Most women believe that they have done everything possible to prepare for the delivery of their babies. But what about mental preparation? Whether you experience a vaginal delivery or a cesarean section, mental preparation is critical. Being mentally prepared will give you a sense of empowerment.
It is important to understand that a woman’s body was meant for childbearing. Many women allow the horror stories that they hear and read to influence their anxiety regarding childbirth. Remaining confident that your bodies can handle the demands of labor and delivery and remembering that each woman’s labor experience is different will be beneficial to mentally preparing for the delivery of your baby. Being afraid and tense will likely prolong your labor.
Educate yourself on what you can expect during labor and delivery. Knowing the stages of labor and what to expect during each stage can help ease any fears or frustrations you may be experiencing. A multitude of articles pertaining to labor, delivery, possible complications, emergency cesarean sections, etc. are available in print, audio, video and online. Share your concerns with your healthcare provider and allow her to answer any questions that you have.
Although birth plans are a beneficial way of communicating your wishes and desires pertaining to labor and delivery with your healthcare providers, realize that births rarely ever unfold in the exact manner in which they were planned. Maternal blood pressure may rise, leading to additional monitoring of the pregnant mother and baby, the use of forceps may be required to assist in the baby’s birth, or the plan might change altogether, requiring an unplanned cesarean section. Generally, healthcare providers will do everything possible to accommodate the requests within a birth plan, but being open to changing plans and realizing that unforeseen circumstances can shift birth plans is crucial.
Discover methods of self-relaxation and practice those well before you go into labor. Enroll in a yoga class, listen to calming music or take part in childbirth classes that educate pregnant women and their partners about relaxing breathing techniques. These breathing techniques will encourage your focus and decrease pain that is associated with childbirth. Childbirth classes also provide education for expectant parents regarding what takes places during the birthing process and what to expect during labor and delivery.
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