make sense a little research can help clear it up quickly.
I did not have a birth plan with my first two and I am DEFINITELY going in with one this time.
-Natural (no meds; pain management is walking, squatting, bathing, etc.)
-Pain relief (ie, epidural)
-Midwife versus doctor
-Doula or no doula
Not only are there many birth options, there are many options on where to birth:
-Hospital (separate rooms for labor, delivery and recovery)
-Hospital (same room for labor, delivery, recovery; termed LDR rooms)
So let's talk BIRTH. What are some options you're considering? Do you have any questions? Let's open this post to a discussion on the labor and delivery process and cover as much ground as we can to gain knowledge before we go in to deliver our own precious babies.
This will be my first child born. I have thought about giving birth and have watched videos online. I am very excited and extremely scared to. Actually now that I am almost 6 months it is becoming more real and my anxiousiness is increasing. I guess becuase this will be my first birth I don't know what to expect or feel (pain wise).
My mother had four children all natural with no pain relief and she is pressuring me to do the same. So is my MIL. Honestly if God allows it I would love to have a natural birth. In a hospital with a private room and my doctor. lol it that alot to wish for?
I hope that I can take the pain and won't ask for a epidural. When is the latest that you can request an epidural?
ALso how many people can usually be in the hospital delivery room?
Nini2686~I think each hospital and doctor is different. I have a midwife and she allowed me to have my hubby, mom and sister there for the birth.
I plan on going natural at a hospital with a midwife. But like I told my midwife; I can say natural now but it all depends on the moment and how long it's taking me to get to 10 centemeters that I might ask for an epidural. Although I hope to be strong enough like I was with my son(2nd child). Once I stept foot in the hospital I was already 10cm and too late for any meds. I honestly liked going natural then with epidural like I did with my 1st child. I'll just have to wait and see how that day plays out.
this is also my first and i'm so nervous about the delivery as well. i do not have strong feelings about natural birth, meaning i always assumed that i would have paine meds. now that i am faced with it I am currently on a medication which would interfere with pain meds. so i will need to stop taking my meds prior to birth or go natural. stopping meds is not as easy as it sounds, so i really would like to have a doula to help coach me and relax me through a natural birth, but nothing is stone yet.
i am hoping once i find a doula she would be able ot help me with a birth plan.
Nini- schedule a hospital tour. If you take a Birth Class at your hospital you'll also be able to ask about their specific policies (how many people in the room, when is the latest you can have an epidural, etc.). Do NOT fall into the pressure of your mom and MIL. Do what you feel is best. I had an epidural with my first two and you know what? I was able to sleep and rest, felt no pain, etc. It was lovely. I want to try to hold off on it this time around but my pain threshold is pretty low. LOL!
kellyjo- since you've kind of "been there, done that" I think that's a fine attitude to have! No one ever really knows what will happen when they walk through the hospital doors.
nicole- it'd be lovely to have a doula! And it's hard not to be nervous. I actually really enjoy labor and delivery and am looking forward to it. So I hope that once the time comes it'll be an amazing experience for you!
I plan to labor at home longer. My labor goes fast once my water is broken but I don't want to feel "tied to the bed" once I get to the hospital (with the IV and monitors strapped on my belly and a blood pressure cuff strangling my arm every 10 minutes). I may or may not get an epidural once I get there- will depend on how things are progressing.
So I put on my birth plan:
-I know pain meds are available to me and will ask if needed
-would like to walk around during labor and try other labor positions
-don't mind if water is artificially broken
-don't want Pitocin AT ALL
-would like to take fluids by mouth, instead of IV, pending no complications
For delivery I put:
-would like to push in whatever position I find comfortable (unless I have epidural, obviously)
-want to push at my own discretion (instead of being told to hold breath and push for 10 counts- baby NEEDS oxygen, not for you to hold your breath!)
-want to wait at least 5 minutes before clamping and cutting umbilical cord
-want to hold baby immediately, chest to chest, with warm blankets around us
-Daddy to cut cord
-want to deliver placenta WITHOUT Pitocin and without manual assistance
There are many L&D nurse/midwife/doctor blogs that I read. I've found a TON of information on them. The nurses really talk about the grit and gravel of what happens in L&D, which I appreciate. It helps me make a more informed decision.
