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Even if you’ve been to ante-natal classes, binge watched One Born Every Minute and religiously read your ‘What to Expect’ book, preparing for labor can be equal parts terrifying as it is exciting.
Whilst every labor is different and what works for one may not work for another, here are some of the best tips and advice from real mamas – these are the labor tips that worked for them.
Trust your body
This is probably the most widely shared advice, you were made for this!
Follow your body’s lead. It’s amazing what you’ll instinctively know and do.
Just breathe. Your body will know what to do!
Do what your body tells you
Do exactly what your body is telling you. If you need to walk then do it, if you need to lay down flat, do that, if you need to scream, go ahead! Don’t let anyone tell you you have to do something. I’m a firm believer in doing what you need to do to get through it and being relaxed, happy, comfortable and in control will all aid your labour.
Keep moving and remind yourself that your body is designed to cope with this. Trust your body and your instincts!
Keep moving. Stay mobile. Laying flat on your back is the absolute worst position for getting baby to descend.
You can do it without drugs if you want to…
You can do it without drugs.Honestly didn’t believe a word. My first born I was drugged with everything I could have; she was back to back. She was also premature. My second was 6 days late, my labour was so fast (two hours start to baby) I didn’t get any drugs as it was far too late. And I was in more agony than my first born, yet another back to back delivery. It is possible to go drug free.
But if you want the drugs – that’s okay too
The best advice I was given was by my friend who gave birth 2 weeks before me she said “there’s no need for pain like that, take the drugs”. I changed my birth plan from no epidural to epidural if required and 24 hours in I was so glad I did.
Trust your instincts
Don’t be afraid to speak up if you think things aren’t going quite how they should. It’s your body, and you know it better than anyone, so speak up if you need to!
Trust yourself if you feel things are happening faster than the midwives tell you they are – you will have an instinct that they won’t and it is usually right. I almost had my first in a corridor trying to find a private room on our own as they told me it was too early in my labour to be that far on. With my second they also told me I had a long while to wait and 30 mins later she was born.
And finally – Some motivational words…
Each contraction is a step closer to meeting your baby. Each time you have one, be grateful, that’s another one out of the way!
It’s nothing that you can’t handle.