February 29, 2012

Things to Remember: First Time Childbirth

Sometime over the next couple weeks, my super cute sister-in-law will be giving birth to her first baby.  A baby girl.  My second niece.  Between me and my 2 brothers, there will 6 girls in our family.  I'm OK with that.  I like girls. 

Anyway, I thought I'd share a couple things I've learned to help ease the anxiety first time moms feel before having a baby.  It seems that people seem to focus on pain.  "It's going to hurt, but it's worth it."  Both of those things are true, but I'm not a fan of saying that.  It's doesn't do much good to relieve fear.  So, here's my not-so-expert advice, for what it's worth.

1.  Take it as it comes.  You're probably pretty uncomfortable at this point in the game, but shouldn't be in any pain.  Focus on making yourself as comfortable now as possible.  Don't worry about things you're not feeling yet.  Focus on now.  Can I handle this right now?

2.  Don't focus on someone else's birth experience.  Every woman is different, every baby is different.  Just because someone has told you a horror story, doesn't mean it will be the same for you.  You may handle it like a rock star.

3.  Your body and mind are amazing.  Your body knows exactly what it needs to do.  It will do it without your telling it to.  Your mind will find a way of shielding you from this.  Go ahead and mentally check out, your body will do all the work. 

4.  Don't let yourself be talked into or out of anything.  Hospital staff can give you their opinion in the delivery room and friends and family can give you their opinion before, but only you know what you can or can not handle.  Don't make decisions on things like epidural or cesarean before hand.  Use a wait and see attitude.  Go with your gut.  It's usually right.

5.  If you are uncomfortable with anything at all, say so.  Don't like the position of your bed? Change it.  Want some privacy?  Ask for it.  Don't want the mirror at the end of your bed?  Move it.  Don't like the attitude of the hospital staff?  Say so.  Don't worry about offending anyone. 

6.  Don't let yourself feel guilty over any part of your delivery.  All births are different and all are amazing.  Don't beat yourself up over opting for an epidural or yelling at your husband.  You do what you think is best for your and baby.  The only thing that matters is that you are both safe and healthy.

What advice would you give to a first time mom?

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