I am also a first time mom and the only thing i know for sure is that i dont want an epidural. and pain meds when i request them. i think i'm more scared at how much pain there really is, yes of course there is alot of pain but do people make it seem worse than what it really is. i seem to wonder about which is worse pain the dialating or the actual coming out.
Claire- I think it's different for everyone. The pain is intense but many women can and do deliver naturally. I went in with the intention of wanting to go without an epidural but ended up getting one. So know that your desires may change once you're in the heat of it all and don't feel bad if you do end up requesting one! Just take it all as it comes.
I don't really have a birth plan, there's a few factors as to why I'd be sent for a c-section (planned) but the first hurdle is my low lying placenta, this will be checked out again at 34 weeks. If its still low lying then its a c-section if not my ob said she'll weigh my other issues (gd @ 14 weeks, still the potential for me to develop blood pressure issues (knock on wood haven't so far)).
What I don't want to do is be induced (my ob said this will happen in my 39th week) go into labour and end up with an emergency c-section. If that's likely then I'd rather just have a planned c-section.
oh i have also been looking up stuff on waterbirths they just seem so calm. and the hosp i plan on delivering are going to open their new labor and delivery ward and they added tubs to all the rooms to make it possible to do water births
Well I certainly would not say that women make the pain seem worse than it is. It is bad and you need to be very prepared for that. You may even consider taking several different birth classes the teach you different techniques of pain management and body control. I delivered naturally with my son only because i did not make it to the hospital in time for an epidural. by the time we got there, I begged for them to make the call to get the epidural on its way before I even wanted them to check me. (of couse they couldnt do that). Once I learned the baby was on the way NOW I freaked out because i was most scared of the delivery with out the epidural. That turned out to be the easiest part!! The pain of the contractions while dialiting is WAY WAY WAY more painful than delivery!!! It actually felt good to push. As you push you do not feel the pain of the contractions any more. They use lidocaine to numb you down there if you start to tear and trust me...it feels good!!! i never thought that I would be so completely happy to have a needle down there!
So basically if you can make it to the point of delivery, the worst is way over!
I believe that if the placenta does not detach on its own, a doctor may have to manually detach it with his hands. I do not think this is very common, but I am not sure. I do think that eventually medical intervetion is necessary because it can cause excessive bleeding and infections if it stays in too long. Not positive on that either though. Before you put any of that in your birth plan I would definatly look it up and know what you are dealing with exactly.
As far as my birth plan, I am not making one. I am going in to it with the same attitude as I did last time. I will listen to what the doctors are telling me and make my decisions at that time. i am not putting any restrictions on anything but my husband has strict instructions of what I want incase I am unable to communicate my desires. I just dont want to be disappointed with anything or run into a problem where it comes down to getting pitocin to pick contractions back up or get a c section. I just dont want my heart set on my birth plan and be at hour 23 of my water being broken as contractions begin to slow down. That can be dangerous for mom and baby and obviously something would have to change.
My husband will know that:
No vacuum or forecepts are to be used unless a case of emergency...not the doc wants to go on vacation so the baby needs to come out now.
The cord is not to be clamed right away.
Some other things you may want to consider telling your partner is (all things that did come up during my birth and my husband and I want to be ont he same page this time)
whether it is ok for a person in training to be in the room while giving birth. My husband would have said no based on conversations we have had but at the time I said yes because I almost had my baby in the car and I thought that it would be very important for an emt to have that training!
How you want the doctors and nurses to treat you and what should happen if you are not treated the way you want to be. While in serious pain because the nurse sent me home 2 hours before delivery I came in screaming and a male doctor got right in my face and yelled at me to be quiet. i started to cry. My husband wanted to kick him out of the room but didnt because we didnt know what purpose he served...turned out none. we had no idea why he was there. so this time my husband will find out who they are, what their job is, if they can be replaced by someone and if not he will have a semi private conversation with him on how he expects his wife to be treated. Just be careful because you dont want to anger a key person who can not be replaced.
