Labor. It has got to be one of the scariest times of your life. You worry before hand, during, and even after it’s all over! If you are anything like me, you want to know everything you possibly can to prepare yourself for that day. Even with all the research I did, there were still some things I wish I would have known going into it. Hopefully they can help you be more prepared for your labor!
1. Let labor happen naturally:
I was your typical pregnant woman in her final month. I was exhausted, uncomfortable, anxious, and ready to finally give birth. I am a planner to a T. I wanted to know when this baby was coming. I did not like the fact that it could happen anytime or anywhere. Because of this, I decided it was a smart idea to Google some remedies to help get the show on the road!
I tried most of the common ones. I got up and moving, went on walks, and danced! However there was one suggestion I hadn’t tried yet: eating pineapple. “What is eating pineapple going to do to help put me into labor?”, I thought to myself. These women were extremely adamant about this strategy, and even stated it had to be FRESH pineapple, none of the canned stuff.
So what did I do? I went out and bought a fresh pineapple of course. Not knowing how much I should eat, and the fact that it tasted delicious, I ended up eating about half of that darn pineapple.
And you know what happened? 6 hours later my water broke! That pineapple is no joke you guys. So this sounds like it went well, right? No. My water ended up breaking, but my little one did NOT want to come out yet. Since my water broke, I had to be put on pitocin to help get labor moving. No matter what we tried, little miss Braelynn had other plans. Since she refused to drop I was put on bedrest for fear of umbilical cord prolapse, and wasn’t able to get up AT ALL. Not even to use the bathroom! It was the worst feeling ever. Not to mention I was in labor for a total of 21 hours! It was awful. Let your baby tell you when they are ready. They’re going to be the boss of you for the next couple of years anyway, so you mine as well just get on board from the beginning.
2. Eat on your way to the hospital:
This was something that many moms told me to do, and even my doctor. But, with all the anxiety I was feeling on the way to the hospital, the last thing I wanted to do was eat or drink. I even brought strawberries and water with me, but I just couldn’t stomach it at the time.
Well you know that 21 hour labor I was telling you about? Yeah. I wasn’t allowed to eat or even drink water during any of that. Labor is THE HARDEST thing your body will take on. In fact, according to a forum on The Bump, a woman can burn around 50,000 calories during the average vaginal birth! Holy moly! Do yourself the favor and drink water while you can!
3. Sleep if at all possible!
This was another one that was told to me by many women. Did I listen? No. And guess who had a child born at 1am? Me! Guess who hadn’t slept in over a day, and just finished with the hardest workout of her life? Me! Guess who didn’t care? The baby. If you feel at all tired during labor, kick everyone out and take some much needed time for yourself. It’ll probably be the last chance you get for a while.
4. Know how to put your baby in the car seat:
I thought I had everything prepared and ready to go. I had my bags packed, arrangements made for the dog, and I was ready to go! I had the car seat ready to go in the car for when we needed it, and we were off.
Well one thing I didn’t think about was learning how to put the baby INTO the car seat correctly. I kind of just figured that they were experts on babies at the hospital, and surely someone could walk us through it. When it was time to finally pack up and go home, my husband went to the car to get the seat. I asked one of the nurses to show us how to properly put our newborn into the car seat, and she wasn’t able to help us! Why? Because of legal reasons of course (don’t you love the world we live in?). So there my husband and I were, looking at each other with panic stricken faces. We had to seriously sit there and YOUTUBE how to put our child into the seat. How embarrassing. Make sure you know how to do this, and practice before you go into labor!
5. Your pre pregnancy clothes will NOT fit you after labor:
I was so naive when it came to this. I packed all my favorite sweats to bring to the hospital, eager to fit into them again. (And if you are packing nice clothes to bring, you are crazy. Trust me. Bring sweats). I didn’t realize that it takes MONTHS for your organs to go back into their original place after birth. I walked out of the hospital looking like I was still about six or seven months pregnant. I was so self conscious because I had all these shirts that barely covered my belly, and if I made any movement it would ride up and everyone would see my crazy stretch marks and baby belly. Thank God it was still winter and I could cover up with my jacket!
6. Take the booger suckers/extra supplies:
Did you know that your insurance already paid for all the items in your room? Even if you don’t finish them all? So take them! Take all the extra newborn diapers and DEFINITELY steal those amazing booger suckers. They are the best ones I could find anywhere! They are more durable, and have a smaller insert, so it’ll fit better into your newborns nose. I was lucky enough that my sister took them when her baby was born, and she was able to give them to me – otherwise I would have totally missed out!
At the end of the day, just go with the flow and know that everything is going to be more than okay! You are surrounded by professionals that deal with labor each and every day, and no matter what unforeseen circumstance gets thrown at you, you will conquer it! I’ll leave you with the wisdom of Christopher Robin,