Having a baby is both scary and exciting, especially labor and delivery.
Like most pregnant moms you’re hoping for a smooth and pain-free birth to welcome the arrival your little one.
However now you’ve heard tales of three-day labors, see a video of a baby crowning and read about episiotomies your anxiety is beginning to skyrocket.
How will it feel? When will it happen? Will you cope with the pain?
This fear of the unknown can leave you paralyzed and out of control.
Whether you are planning on a natural birth or having a planned cesarean, it’s normal to feel anxious as your due date nears.
The good news is that you can have a few tricks up your sleeve, to help you mentally prepare for whatever is thrown your way.
Focusing on right things will help you to take on labor and delivery like the bad ass Mama you are.
And who better to teach you these tricks than a few experts?
I’ve rounded up a few really awesome pregnancy and parenting bloggers who really know their stuff. Their expertise is made up of successful mothers, midwives, nurses, doulas and advocates for pregnant women, like you.
I asked them all to share their best labor and delivery survival tips.
Remember to pin this for later so you have it on hand. If you find it useful please share with your friends and family who will love this advice.
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What’s your best labor and delivery survival tip?
I received some great tips from twelve awesome pregnancy and parenting bloggers. If you are not already following them please check out their websites and social media pages for some great content.
Rachel – The Analytical Mommy
My #1 tip is to be prepared for a long day and trust your gut! Okay, maybe that’s my #1 AND #2 tip!
Labor can go super fast or last an entire day or more so make sure that you have some entertainment. Also, try to mentally prepare yourself for the long day and you will have a much better experience.
I say trust your gut because you are the patient and you know your body and what you’re feeling. This doesn’t mean that you should second-guess the doctors – they are professionals, but you shouldn’t feel like you are just a spectator. Ask questions, ask for help and raise your concerns.
With my second I got extreme chills that lasted hours and I just thought that I was cold. Turned out that I should have told the nurses!
If I’m allowed a third tip, it would be to not over pack your hospital bag! See my post on what you really need to take with you so that you aren’t stressed by stuff in the hospital room and don’t need to worry about unpacking tons of unnecessary stuff when you get home.
Congratulations Mama and good luck!
Check Out Rachel’s website here: www.theanalyticalmommy.com
Follow with Rachel on Instagram: The Analytical Mommy Instagram
Nina – The Baby Chick
Nina is The Baby Chick. Truly passionate about supporting Moms and babies as a baby planner, postpartum doula, massage therapist, prenatal and new baby teacher. She has also just welcomed a little baby boy into her family.
My best labor and delivery survival tip is to have a strong support team around you. Make sure that you and your healthcare provider are on the same page, that you feel supported by your nurse, your partner is feeling confident by your side, etc.
I personally have been to hundreds of births supporting laboring women and the best births are the ones where the laboring mother feels heard, respected and supported.
I knew that I wanted this for my own birth experience and that is why I chose to have a midwife, doula, my husband, my mother and a birth photographer there to support me. Everyone had an important role and I couldn’t have asked for a better birth for my son. That is why having good support is everything during labor and birth.
Check out Nina’s website here: www.baby-chick.com
Follow Nina on Facebook: The Baby Chick Facebook
Lisa – Birth Eat Love
Think about what you want to do during early labor. This will be a time when you will feel excited anxious and ready to get the show on the road. But this time may last anywhere from a few hours to half a day or more. So be prepared!
Have a Birth ball to bounce on, baby clothes to fold, food to cook for after labor (this was my favorite activity!), birth affirmations to stay positive and music to inspire and keep calm. You want to create as calm an environment as possible as tension and nervousness may prolong labor.
Remember to snack and hydrate during the whole process! Have snacks made with dates like energy balls, granola bars, chia pudding, and trail mix. Have honey sticks on hand for a natural energy boost. Also yogurt and lots of red raspberry leaf and nettle tea available to sip on.
Check out Lisa’s website here: www.birtheatlove.com
Follow Lisa on Pinterest: Birth Eat Love Pinterest
Deanna – Fit to Be Pregnant
Have a fit and healthy pregnancy! Staying active has been shown to lower risks for medical interventions, helps you develop the stamina and endurance you will need for labor, and will help you recover more quickly postpartum.
Eating plenty of vegetables and protein every day will also help you feel your best all the way up to delivery day.
