For all my birth plan preparations, YouTube watching, and idealistic visions of how labor should be, I’ve settled on 7 things that are the most important to me. Everyone labors differently and has different expectations when it comes to delivering that sweet little one, so if these 7 don’t mesh with you, throw them out and pick your own!
1) Don’t forget to sit or stand – especially at the end. This will cut your labor down drastically – whereas laying down will drastically increase it. Tell your partner you want him to force you to do it because you won’t remember to do it on your own and you will not want to in the moment! Even if it’s sitting on the side of the bed – do whatever it takes to be vertical.
2) When the contractions are at the highest point and you haven’t started pushing yet, you will freak out that you won’t be able to handle the current pain *and* push. Pushing is entirely different – it’s honestly a relief to push, just let your body do its own thing. You can do it!
3) Insist that Baby be on your stomach the moment he’s born – priceless.
4) Let the cord stop pulsing before they cut it. It really helps your newborn adjust to the breathing on his/her own.
5) Choose skin to skin over incubator time. The staff will probably move your new baby to an incubator fairly quickly, so be prepared to make your wishes known! Make sure you let your partner know what you want too so that he can stand up for what you want when your brain is mush (did I mention the mushy brain?).
6) Put baby to breast right after the cord is cut – she/he has been through trauma too and it will do you both good.
7) Ask for ice as soon as you get cleaned up and are settled into bed – the sooner you get ice on your behind, the better you’ll feel J