July 2013 Moms

Labor and Delivery Advice

As a FTM I'm trying to get my ducks in a row for the big day, and I was wondering if other moms could offer some good advice as to what did or didn't work for you during labor and delivery, things you wish you had done differently, etc. I know each labor and delivery is different, but I'm trying to get a good arsenal of things to try and to talk to my husband about before we're actually there. I guess specifically, I'm wondering if there were particular methods you used to help get through contractions, different positions to labor in, what should my husband expect to do, good tips for afterwards, etc.? Thanks in advance for the advice :)

Re: Labor and Delivery Advice

  • It depends, what kind of birth are you hoping to have? Are you getting an epi? Trying to go unmedicated?


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  • I am personally hoping to do it naturally (but if I can't, I guess I can't).
  • You can! There are obviously different circumstances in every birth, but believe that you can do it! I highly recommend picking up a book like Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth. Lots of great birth stories and information on the process of birthing naturally.
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  • BkuhmanBkuhman
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    Please please remember to take hard candies, they cut ice chips off after so long and you will be asking for them back. Try not to tense up during the contractions as it makes it worse. For me, after delivery, I just wanted to hold my baby girl and eat food from zaxbys. Take a deck of cards or something that may occupy your mind. If its occupied it'll make the pain less painful.
  • We did a birthing class specifically for moms trying to do natural and we went through a lot of pain coping techniques. Focused breathing where you focus only on your breathing, there is one where you focus on an object, another where you focus on sounds. We also went through different types of music that may help during different times of labor. At one point you may want soft, but towards the end you may want rap or drum type music. I was surprised by the type of music that seemed to help. We also have doula who will bring essential oils.
  • image CarlaAndJames:
    You can! There are obviously different circumstances in every birth, but believe that you can do it! I highly recommend picking up a book like Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth. Lots of great birth stories and information on the process of birthing naturally.

    Thanks for the recommendation!

    I'm going to go into it with the right mindset that I can do it, but I won't feel like I let myself down if it gets too much for me to handle...I just want a healthy baby, however he ends up coming :)  I'm wondering if anyone has any specific pain management techniques that worked well. I was considering music, ball, showers, walking, etc. Like I said, I know different things work for different people, but it would be nice to have a wide range of things for me to try to get through labor. And, if any of you ladies went natural, what did your husband do for you that was particularly helpful. I want to prep him for how to best help me, but that's hard to do because I don't even know at this point what he should do either :)

  • image Bkuhman:
    Please please remember to take hard candies, they cut ice chips off after so long and you will be asking for them back. Try not to tense up during the contractions as it makes it worse. For me, after delivery, I just wanted to hold my baby girl and eat food from zaxbys. Take a deck of cards or something that may occupy your mind. If its occupied it'll make the pain less painful.

    Granted I've never done this before, but I can't imagine focusing enough to play cards while in labor.  Interesting.

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  • birthing ball works good while your husband rubs your lower back... the one thing i had wished i had that i forgot with both of my labors is... hair ties. and my own pads... the ones they give you go from you belly button to the top of your but crack and they are about 1inch think lol it feels like you are sitting on a rolled up wash cloth.. so dont forget pads lol..
  • Cursing and moving. My husband just held my hand and helped me whether the storm. We took a birthing class and some of it helped, but honestly breathing along for the ride was mostly what it was. Nothing fancy or special.

    I had a med free vaginal birth.

    Did I mention a lot of cursing?
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  • I don't think anything can really prepare you for labor. Take a birthing class that aligns with the type of birth you want. Make sure you know how to get to the hospital, where to go once you get there, where to park, how to pre-register, etc etc. I think preparing for breastfeeding if you want to do it may be more useful.
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  • image KdgTeacher:

    image Bkuhman:
    Please please remember to take hard candies, they cut ice chips off after so long and you will be asking for them back. Try not to tense up during the contractions as it makes it worse. For me, after delivery, I just wanted to hold my baby girl and eat food from zaxbys. Take a deck of cards or something that may occupy your mind. If its occupied it'll make the pain less painful.

    Granted I've never done this before, but I can't imagine focusing enough to play cards while in labor.  Interesting.

