5 Things You Should Know Before Giving Birth

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A moment of a lifetime and it’s happening to you. Inside, you are simultaneously excited, nervous and scared. Between learning your new body and planning for the new baby, your mind just can’t relax. You want the events on that day to go smoothly and to be sure that you are prepared for anything.

5 Don’t Be Hard on Yourself

Listen, Mama: It is okay not to have everything perfect or to have everything go perfectly on that day. What matters is delivering a healthy baby and taking care of yourself. Try not to think about the house chores, bills, family issues and tasks that are out of your hands. Even if your entire birth plan falls apart, remember that when you hold that little baby for the first time, everything else will be unimportant.

4 Stay Home

Your due date is approaching and you are getting excited. A common mistake a new mother makes is admitting themselves into the hospital too early. When the contractions hit, call your doctor for instructions. If you run to the hospital every time you think the baby is coming, you might actually be prolonging the process. The hospital stay will feel like days, and most places won’t keep you until you’re dilated about 4 centimeters.

3 Your Doctor’s Philosophy

The thought process and moral nature of your physician is important to know. You wouldn’t want any surprises springing up while you are in labor. Take time to sit down with your physician. Ask how he feels about natural births, C-sections, pain relief and other points that are beneficial to know. Finding out the doctor’s views ahead of time will help you be comfortable with the doctor’s participation or give you the boost you need to switch physicians.

2 Have a (Flexible) Birth Plan

Put your mind at ease (at least for the moment) by creating a birth plan. Are you planning on breast-feeding? Who will be allowed in the delivery room? Answer important question ahead of time so you feel more confident as the day approaches. Just remember that anything can happen, and your body doesn’t understand what a birth plan is. Go with what is the best option for you and your baby, even if it’s not on the list.

1 It’s Not Like the Movies

Forget the rushing taxi, high-speed drive through traffic and scrambling nurses; childbirth is not how it is portrayed in the movies. Some stories are so mind-blowing that they’ve hit newsstands, but for the average woman, labor usually is much slower. Movie births occur in what seems like a span of 15 minutes. In reality, your labor could go on for many hours. One thing is for sure: There is plenty of entertainment that day.

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