Assisted birth (eg, epidural, forceps etc)
- If you've been in labour a long time, use the epidural relief to get some rest
- It's not necessarily the 'easy' way: After the birth of my first baby (induced, epidural, forceps) I felt like I'd gone 3 rounds with David Tua. I was bruised from where the IV has been inserted (like my whole hand was purple), the epidural entry throbbed not to mention the stitches!
- Your feet and ankles might swell up for the next week or so from all the IV fluids (noice)
- Consider a female support person (in addition to your partner/husband) and talk to them before the birth about what you think you will need most from them (gentle reminders of focus, calming words etc). Ideally they'll have given birth themselves (and therefore have awareness of the process) and will support your choice for a natural birth.
- Try to take the contractions one at a time rather than worry if they are getting worse. Easy to say when you're not having them but it helps to think of each one as one step closer to the end and meeting your brand new bubba!
- Be familiar with the signs of Transition: When it was all getting too much and I wanted to give up (which is itself one of the signs of transition), I vomited and I realised then that I was in transition and the next stage was close. This realisation was exciting and gave me the energy I needed.
- Get someone to stay with you that for day/night. You don't know which nurses will come and go throughout and some will be brilliant, some not so much. Having someone you trust on hand to help you can make the world of difference.
- Take your own pillows, hospital pillows suck.
- No visitors the first 2 days. As hard as it might be, be firm with visitors and tell them they are welcome to come and see you and baby in a couple of days.
Heidi and I moments after my son was born. Will see if I can find a shot of Heidi and Finn (that ought to get Heidi's attention- hehe )
Check out the Belly Beyond resources page for more on natural birth as well as tips on things to do before baby arrives and what to pack for labour