    My thoughts exactly! I could maybe throw the cards across the room, but play them? I somehow doubt it... lol

  • image Tammyhull82:
    birthing ball works good while your husband rubs your lower back... the one thing i had wished i had that i forgot with both of my labors is... hair ties. and my own pads... the ones they give you go from you belly button to the top of your but crack and they are about 1inch think lol it feels like you are sitting on a rolled up wash cloth.. so dont forget pads lol..

     Is there anything else anyone would suggest for after you get back home? I've heard frozen Tucks pads are amazing, a squirt bottle, anything else?

     Also, does anyone have any suggestions as far as "encouraging words" from DH during labor? I have a feeling that if my husband started telling me, "You're fine, blah, blah, blah," I might deck him lol. I also have a feeling that when the time comes he'll probably not know what to do with himself, which is why I kind of wanted to give him "jobs" so he'll feel like he has some sort of direction.

     And again, thanks for all of your suggestions. It's appreciated :)

  • Definitely read up on natural birth techniques.

    We did Bradley classes last time. What I did a lot of during labor was the 'high school' dance. DH would also lift my belly during contractions. We were unable to do any of the counter pressure techniques because every time I bent over much at all I was pinching DDs cord. DH and the doula rubbed on my shoulders a lot because that's where I store my tension and you really want to be as relaxed as possible. I also used some of my self taught meditation techniques that I use when I have a migraine. That's about all I can remember without going and reading E's birth story again.

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  • bobceebobcee
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    It's definitely a hard thing to plan for since each experience is so different.  But I also had a med free birth and I second Ina May Gaskin's book.  We also took a relaxation class that taught us different ways to get through the contractions (massages, music, scents, focusing on something relaxing, etc). 

    I had planned on moving around as much as I could, but when I arrived I was put in triage for an hour and a half while they were monitoring my contractions until they could get me to a room.  DH would massage my head and I would just focus on something pleasant when a contraction hit (I imagined laying in the sun on a beach) and that really helped me get through the contraction.  By the time they moved me to my room and checked me I was ready to push, so all the other techniques I was ready to use were pretty much thrown out at that point.

    So while for me massaging my head felt best, some people do not want to be touched.  Also some people get soothed by certain smells, but to me they would've just been nauseating.  I've heard a lot of good things about showers/baths helping, but I progressed so quickly that by the time they drew the bath I was ready to push.  I also brought a ball to help try to get things moving but didn't have the chance to use that either.

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  • What works for some women won't necessarily work for you. The way you feel the pain and the contractions may be different from someone else. Maybe laying down in a fetal position will help while your DH rubs your back. Or maybe standing in the shower with the jets on your back swaying back and forth will help. You will know what eases the discomfort once you're in labor. When I was contracting I liked moving. Whether that be on the exercise ball and rocking my hips or bent over hanging on my DH or my friend who was also my doula. I think being at home and using these techniques initially will help. Go to the hospital or wherever you're having your baby once you can't speak through a contraction. That is usually is a sign things are progressing. If for any reason you feel scared or just not right go to the hospital.
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  • I've done it twice now and both experiences were totally different. My first was just DH and I with an epi and Pitocin and 43 hours of back labor.

    My second was my DH and SIL and no epi plus 4 hours of labor.

    I definitely know I want just DH this time as I felt very annoyed and inhibited having SIL there. I know I want this epi if possible this time and indefinitely don't want people at the hospital until well after baby is born. With my first, people were practically waiting at the door and the whole extended family came in before I was ready really. I enjoyed last time having time to relax and bond with DH and I and I didn't feel uncomfortable and rushed. We will let family know when we're radh to have them visit.

    Everyone is different but it's good you're thinking about these things in advance!
  • I wish I would have insisted on being able to be up and about after my water broke. They stuck me in bed and wouldn't let me up even though I didn't have an EPI or pitocin or anything. I'm going to talk to my doctor this time (next week) to see if there is something I can do about that. Walking really helps with the contractions.

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  • Hand a nurse your camera to take pics when your baby is born.  Bring at least 2 rolls of toilet paper from home.  Trust me.
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