We just started pre-natal classes and our instructor keeps stressing the importance of being mentally prepared. This is my first baby, and I just can't imagine what labor will be like. I feel like an ostrich who would rather stick it's head in the sand than think about it. She suggests bringing relaxing music to the hospital and practicing relaxation breathing. When it comes right down to it does this stuff really work or will I be wasting my time? I only have about 6 wks left give or take a few and I'm just not ready for all of this. What can I do to prepare?
Well, I know labor is different for every women. But I know that breathing did not help me during my first labor. During my second labor, I was a LITTLE more on top of it but I can say that music would of done nothing for me.
I think its impossible to be "prepared" emotionaly. To me that is one of the benefits of your first pregnancy, you DON'T know. I was actually a lot more nervous the second time becuase I DID know what was coming.
[This message has been edited by coppertop (edited 04-25-2003).]
I think the best thing you can do is research all of you options for labor and delivery, visit the hospital and find out what kinds of interventions are standard and what you can do if you choose not to accept one, and just try to relax and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy.
I don't think that the standard childbirth classes offer women enough information about breathing to make it really effective. I've been through two of them and they were both pretty much worthless in the way of controlling pain. I did Bradley and Lamaze. Not to say that other women don't have success using those methods, but I didn't.
My first labor, I was totally caught off guard by the intensity of the pain. I allowed them to break my water (never again) and the contractions just came on too fast and too hard for me to keep up. I got an epidural. My second labor was much smoother. I basically ignored all of the breathing stuff I'd learned and listened to my body. I would stay very still during contractions and moan. As the night went on, my moaning got louder and I moved less and less between contractions. Sometimes growling felt good, but moaning usually felt best. It honestly felt like I was exhaling the pain when I would moan. I sounded ridiculous, I'm sure, but that is what worked for me.
When I think back to my first labor, and trying to remember how to breathe, I realize that THAT was what was ridiculous. I realize now that my body knew what to do, and sometimes you have to just sit back and listen. Once I decided on that approach in my second labor, it went very quickly. Three hours felt like twenty minutes.
You'll never feel totally prepared for labor, no matter how many kids you have. My grandmother had 8 and she went into the last one not quite as nervous as the first, but nervous nonetheless. Read anything you can get your hands on about labor. Know what to expect in regard to the people who will be attending your birth. Talk to other women who have had the kind of birth you envision yourself having. Remember that you are in charge of your birthing experience. Best of luck to you.
Ya, she is right, how can you be mentally prepared when you haven't done it? Don't syc yourself up and start getting too nervous. It's really not that bad. I've delivered twice vaginally, my 1st 4 hours-2hard hours with only demeral. My second one hour and a half, no drugs at all. I would do it again in a minute. It's the most wonderful feeling in the world when you look in the eyes of your new born baby. Especially after waiting for so long. It's all worth it. Please don't be nervous-watching it on TV will drive you nuts. Hope you have a quick and easy delivery. Best of luck to you.
It is my experience, even without labor classes, that the contractions themselves, while very painful, are not unmanageable, it is the actual delivery that I needed meds for, so I got a pudential block, which only numbs the vaginal area. As for being mentally prepared ... excuse me while I LMAO! You are right that you cannot realistically be mentally prepared. I think that Balissa gave you some excellent information and advice. Dont fight your labor, just let it come and "go with the flow" so to speak. You will do just fine!
I brought it all - videos, music, sour suckers, (supposedly for a dry mouth), and books - didn't use any of them. I couldn't concentrate on the video (even though it was a Kevin Costner movie - hubba hubba), the music started to annoy me, I didn't like the way my husband read to me, and I was too nauseated for my suckers. That being said, I've known women who made phone calls between contractions. Everyone reacts differently. Good luck to you!
Babe #2 c-section 11/06
Oh I forgot about the breathing - didn't help me. Hubby kept saying "remember your breathing, remember your breathing, count count" blah blah blah. I did my own "breathing technique" and clenched onto the handrails. After the epidural I was a different woman!
Babe #2 c-section 11/06
By the time my son was ready to make his entrance into the world 5 days past my due date, I was so uncomfortable and so sick of being pregnant that I was actually THRILLED to be going into labor... my family kept saying they were amazed at how calm and determined I was- b/c I wanted my baby and wanted to get it over with! Give yourself a few more weeks and you just might think differently about it, but it is true that everyone is different. Good luck, and just remember that it will all be over with in a matter of one day at the most and then you'll have your precious angel! You'll probably look back on it one day and think- "that wasn't so bad- maybe I can do it again!"
Thanks everyone for your advice. I'm starting to feel better about it as the days go on. I just can't wait until I can hold my baby, and if I have to go through some pain and discomfort in order to do that it will all be worth it in the end. I think I will leave the music and aroma therapy oils at home.