You want that unmediated birth. You are gunning for it. You have heard all of the stories about how your girlfriends caved… how they would never have another baby without the epidural, but you want to climb Everest anyway. Here is some sage advice for the climb.
- Get Your Head in the Game. First and foremost, laboring is a head game. You need to be prepared to face challenges and take things one contraction at a time. You CAN successfully complete this mission. You need to be prepared to FEEL as if you cannot complete the task. Your support team will continue to encourage you. Remember, you are safe and you are well. What is happening is natural, survivable and results based. You will have a baby in the end and feel wonderful due to hormones and endorphins post birth.
- When it starts, begin to rest. This is your best time to capitalize on the hours before the real labor pains begin. This is one of the most difficult tasks for my new moms (and self) to accomplish ESPECIALLY when it is baby #1. Rest. Please rest. The adrenaline will make it difficult, but you must find a way. You are in it for the long haul and this activity requires a ton of energy. Take a warm shower, utilize a Calming Spray (bee maternal organics has a great one) or a sleep spray, have a nice cup of tea and GO TO SLEEP.
- Light snacks and meals are paramount before you leave for the hospital. You are preparing to run a marathon, so you really need to eat. I recommend light foods and snacks. Hydrating fruits, yogurt, toast and anything else that sounds good in the moment.
- You need to chill out if you want your baby to drop into place and come out in a timely manner. The more you tense, the more difficult the task can become. I start at the top with my clients because what your head and throat/neck do your pelvis does. Relax your forehead during the contraction, low vocalizations (no shrieking ladies save that energy), relaxed shoulders, soft back, buttocks and thighs… all of the way down to your toes. Relax, Relax, Relax. OHM
- It IS your friend. Gravity helps bring your baby down to help finish dilation and rid the remaining cervix that could be holding on. It can also help to break your water and expedite the labor process.
- No need to be fearful of this stage. It is actually not as bad as it sounds. The energy in the room will be contagious and it is so exciting to make it this far! Listen to your team when this time arrives as it may prevent tearing. Slow and steady wins the race. Laboring down (passive pushing…not pushing) can be a very effective tool.
Remember, this is no shame in this game. A healthy baby and mama are paramount so if you need medication or medical intervention this does not make you any less of a mom. You are a superstar any way you labor.