Getting pregnant is one of the most magical experiences you’ll have in your entire life. You’re growing a wonderful new life inside you. The moment you see your baby for the first time, all of the hardships of pregnancy and labor will be worth it. Seeing your infant so peaceful in their sleep will surely melt your heart.
Although you may feel extremely excited at the thought of seeing and touching your baby for the first time, many new mothers are concerned about the labor and delivery process, since most mothers share their stories of painful births. Below are some labor tips for you as a first-time mom to help set your goals and communicate your expectations.
Dilating Your Cervix
Before you can push your baby out, your cervix needs to dilate by ten centimeters. This is the optimal size that your baby needs to clear its head and body. With that, your cervix must dilate properly.
You can begin by taking long walks to help open your cervix from the pressure of the baby’s head. However, try not to walk too far, and always bring someone with you in case your water breaks. If you have clearance from your doctor, you can take a light jog to help your cervix to dilate even more. Never try to dilate your cervix before carrying your baby to full term. A baby is considered full term after 38 weeks in utero.
When To Go To The Hospital
Once you feel a small contraction in your uterus, you should assess first if it’s enough pain to go to the hospital. Ideally, you should go to the hospital if you’re contracting for at least four minutes apart, and each contraction has been going on for at least one minute, for an hour. This means that your body is preparing for delivery. Call your doctor to access the situation.
Apart from the contractions, there are also different reasons why you should go to the hospital. If you see any spotting or your water breaking, drive to the hospital as quickly and safely as possible or call 911. In situations like this, if you wait until your contractions are well-timed, you could put your baby at risk.
Beware of Unconscious Biases That Can Lead To Medical Malpractice
As scary as it sounds, you should be on the lookout for your doctor not listening to you and your needs. If your doctor refuses to treat you as you asked, you can demand that your doctor add a note to your patient file that he/she refuses to treat you. This will usually make the physician think twice. It is extremely important that you advocate for yourself and have someone with you who is not afraid to speak up. Research shows that Black women are more than three times likely to die in pregnancy and postpartum than white women.
“It is extremely important that you advocate for yourself and have someone with you who is not afraid to speak up.”
Be sure that the medical team is giving you and your baby the utmost care. You need a very loud advocate with you during the delivery and after. During your labor, everyone in the room must be doing everything possible to help you achieve a safe delivery.
Be on the lookout for any possible medical malpractice, such as wrongful tests, diagnostics, and injury during the delivery. Ask lots of questions in the labor and delivery room. While you might be afraid of medical malpractice, there’s always something you could do about it in case it happens. You can click here to find out more and see how you can prove it get the compensation you deserve.
How To Ease Pain
Labor is often painful. But, there are plenty of options to help your body relieve the pain. You can start by walking back and forth in your labor room, sitting on a birthing ball, getting a soft back massage from your support person, and doing relaxation and breathing techniques. If you have enough time during your labor, you can do warm water therapy and allow your body to sink in the tub or shower.
Apart from the natural ways to relieve pain, you can also ask for a pain reliever, one of the most used is commonly known as an epidural. While the process of injecting epidural might sound and look frightening, since the anesthesiologist will inject a pain reliever into your spinal area, you’ll have a painless delivery.
Know When To Push
Once your contractions are more intense, you might feel motivated to push but listen to your midwife, doctor, or nurses assisting you to prevent possible complications. Hearing your baby’s first cry makes it all worthwhile. Once the medical team cleans your baby, they’ll bring the infant to you for your first skin-to-skin contact and offer you an opportunity to breastfeed.
Experiencing labor is often painful for most women. But, after reviewing your options to relieve pain and discussing it with your doctor, you will have proactively created a delivery and labor plan that is as comfortable as possible.
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