Learn these ten mistakes you might be making when you give birth!
As an expecting mother, you hope that your labor and delivery will go according to plan.
However, not all women prepare as much as they should for their big day. You think you have more time or you find other things that keep you “busy” because the thought of giving birth is scary.
Even if this isn’t your first rodeo there is the possibility that you can make mistakes when giving birth that will cause you or your baby stress, discomfort, or turmoil.
My pregnancy with twins was considered high-risk. I was put on bedrest at 21 weeks because my cervix was shortening. Then later, I developed intrauterine growth restriction.
My plan for a vaginal deliver could not happen. I want you to be prepared for all possibilities when you give birth!
Mistake #1: Not Taking a Birthing Class
Oh, the internet is a great thing, you can learn literally anything online these days.
Did you know that there are even birthing classes online now?
Attending a birthing class can be a little intimidating, especially for the dads, and may not always fit into your already busy schedules.
While there are many different types of birthing classes online, however, there is one that really stands above the rest as the all-inclusive natural birthing class EVERY pregnant mother should take.
While it doesn’t matter if you are pregnant with baby #1 or baby #6, this class really does have everything you need to know for everything related to having a natural labor and delivery.
The great thing about taking an online birthing class is that you and your partner can complete it in the comfort of your own home, at your own pace. As opposed to a traditional in-person birthing class, you can rewind and review parts of the course as needed.
The KOPA Essential Birthing Class includes 8 modules that cover the following topics:
- The foundations of relaxation
- The birthing process and early labor
- Breathing and active labor
- Transitioning and pushing
- Labor positions and sensory techniques
- Medications, cesareans, and hospital labor inductions
- The benefits and risks of hospital interventions
- Your birth plan and mock labor experience
The one really interesting part of the course, that you are sure not to experience anywhere else, is the instructor’s own natural hospital birth so that you can actually see all the techniques in action.
Bonus course materials include relaxations triggers, prenatal fitness, babywearing, meal plans, labor guides, and downloads for positive affirmations and touch relaxation.
Mistake #2: Not Having a Birthing Plan
If you haven’t thought about a birthing plan yet, now is the time to start!
Having your little bundle of joy is one of the most important days of your life, it should go as close to your plan as possible. Writing up a birthing plan doesn’t have to be difficult or overwhelming.
Once you have your birthing plan completed you should give a copy to all the people that will be in the room while you are giving birth, or at least have some copies on hand.
While childbirth is unpredictable, there are certain things that you can do your best to plan. Some of the things to include in your birthing plan are:
- Contact information in case of an emergency
- Your preferred birthing position
- If you would need pain relief, what you prefer
- Environmental preferences (music, lighting, etc.)
- If you are having a photographer
- Those that are or are not allowed in the birthing room
- Your plans for breastfeeding, pumping, and or formula
- If you have a boy if you would like him circumcised
- If you would like the baby to go into the nursery or stay in the room with you
- When you plan to leave the hospital
Remember that your birthing plan is not set in stone, you have to be flexible and realize that things won’t always go according to plan.
Mistake #3: Not Resting and Relaxing
Going into labor puts a lot of strain on your body and it is important to take it easy.
When you are relaxed and not stressed it helps to get your baby into the right position and prepare for them to be born.
Even though labor can be a very stressful time, there are things that you and your partner can do to help you rest and relax during labor.
- Guided imagery
- A warm bath
- Keeping the environment dim and quite
- Sleep-if possible
Do your best to remain calm and reduce your anxiety as much as possible.
This is also where a birthing plan can come in handy. It is likely that during the rush of the process you or your partner may forget relaxation techniques, having a birthing plan in place will help to keep things on track.
Mistake #4: Not Eating or Drinking or Having Too Much
It is a common myth that you shouldn’t eat or drink anything when you are in labor.
This is simply not true. Think about labor and delivery like a really long and intense workout.
You wouldn’t go to the gym and spend 10 hours running on the treadmill without water or a light snack, would you? You also wouldn’t chow down a giant burger either. The same goes for labor.
It is fine to drink water and have light snacks like fruit, veggies, and granola bars.
This will help to keep your energy levels up.
At the same time, you don’t want to overdo it.
While you might be starving and a big, juicy cheeseburger sounds great, hold off.
If you eat too much during labor you might become sick and it could slow things down. Although there are now rules on treating yourself after you have completed your labor marathon!
Mistake #5: Jumping The Gun
Especially it if is your first time experiencing labor pains, it can be difficult to tell if you are actually in active labor or just experiencing false labor symptoms.
If you are experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions you might think that you are experiencing preterm labor, which is understandable.
If you are experiencing pain it is perfectly fine to contact your doctor or midwife, but don’t rush off to the hospital just yet.
Contacting your doctor or midwife can help you to determine if you are going into active labor of if you are just having false labor pains. You need to be able to let nature take its course and let your body do what it needs to do.
While I can totally understand that you want to get that baby out, you can’t rush it!
Mistake #6: Your Positioning
Think about how women gave birth for millennia, squatting mostly.
This is not the case for many hospital births. As women we were not meant to lay in a bed and give birth, that is not the ideal position for the baby to descend into the birth canal.
When you are laying on the bed during labor you put pressure on your tailbone and can stall the movement of the baby.
Gravity is your friend when it comes to labor and delivery.
While your movements might be restricted by a fetal monitor or IV, do your best to get up and utilize gravity to your advantage.
Maybe try a birthing ball for better positioning.
Mistake #7: Trying To Hold In Your Poop
Yes, it’s gross and embarrassing, but it happens!
You use many of the same muscles to push the baby out of the birth canal that you use to push out a bowel movement. Don’t try and hold it in, it will only make your delivery more difficult.
It is natural for you to have a bowel movement when you are pushing the baby out of the birth canal, especially if there are feces already in your colon.
Not a fun topic…I know.
Don’t be embarrassed by it, I’m sure your doctor has seen much worse. Be confident in your pushing and don’t be scared of what could potentially happen during labor, just enjoy this magical moment.
Mistake #8: Having Too Many Distractions
It can certainly be much easier to have a pleasant labor when you aren’t distracted.
Distractions can include too much noise, people coming in and out of your room too often, super-bright lighting, pelvic exams every 5 minutes, and so on. Just another reason you should have a solid birth plan in place.
Everyone that is involved in your labor and birth should be aware of your desires and expectations.
Meditation can also help you to destress and handle any distractions you might be experiencing.
Mistake #9: Not Having The Right Support Team
Who you have in the delivery room can make a huge difference in how you handle the process of labor.
We all have different personalities and have different needs for our labor and delivery process.
During labor, tensions can run high and the mother can become easily stressed.
If you and your partner are new to this whole labor and delivery thing, you both might be pretty unprepared to handle the stress and anxiety that comes with labor.
Having a midwife or doula can be of great benefit to help ease you and your partner through the process.
Mistake #10: Bad Breathing Techniques
Breathing is SO important when it comes to labor and delivery.
Of course, it can become difficult to breathe properly when you are in the throws of labor, but it has so many benefits.
Proper breathing, in through the nose and out through the mouth, can help to relieve some of mom’s tension and help her to relax a bit, while also helping baby descend into the birth canal.
Proper breathing can also help to bring the baby’s heart rate down if it is elevated.
Mistake and mishaps are bound to happen during your labor and delivery, it’s not all going to go as planned.
However, if you are aware of the common mistakes and have a plan, you can do your best to avoid stressors and have a wonderful birthing experience.
There ya go!
So don’t make these mistakes when giving birth!