10 Tips for a Better Birth

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No matter the choices you are making for your labor and birth, some things will almost certainly Birth doula and childbirth education in Dallas, Frisco, Fort Worth, Southlake and Plano.increase the odds of having a positive labor experience.

  1. Surround yourself with people who are supportive and are comfortable with your choices. It is vital to have support during labor and those people that are providing this support should be 100% comfortable with your choices. One way to insure this is to hire a doula. The research shows that having the professional support of a doula increases satisfaction with the birth experience, not to mention brings several other benefits. If you are blessed with positive friends or family members then you may choose to welcome them as well. However, do not invite people who are not 100% comfortable with your plans. Just don’t.
  1. Do not surround yourself with too many people – even if they do support you. Birth is not a spectator sport so limit those welcomed into your labor space.  I usually recommend your partner, your birth team (i.e. your doula and care providers) and visits from other friends/relatives that want to show their support and excitement. I’ve heard it said that every extra person in the room beyond the birth team and your partner adds an hour to labor. That is not a scientific fact of course, but “party births” do seem to be longer.
  1. Keep your body and your attitude loose and laid back. Your voice, your thoughts, your muscles; they all should be loose and relaxed. Babies come out best when a woman is not feeling fear or tension and when she feels comfortable moving and making the sounds she needs to during contractions. Being laid back helps a laboring woman to go with the flow of labor as labor can be unpredictable and often looks different than imagined.
  1. Focus. Labor is not just any ol’ day. Focus on welcoming your child and what you need to do to make that happen.
  1. Stay active. Use gravity to your advantage. Moving not only helps bring a baby down and out, it also helps pass the time and makes women feel more in control of their labor.
  1. Rest. Rest is so important in the early parts of labor as it may be hours and even days until you progress to the active phases of labor. Take these early contractions as a sign to rest and do whatever it takes to sleep. You do not need to move to your place of birth – you need to sleep. You do not need to exhaust yourself trying to get things going (unless there is a medical need to do so) – you need to sleep.  It will happen, and when it does, you still will want to alternate resting positions with active positions throughout your labor.  
  1. Ignore the clock. Labor can be long, especially for women experiencing labor for the first time. Looking at the clock and doing labor math (“It took me 4 hours to change 1cm thus using that formula it will take me approximately 40 hours to have my baby…”) doesn’t work since labor does not work mathematically. Thinking about the time can create tension which then slows labor further. Try to not think about the time.
  1. Pay attention to the time, especially in early labor. If it is night time and you are starting to contract, GO TO BED. Do not call your mom and do not start walking the stairs. GO TO BED. If there is any confusion about this pointer, re-read Tip #6. Other times to notice? Try to empty your bladder once an hour (if you are not asleep) throughout your labor. When able, try to drink a cup of water every hour. Hydration makes your body more effective and an empty bladder allows baby to descend and decreases the discomfort of contractions.
  1. Listen to your body and your baby. So you can’t literally listen to your baby yet, but your baby and your body are working together to make birth happen. At each stage of labor your baby has a job to do and you can help your baby to get that job done just being aware of how you can help. Does your baby need to descend? Use positions that use gravity. Does your baby need to rotate?  Try some positions that open your pelvis and avoid those that reduce it’s size.
  1. Listen to your support people. Let them help you.  While they cannot do a single contraction for you, they can help you be more comfortable, offer suggestions that may help you stay low and loose, encourage you and keep you focused.  Even more importantly their support will help you feel affirmed and empowered in your choices.

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