Most women are concerned and nervous about the labor and delivery of their first baby. One of the most important things is to understand that everybody has worries and concerns and that you can discuss these with your doctor and midwife and they will be able to set your mind at ease. Easier said than done but try not to worry excessively as this will not help you and may make the whole process a lot more stressful and difficult.
A good activity that will help you to relax and will help with labor is to take a prenatal yoga class. Studies have shown that women who have taken prenatal yoga classes experience less pain than women who haven’t, and this is probably because yoga teaches you to match your breathing with your movements.
Another excellent idea is to take birthing classes, which will teach you techniques to use to help with the delivery. In a supportive group environment various breathing and movement techniques will be demonstrated that can help with the pain and help to facilitate a comfortable delivery. There is, of course, a plethora of information online and even internet-based classes you can take, just be sure to check the source of all your information. Having the knowledge and knowing what to expect will help you to feel more relaxed and prepared when it does come time to deliver.
Trust the Doctors
You may be worried about the baby getting stuck. This is not something to worry about as the doctors can, if need be, perform a C-section. Even though this may scare you it is important to realize that many women have C-sections and deliver perfectly healthy babies. You should also not be concerned that you will deliver before you reach the hospital as it is in fact more common for women to arrive at the hospital earlier during the delivery of their first baby than in subsequent births.
It is useful to stay as calm as you can during the labor. Changing body positions, light massage and heat may help you to relax and ease some of the pain. Ahead of time you should discuss options for pain management with your doctor, so that they are prepared if you decide to have an epidural. The cervix will be fully dilated by the second stage of your labor and your doctor or midwife will tell you when to push. Usually in a first-time delivery the process is quite gradual with the baby moving downwards and through the birth canal. It is possible that you will experience some tearing as about 70% of women do during their first delivery. Once again it is not something to be overly worried about and always feel free to speak to your midwife and doctor about any concerns. After the birth you will also deliver the placenta which should be quick and painless. Overall, remember that it is important to stay calm, be informed and to take advantage of any available help, prior to the event, such as yoga and birthing classes. Being well prepared will certainly help you enjoy this most precious time.