Hey there mama-to-be! So, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed with all the information (or lack thereof) about giving birth. But don't worry, I’ve got you!
Here are 10 things your doctor probably didn't tell you about giving birth that will help you feel more prepared and in control.
1. Epidurals are not the only form of pain relief available during labor.
Epidurals are a common form of pain relief during labor, but they are not the only option available. Other forms of pain relief include nitrous oxide, spinal blocks, and natural methods such as HypnoBirthing (send me an email if you want more info on this) acupressure and massage. These options can provide a more natural and less invasive form of pain relief.
Question for your doctor: What other effective pain relief options do they see/offer other than epidural?
2. You can bring your own music or sounds into the birth suite
Music can have a powerful impact on our emotions, and it can help create a calm and soothing environment during labor. You can bring your own playlist, u-boom, or similar to help you relax and focus during labor.
Question for your doctor: Can I bring music to the birthing room? Does the hospital provide a device or should I bring my own.
3. Birthing pools and/or baths and showers can help you feel more comfortable and relaxed during labor.
Warm water can help ease the pain and discomfort of contractions, and it also allows you to move around more easily, which can help the baby move down the birth canal. Birthing pools and baths can also provide a sense of privacy and intimacy during labor.
Question for your doctor: Are there birth pools/ large baths at the hospital or another way I can use water to relax?
4. Birthing positions - there are many different positions that can help make the birthing process easier.
There are various birthing positions that can help make the birthing process easier, such as standing up, sitting down, on your hands and knees, or even lying down. Experiment with different positions to find what feels most comfortable for you. A lot of my birth clients find standing up and all fours positions the most comfortable for giving birth.
Question for your doctor: In what positions are you willing to help me birth my baby?
5. You can eat and drink during labor, if you want to.
Having a light snack can help keep your energy levels up. It's important to listen to your body and your healthcare provider during labor, and to make sure you are well hydrated and nourished.
Question: Under what circumstances will I not be allowed to eat or drink in labor?
6. The power of the mind - visualisation and other relaxation techniques can help during labor.
Visualisation and relaxation techniques such as HypnoBirthing, yoga, and meditation can help you stay calm and focused during labor. It can also help to lower stress hormones and increase endorphins, which can make labor more manageable.
Question: Is there anything I can do now to learn how to cope with labor?
7. You will probably poo during labor (and that's okay!).
It's a normal and natural part of the birthing process, and your nurses and doctors are used to it. Don't let this concern hold you back, it's nothing to be embarrassed about. It happens almost every time.
8. Doulas are a great support and aren’t only used for birth.
A doula is a professional trained to provide emotional and physical support to a woman and her partner during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum period. A doula can help you with relaxation techniques, provide emotional support, and advocate for your wishes during birth.
Question for your doctor: Do you work with doulas often?
9. You don't have to give birth in the hospital.
Giving birth at home or in a birth centre can provide a more relaxed and intimate setting for the birth of your baby. It allows you to have more control over the birthing process and can provide a more personalised experience. This option is safe for low-risk pregnancies and has similar or better outcomes compared to hospital births. Question for your doctor: Would he/she support you and work with a home birth midwife if you decided to go this route?
10. Cesarean sections are not as scary as they seem.
C-sections are a common form of delivery and can be planned or unplanned. Your doctor and nurses will take great care of you and your baby during the procedure. It's important to remember that a c-section is a surgical procedure and there are risks
associated with it, but it can also save the lives of both mother and baby in certain
situations. Cesarean births can also be calm and beautiful and you can still make your birth space magical.
Question: In what circumstances do you perform c-sections? Can I have my own play list? Can my photographer come with us to theatre?
So, there you have it, mama. You're armed with some new information that will hopefully help you feel more confident and excited about your birth!
If you are thinking about a birth photographer I would love to chat. You can view my work here: https://www.tiarnecarney.com/birthphotography