A New Mom’s Guide to Labor Preparation
As a new mom, it is perfectly normal to be apprehensive about labor, yet knowing how to prepare for your child’s birth can help calm your nerves and give you confidence about delivery. While every birth is different, there are certain stages and symptoms that are common among all new moms who are approaching delivery. Begin by talking to your doctor and researching the options that your hospital has available for new parent education. Then, follow this guide to make sure you and your birth partner are fully prepared.
Take a Childbirth Class
Many labor and delivery centers offer classes that can be taken throughout your pregnancy to help you and your partner know how to prepare for labor. During these classes, you will learn about the three main stages of labor, what to expect during each one and how to manage your pain. Breathing and relaxation techniques are often a main focus point during these classes that can reduce discomfort for many moms.
Create a Birth Plan
A birth plan is simply an outline of what you and your partner prefer to have happen during childbirth. Your plan should contain information regarding who you would like to be with you in the delivery room. You can also discuss with your doctor other options to include such as delayed cord clamping, preferences regarding pain medication and immunizations immediately following delivery. Keep in mind, however, that this plan is a wish list that may need to be adjusted depending upon how your labor experience progresses.
Tour the Hospital
For many new moms, giving birth is the first time they have stayed in a hospital overnight. Even if you are comfortable with hospitals, taking a tour will still allow you to meet the staff and know what to expect regarding the accommodations that will be available. During your tour, take note of whether or not you will be changing rooms for recovery, the visiting hours and if a nursery is available should it be needed for your newborn’s care.
Knowledge is power when it comes to preparing for labor, and it is important to take advantage of every resource you have to learn about childbirth during your pregnancy. Take time now to rest and practice breathing techniques with your partner so that they will be second nature when the big day arrives. Then, tuck your birth plan into your hospital bag and look forward to the day when you can bring your precious newborn into the world.