There are many misconceptions when it comes to childbirth. You see childbirth portrayed in the media in many different ways, from unrealistic movies to reality TV shows; it is often hard to know what to believe. There are a few things that you should be aware of before going into labor, especially if it is your first child.
The media would have you believe that child birth is very painful and difficult. To some extent this is true, but of course everybody has different degrees of tolerance to pain and each labor is different. It is true that you will experience some lower abdominal pain when your contractions begin. Not only will you probably feel it in your belly and lower back, but also in your thighs and buttocks. Do not over react, this is completely normal during a healthy labor. You can also request medicine to ease the pain. The most common way to do this is with an epidural, there are other ways as well. Speak to your doctor ahead of time about your pain management plan for labor so that you are both prepared on the day of. Deep breathing exercises, massage, movement and heat can help ease the pain of childbirth as well. Attending childbirth classes during your pregnancy is a good idea for this reason as it will help to teach you what to expect and prepare you for techniques to use during delivery.
Time and Recovery
The length of your labor is hard to predict, everyone is different and your first one may be different than others as well. Do not think that because your mother had a short or long labor that you will too. Genetics may play a role but there are many other factors that influence labor time. For instance, your baby may be positioned differently and even the actions you take can all impact how fast your labor is. Obviously, it also depends on if your doctor has given you medicine to induce or speed up labor. If your labor has been induced, then it may not take as long as you are expecting. You should also realize that if you choose to have, or have to have, a C-section that the recovery will probably be longer and be more painful. A C-section is abdominal surgery and so you should expect that you will be in more pain afterwards than you would be after having a normal vaginal delivery. You may not always know exactly when your labor begins. The media make it seem as though there is always a large quantity of fluid when your water breaks. However, the process may start more gradually with only a little bit of fluid being released at first, and a few contractions here and there. By being aware of the realities of childbirth will help to be more prepared when the time comes. Do not be afraid of giving birth, yes it may be long and painful but any mother will tell you that it is all worth it when you hold your baby for the first time.