What You Need To Know About Childbirth When You Are a First-Time Mom

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The most important day in a mother’s life is giving birth to a child. She feels both excitement and fear as she begins this new chapter in her life. 

Giving birth can be a challenging experience for mothers of all ages, especially first-time moms. Therefore, it is important that they prepare in advance for a smooth delivery process.

If you’re a soon-to-be mom reading to get information about what you shouldn’t and shouldn’t do during labor, you’ve come to the right place. This article explains everything a first-time mother should know before giving birth.

1. Be open to other options

While most people (and doctors) prefer normal delivery; however, in some cases, alternative options like episiotomy or urgent cesarean delivery can also become the need of the hour.

Episiotomies involve cutting the perineum to help the baby deliver. You should discuss this matter with your doctor, as it should only be performed in emergency situations under your consent.

Cesarean is another popular option. The procedure involves making an incision in the mother’s stomach and uterus to deliver the baby. 

An unplanned cesarean delivery can be necessary for several reasons, such as delayed labor, weak contractions, pinched or wrapped umbilical cord, an abnormal heartbeat in the fetus, a problem with the placenta, or breech delivery.  

You will be better prepared to handle a cesarean delivery if you know more about it.

The primary goal of your health care provider should be to ensure your and your baby’s health. Any negligence can put your or your child’s life at risk. 

During the delivery process, delayed or incorrect judgment can often result in your child suffering life-long disabilities, including cerebral palsy. The hospital, however, can be sued for medical malpractice for cerebral palsy and get you the financial aid you need for recovery. Nonetheless, it won’t make up for the lost time. So, it’s important to talk to your doctor about the possibilities and risks involved before making any decisions.

2. Every birth story is different

Each woman is different. Their bodies are different, their babies are different, and no two births are alike.

Therefore, it is useful to learn more about labor and birth. A better understanding of your options and the pros and cons of each will help you feel more confident about your chosen delivery method.

But if you’re nervous, avoid listening to horror stories about labor. Remember that every mother who has had a negative experience has also had a positive one.

If you have any concerns, you can also speak with your midwife. Feel free to ask questions; they will answer them and explain how to deliver your baby safely in any scenario.

3. The support of birth partners

In labor, many expectant mothers choose to have a birth partner. Whether it’s your spouse, family member, or a friend, a loved one by your side can shorten the time you’re in labor and make it more comfortable.

Some mothers choose to have doulas during their pregnancy to provide support through the whole process. Baby birth is one of the most precious moments of your life, and you should not feel pressured to include anyone you don’t want.

If you go into labor a few weeks early or a few weeks late, make sure your birth partner is available at short notice.

If your birth partner plans to stay with you after the birth, ask the hospital about their options, the length of time they can stay, and whether they will have access to a bed or reclining chair.

4. Prepare for your hospital stay

A first-time mother has no idea how long each stage of labor will last. It can take several hours or days for the whole event to conclude. First labors are generally unpredictable, whereas second labors are usually faster.

Most women can experience early labor at home. It’s recommended to contact the hospital if you’re having painful contractions every 5 minutes for 1-2 hours. If you experience a water break, you may need to attend the hospital immediately. Therefore, you should plan and prepare everything you need before and after your childbirth process. The following are some recommendations for your hospital bag:

  • Toiletries: soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, and deodorant. Although hospitals have these things, you may prefer your own.
  • Shoes, socks, and slippers.
  • Clothes to wear at home. Choosing comfortable maternity clothes is usually the best option. If you plan to breastfeed, include a nursing bra.
  • An outfit for your baby to wear on the way home.
  • Snacks for your partner 
  • Phone charger: To keep your family and friends updated frequently.

5. Stay active

Women are often depicted lying on their backs on beds during childbirth. In fact, when you’re in labor, staying still is the last thing you’ll want to do.

Moreover, staying active throughout labor is beneficial. In the beginning, it can help keep you distracted. But as labor progresses, it can encourage things to move along more quickly. 

It is best to maintain an upright position; in this way, gravity will assist in pushing the baby down.

You can also try a variety of positions like labor standing, kneeling, or squatting, which will help dilate your cervix and speed up the process. Rather than lying down, it will help you bring out a baby naturally.

Conclusion

Even though you can do a lot to prepare yourself for labor and delivery, the procedure is unpredictable. Knowing the timeline and reading about other mothers’ experiences can help reduce the mystery of childbirth.

No matter the situation, just keep in mind: there is only one certainty: it will end eventually. A new life begins in those final moments for your baby and you as a parent. Therefore, even the hardest labor will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

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