Preparing for birth is no small task. The thought of pushing a baby out of your body is understandably scary. But you don’t have to live under the fear surrounding birth.

Below, you’ll find a few helpful tips on how to feel empowered during birth and ways to create a successful plan to help eliminate your fears.

Understanding Labor and Birth

One of the best ways to combat your fears surrounding birth is to take a minute to understand exactly what happens during labor and birth.

Early Labor

Labor is often described in several stages, with early labor being the first stage. Early labor is when contractions begin but are still irregular and not very painful. These early contractions, when the uterine muscles squeeze together, work to dilate the cervix and move the baby toward the birth canal (vagina).

For first-time moms, early labor can last several hours to several days. During this phase, you can go for a walk or take a shower to begin preparing for active labor. It is important to call your healthcare provider and let them know your labor has started so they can monitor and guide your care.

Active Labor

The second phase of labor is known as active labor. During active labor, your cervix will dilate from 6 cm to 10 cm. Active labor is generally when women opt for some kind of pain management, such as an epidural. Deciding beforehand how you want to handle labor pain will help you remain calm as the pain intensifies.

Transition and Birth

Transition is the final stage of labor before birth and is usually the most intense. This period typically does not last very long, and once your cervix is 10 cm dilated, you’re ready to push out your baby.

Create A Plan

Having a designated plan that outlines your wishes on pain management and birth protocol is a great way to alleviate fears and bring a sense of peace to your birth.

For pain management, some women opt for minimal interventions and choose options such as: changing labor positions, taking a warm shower, walking, or having their partner give a gentle massage between contractions. More traditional options include getting an epidural to take the edge off while you labor.

Besides pain management, your birth plan can also include things like:

  • Music in your birthing room
  • Who’s present at the birth (friends, partner, or family members)
  • Dimmed lights for a more peaceful ambiance
  • Clothing choice: do you prefer a hospital gown or your own clothing
  • Monitoring the baby during labor (constant or intermittent)

Taking the lead on these details can give you a sense of empowerment and control during your birth.

Talk With Us

For more support and information regarding labor and birth, reach out to the staff at Mendo Lake Women’s Clinic. At Mendo Lake, you’ll receive no-cost, compassionate, and confidential care to support your pregnancy and motherhood journey.

Text anytime at (707) 272-3051 or fill out an appointment form here. We’re here for you!