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10 ways to prepare for labor and delivery

I have worked in many hospitals in Labor & Delivery, Transitional Nursery, Neonatal ICU for 20 plus years. I have worked in different states also. With all this experience I still say that the "KEY" is to breathe and relax. If you prepare for your birth and practice the positions and breathing techniques, and if you understand how to talk to your health care provider, you Will have a better birth outcome. I will educate you on different comfort options from breathing to epidural. I want to empower you for better birth outcomes with my education classes. Sign up today. Private or group classes.

I have come up with 10 options to help you prepare for birth.

  1. Classes: No matter which way you wish to birth your baby, you need to take an evidenced based class from someone that is passionate about teaching and experience and Certifications really makes a difference. There are many different types of births options, so there should be many types of classes for those options.

  2. Evidenced based research: When you search for information on the internet today, everything imaginable pops up, however that makes it harder to weed out the true information from the made up versions found from someone that thinks they have the answer without the evidence base. Anyone can say it's the way, however be cautious of those that do not have evidence to back up the information. Reputable sites like The American Academy of Pediatrics or The College of Obstetrics and Gynecology are better choices.

  3. Events: There are many pregnancy related events in our area given at different times throughout the year. This is a way for you to go and see first hand the many options available to you.

  4. Family: Family can be helpful when it comes to learning about birth options, however sometimes it limits you to what they feel are the right options, not what may be right for you and your pregnancy. Sometimes family means well but have incorrect information and tips. Take the information family gives you and then research it to find out if it is sound advice.

  5. Friends: Yes you may be one of those that find all your friends had deliveries and the stories may be frightening. That does not mean that this will happen to You! Did they take classes or just Google it? There are evidence based papers that suggest that women with good support have better birth outcomes. Just make sure your support wants the same things you want to try.

  6. Doctor and Midwives: I am a fan of Midwives, however I have seen good and bad to both. There is a lot to consider when choosing your healthcare provider. Look up previous patient reviews, go on the credentialing sites, and consider what experience they have. Do you feel comfortable talking to them and do they encourage you to ask questions?

  7. Birth Centers: Birthing centers can be a fantastic option for some women. They offer options that mimic a home birth, but with professional staff available. That being said, not all are alike and some have limited comfort options. It has been my experience with women that have had to come in to the hospital during long labors from centers that could not get comfort as needed or had complications. If you are choosing this option, again read the reviews and talk to them about options before hand.Know before you go is a great thing for any facility, hospital or center.

  8. Home Birth: Home births have been something that had declined and now we see a resurgence of home births. Before you consider this option, you really need to have an honest and upfront conversation with your doctor. Every pregnancy and birth has risk and complications can happen and they can happen very quickly. You want to make sure that if you choose this option that you have planned for every issue that could arise, yes even in healthy pregnancies.

  9. Doula's: These are trained individuals that are hired by you to help with your comfort during labor. They are not meant to take the place of your support person, rather to help support you both and offer options for comfort. They cannot offer you medical advice and you should always research them just as you would your doctor or midwife. They will usually not come to you until you are 6 centimeters however that is up to you and the Doula.

  10. Hospitals: There are many hospitals to choose from in our area, however they are not all alike. Some offer options that others do not. Some doctors are always on premises in some and some doctors only come in when you are ready to push. Some hospitals have different pain control options that others do not offer. You can usually sign up for free tours before birth time to see what hospitals offer. After you have chosen a healthcare provider, you may be limited in the birth options or hospital choices. Choosing the healthcare provider is the first important step.