Preparing for Labour
Every pregnancy and birth are unique, and your experience will be just that “Yours”. People may not intend to frighten or to scare you but may do so with negative or traumatic stories of labour, the first few days and weeks with a baby, sleep deprivation and body changes. Although you may be excited and terrified, it is important to try and not pay much attention to the stories as nobody can predict how things will unfold. Keep calm and strong in the last few weeks of pregnancy, a positive mind helps with a positive outcome. Focus on welcoming your new baby into the world and the type of mother you hope to be as your start your journey through motherhood.
There can be a certain amount of stigma around pain relief during labour (epidural, gas and air). Everyone is fully entitled to make up their own mind and make personal decisions around pain relief based on their own wishes and needs. The health and safety of both mother and baby is the primary concern. Talk with your midwife about what is best for you and understand how pain relief helps in labour, at what stage you may need it and how it may affect you in the hours after giving birth. Ask lots of questions, no mother has all the answers, and each pregnancy is different.
You may have developed your ideal birth plan in your head; however, it is important to think about how this may not go quite as planned. Think about what role the dad will play if any in the labour and birthing. Who else can support you at this time; who is good in helping you to remain calm; who do you feel comfortable with when at your most vulnerable? Try not to overload yourself with worries and stresses, it can all happen so quickly or it may be a longer process. However, it is important to be prepared, know what your options are and what supports are there for you. You can only control a certain amount, do not waste energy thinking about what you cannot control.