Pregnancy is a remarkable journey, one filled with anticipation and, understandably, a touch of anxiety.
As you prepare for the incredible experience of labor and childbirth, it’s essential to arm yourself with knowledge and be ready for the journey ahead.
In this guide, we will walk you through the entire process, from what to expect beforehand to admission to the hospital and what will happen during those precious moments after your baby’s arrival.
Whether you’re a first-time parent or adding to your family, this guide will give you insights into what you can expect during your stay at the hospital.
Knowing makes things just a little easier and it can be comforting during the chaos of childbirth.
Below are things you can do beforehand and then the list below that will give you advice and information on what to expect during labor.
We also have some pregnancy journals, Milestone Cards, And Closet Separators you can download and print a bit lower in the article, so look for that if you like nice things❣️
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Labor Advice You Need To Know
Stay Informed: Knowledge is Power
Being well-informed is key. Attend prenatal classes, read books, and educate yourself about the entire birthing process. Understanding what to expect can help reduce anxiety.
There’s an online prenatal course called From Bump To Bassient that will quickly and easily teach you everything you need to know in the comfort of your own home. It has rave reviews and it’s the only prenatal course we recommend.
You can take the beginning of the course here for free.
Build a Strong Support System
Having a support system during pregnancy and labor is crucial.
Surround yourself with loved ones, hire a doula if you can, and choose a healthcare provider who respects your preferences.
You can also join a Pregnancy Facebook group. Here’s ours.
Maintain Your Fitness Routine
Since you’re into fitness, don’t abandon your exercise routine during pregnancy unless advised otherwise by your healthcare provider.
Staying active can help you prepare for the physical demands of labor.
Here’s a great digital course called ‘The Pregnancy Health Program’ – Easy to follow exercise and eating program. This course will keep you on track and guide you on how to stay your strongest while pregnant.
Mind Over Matter: Practice Relaxation Techniques
Explore relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or mindfulness. These practices can help you stay calm and focused during labor and before and after too.
These are important skills to have. Here’s a post on self-care for pregnant women.
Plan Your Ideal Birth Experience, but Be Flexible
Having a plan is essential. Discuss your birth preferences with your healthcare provider, but remember that birth can be unpredictable.
Being flexible and adaptable will serve you well.
Hydrate and Eat Well
Nutrition is vital. Keep yourself well-hydrated and maintain a balanced diet. It’s essential for both your health and the health of your baby.
Again, we highly recommend this course.
Visualize Your Success
Create a mental picture of yourself successfully navigating labor and welcoming your baby into the world.
This will have positive effects on you and calm your anxiety.
Trust Your Instincts
Trust your instincts during labor. If something doesn’t feel right, speak up and ask questions.
Don’t remain silent, ever.
Consider Pain Relief Options
Don’t hesitate to discuss pain relief options with your healthcare provider. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to pain management during labor.
Here’s some great information on your pain relief options during childbirth.
Postpartum Matters Too
After the big day, remember that self-care doesn’t stop at childbirth.
Take time for self-improvement and self-care as you navigate the joys and challenges of motherhood.
Below are a few courses we highly recommend. The package of the three plus the book are called The Postpartum Cure.
These will help you navigate your postpartum time by helping you tighten up your pelvic floor and tummy, eating correctly for recovery and breastfeeding, and more. The program is fantastic.
- The Breastfeeding Mama’s Skinny Recipe Ebook: Keep Your Milk + Lose The Weight
- Guide to Lose Weight While Breastfeeding
- Ab + Pelvic Floor: 21-Day Restoration Program
- Baby Got Abs- Abs after pregnancy
Now let’s talk about what will happen when your labor begins
Admission and Initial Assessments
When you arrive at the hospital in labor, the first step is the admission process.
Nurses and healthcare providers will greet you and perform initial assessments.
This includes checking your vital signs, monitoring contractions, and assessing your baby’s heart rate.
It’s also an opportunity for you to discuss your birth plan and any preferences you have for your labor and delivery.
Epidurals and Pain Management
For many, the idea of labor pains can be daunting.
Thankfully, there are options for pain management, one of the most popular being epidurals.
Administered by an anesthesiologist, an epidural is a regional anesthesia that numbs the lower half of your body. This can provide significant pain relief during labor, allowing you to remain awake and alert.
Labor Pains and Contractions
Labor pains typically begin as mild contractions and gradually intensify.
Contractions are your body’s way of assisting the baby’s descent through the birth canal.
Even with an epidural, you’ll feel pressure, but the intensity of pain is significantly reduced.
Breathing techniques and relaxation exercises can help you cope with contractions.
Transition Phase and Pushing
The transition phase is often the most intense part of labor.
Contractions become frequent and powerful.
Your healthcare team will guide you, signaling when it’s time to start pushing.
Pushing requires a great deal of effort, similar to lifting a heavy weight. With guidance, you’ll push in sync with your contractions to help the baby move down the birth canal.
Delivery of the Baby
The moment you’ve been waiting for arrives as you continue to push.
Your baby’s head will begin to crown, and then you’ll see your baby’s head followed by their body.
This is the incredible moment when your baby is born, an experience filled with overwhelming emotions.
Once the baby is born, you’ll experience a mix of relief, joy, and exhaustion.
The healthcare team will quickly assess the baby’s health and may place your newborn on your chest for skin-to-skin contact, a precious bonding moment.
Placenta Delivery and Recovery
The birthing process isn’t over just yet.
You’ll still need to deliver the placenta, typically within 30 minutes of the baby’s birth.
Following that, the healthcare team will continue monitoring both you and your baby to ensure stability.
Bonding and Breastfeeding
Skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth is encouraged to promote bonding and initiate breastfeeding.
If you plan to breastfeed, a lactation consultant may assist you with latching and breastfeeding techniques.
Taking a breastfeeding course is very important because breastfeeding doesn’t come as naturally as you’d expect.
After childbirth, you’ll typically spend a day or two in the hospital for recovery and monitoring.
The healthcare team will check your vital signs, provide pain management if needed, and assist with postpartum care.
Here’s a list of important things needed during the postpartum care period that will help make you more comfortable.
Documentation and Discharge
The hospital staff will carefully document the birth, including your baby’s vital statistics.
Once both you and the baby are stable and cleared by your healthcare provider, you’ll be discharged with instructions on postpartum care and follow-up appointments.
Childbirth is an incredible journey, filled with anticipation, challenges, and profound joy.
Every birth story is unique, and what matters most is the safe arrival of your precious little one.
Armed with knowledge and supported by a caring healthcare team, you’re well-prepared to embark on this remarkable adventure.
As you step into the world of parenthood, may your journey be filled with love, strength, and beautiful moments that will last a lifetime.
We wish you luck!
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