For many women, they hope and in turn, plan for a delivery to happen a certain way. Many of these notions are based off of books, movies, and personal experiences.
The truth of the matter is, anything can happen, and all women should be prepared for the unexpected.
How should you prepare for the unexpected?
This may seem like the ultimate oxymoron or even an impossible task to “prepare for the unexpected." However, there are some ways to make sure that when things don’t go as planned, you are ready to ride the wave. Here are some of those ways:
Pregnancy and delivery are never textbook. Even so, it doesn’t hurt to open a few books, read a few blogs, or ask around to find out what can happen during delivery. Your doctor, doula or midwife is no doubt a great resource, if not your best resource.
I recall laying in my hospital bed as I waited to deliver my child. I heard commotion happening next door, and wondered what had happened. When my nurse arrived, I asked what happened, to which the nurse answered, “The baby aspirated.”
“Aspirated?” I asked.
The nurse then went on to explain that when an unborn baby is under stress, he or she may have a bowel movement inside the womb, and in the process, breath in the matter known as meconium, that was now in the amniotic fluid. The nurse explained that when this happens, it can block the airways and even damage the baby’s lungs. The nurse then went on to tell me that if the baby is in trauma, it is important that the mother pant (breathe quickly and shallowly) in an effort to lessen the stress.
Less than an hour later, that same nurse would look me squarely in the eyes and tell me, “Your baby is under stress. It is time to pant.”
I'm glad I had an on-the-fly education, but some advanced knowledge would probably have lowered my stress level in the moment.
Take a Lamaze class
If you have a goal of experiencing natural childbirth, it may be in your best interest to take a Lamaze class. The purpose of these classes is to increase a mother's confidence in her ability to give birth. The instructors are trained to help women and their partners to work through the pain by facilitating labor and promoting comfort a through relaxation techniques, movement and massage.
Even if after taking the class, you decide to have an epidural or any other medically induced help, the information you gain about the birthing process could prove invaluable.
Don’t be afraid
There are so many things that can happen during pregnancy that you could really overwhelm yourself. And while becoming educated is a great thing to do, it is important that you don’t go overboard and cause unnecessary fear and anxiety.
The truth of the matter is, a women’s body was made to deliver a child, and it really knows what do do without you telling it. Doctors, nurses and other trained professionals are there to give you the support you need, whether it is pain relief, a hand to hold, and even emergency help if needed.
You will likely be in capable hands that will help you through this wonderful experience of childbirth.
Enjoy the experience no matter the challenge
You may go in expecting a vaginal delivery and need a cesarean section. Perhaps you find yourself pushing for hours. Maybe you had a relatively easy delivery when you expected a difficult one.
Whatever your experience, when that baby is placed in your arms, laying skin-to-skin on your chest, none of it will matter. It will all be part of your birth story that will forever be a part of you and your baby.