How you want your partner to be treated. After the birth of my son my husband was asking my nurse questions such as if she will have a wheel chair for me to get to my room 3 floors up. the woman was horrible to him! we have since decided that he would ahve to suck it up unless it got too out ofhand since it was the person taking care of me. and I also asked that it not deter him in asking any questions he wants to since it is his baby, just not his body delivering it.
there is so much to think about even aside from the medical stuff.
kjbutcher-good point i never thought of anything besides the medical part, thank you for clearing the pain part up for me. when i had my still born i had the contraction pain and yes when it was time to push it felt better (granted mine was tiny) but i still felt the pain. i think i am just going to play it by ear and when i want something i'll let them know.
oh and just some thing extra, while my husband and i were watching tv last night an ad came on from our hospital advertising their new birth "suites" and private rooms. i couldn't believe that i saw that on a commercial
Nini- when my first daughter was born, a nurse practically jumped on my stomach while the doctor started tugging on the umbilical cord and they manually extracted the placenta from me. It can take upwards of 20 minutes (sometimes longer) for you to "birth" it on your own. The doctor was in a rush to get to a c-section and just did it within MINUTES after my daughter was born.
I felt VIOLATED that they did that, especially without saying a word to me. My second daughter, no one did anything of the sort (same hospital, different doctor). It was a lot more relaxed and I did things on my own. I completely forgot about the placenta until I had the urge to push and out it came!
It is unheard of for doctors to manually extract the placenta so that's why I was so shocked. I was actually speechless. By doing so they could rip the placenta and leave chunks behind, thus causing infection that could eventually lead to infertility if left untreated.
But even though it is unheard of I plan to make a note on my birth plan about it because it made me so angry that the doctor did that!
kjbutcher- how awful (some of the things that happened to you previously)! Are you going to try to deliver at a different hospital this time around?
WHY SHOULD YOU AVOID CLAMPING THE CORD IMMEDIATELY AFTER BIRTH:
This was a topic I knew nothing about. Never really thought about it. But apparently the umbilical cord will continue to pulse and give blood to your baby about 5 minutes after birth. It is very beneficial to baby to NOT clamp the cord until it stops pulsing, and for baby to be brought to your chest immediately.
There's more on it and I will share if anyone is interested! I have a fabulous, informative link to a L&D nurse blog on the topic.
oh heck yeah, I will be delivering at a different hospital!!! My husband overheard the nurses talking about how they put the belt on wrong and that is why they told me at 4am to go home (45 mins away) take 2 tylenol pms and come back at noon the next day...to their surprise i was back at 6:30am ready to deliver....so tired as they pms kicked in! They took my blood work AFTER the baby was born and tried to do it a second time since everything was so rushed. they even tried to give my son two hep b shots. They told me to prove to THEM that he had already gotten it. I, in my confusion, came up with a sane answer of them proving to me what they stuck my son with and if it was not the hep b shot, then they could give it to him. 2 hrs later they came back and said he had infact had it and they were sorry. SORRY???
SO ONE MORE PIECE OF ADIVCE:
Write down what they are doing to your child so there is not confusion. so much happens in a short period of time that you havent had to deal with before. this way, you are absolutely sure of what is going on and youw ill not question it later!
I am not sure if it was you or not joy, but someone on the pregnancy website posted an article about clamping the cord. In short, it said that when the baby is born the lungs are sticky and dont open fully for some time. This means that breathing alone will not provide them with the full amount of oxygen. Once the baby is born they get the surge of oxygen from the placenta. many doctors are clamping the cord immediately depriving the baby of the oxygen from the cord and they are unable to get it from their lungs for several minutes. This MAY be a cause of several disorders that are being seen more and more in recent years.
i would discuss this with your doctor NOW to see how they feel about it. I did not do this with my son and luckly the doc did put him right on my chest for several minutes before clamping and cutting the cord. If it is not something that the doc feels strongly about or is not a specific thing that they practice, I would make your desires known NOW and at every single appointment until the baby is born and make sure it is in writing and make sure your partner knows your desire so they can communicate it if they see it happening too soon. (probably will be the last thing on your mind as you are holding your brand new baby)
Joy, i can not believe they tugged on the cord to get the placenta out. I heard somewhere about them doing it manually by sticking their hands in and peeling it out if it didnt come on its own after a certain amount of time because it could become a health risk...2 hrs I think. I think I heard it on the show where the people delivered at home with no medical professionals and the girl had not delivered the placenta so she had to go to the hospital to deliver the placenta. i could not imagine that happeing and can now see why you would have that in your birth plan. how terrifying!!!
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