Check out Deanna’s website here: www.fittobepregnant.com
Follow Deanna on Facebook: Fit to Be Pregnant Facebook
Holly – Kick Ass Birth
My best birth advice is to first: hire a provider who is respectful and kind, and whose approach to birth aligns with yours. And then during your labor, take each twist in the path as it comes. When your path takes a left turn, be present to it, ask yourself “What needs to be done next?” and do it.
Everyone says that birth is unpredictable, but there are ways to be ready for the unexpected and ways to practice that flexibility NOW. And of course I’m a HUGE fan of Birthing From Within classes, where this is taught!
Note from Stork Mama
I love this tip from Holly. As a student midwife, I discovered the Birthing from Within book, and it completely changed the way I thought about birth. It’s a great way to delve into how you really feel about birth. I love that the principals apply to all type of birth including cesarean.
Check out Holly’s website here: www.kickassbirth.com
Follow Holly on Facebook: Kick Ass Birth Facebook
Jenny – Midwife and Life
My survival tip is to keep yourself educated and informed, don’t go along with unnecessary interventions, learn how to relax.
Don’t go into hospital too soon, the longer you can stay at home the better. Learn a simple relaxation method and practice practice practice. Keep hydrated.
Gather your support network.
Check out Jenny’s website here: www.midwifeandlife.com
Follow Jenny on Facebook: Midwife and Life Facebook
Ana – Mommy’s Bundle
As a mom who had to undergo an emergency c-section with my first (and all babies, subsequently), my best labor and delivery survival tip is to just go with the flow when your birth plan doesn’t pan out. Because the truth is, you can’t predict with certainty how your baby will enter the world.
If you prepared for a natural birth but end up needing a c-section, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, if it means a healthy mom and baby, it’s the right choice to embrace with open arms.
Check out Ana’s website here: www.mommysbundle.com
Follow Ana on Facebook: Mommy’s Bundle Facebook
Carly – Mommy On Purpose
TRUST THAT YOUR BODY CAN DO THIS (and, if anything DOES go wrong, trust that this is day-in and day-out to your healthcare providers).
I know it doesn’t sound like much, but our bodies were MADE to grow and deliver children. It might be uncomfortable, it might feel like you can’t do it, but it really isn’t something that you have to choose to do – your BODY will do it.
Try to remember that – let yourself relax (it’s hard when you’re in pain, but try) and trust that your body is doing the hard work for you.
Check out Carly’s Website here: www.mommyonpurpose.com
Follow Carly on Pinterest: Mommy On Purpose
Melissa – Mommy Status
My #1 tip survival tip for labor and delivery is to be prepared mentally to have plans change. We all want our baby to arrive safely and, although we tediously write and study our birth plans, we need to be aware that things do not always go according to plan.
Once you have this open mind…go pack your hospital bag! Make sure it is ready to go so that you are prepared for what’s to come. And, as difficult as giving birth is, try to take a moment to appreciate how incredible your body is to grow a life. It is a true gift.
Check out Melissa’s website here: www.mommystatus.com
Follow Melissa on Pinterest: Mommy Status Pinterest
Sarah – My Natural Baby Birth
My best labor and delivery survival tip would be to master how to relax during your contractions. You can put yourself into a meditative, fully supportive state that dramatically reduces pain, tension, and anxiety that is well worth it.
When you submit to your body’s strength and don’t fight against it, you will have a powerful experience that is unparalleled.
Check out Sarah’s website here: www.mynaturalbabybirth.com
Follow Sarah on Pinterest: My Natural Baby Birth Pinterest
Hilary – Pulling Curls
Hilary of Pulling Curls has been a labor and delivery nurse for over 16 years. She’s also a mom and childbirth educator. This woman has pretty much seen it all when it comes to pregnancy and you’ll learn a lot from her experience.
My best tip is to not make any plans for your delivery. There are so many variables to consider. Having a doctor you trust is your best plan. Trust your nurse and keep your options open.
Note from Stork Mama
Hilary is a practicing RN and has a totally awesome online Prenatal Class you can take to prepare for birth. It teaches you everything you need to know in the comfort of your own home.
Check out Hilary’s website here: www.pullingcurls.com
Follow Hilary on Pinterest: Pulling Curl Pinterest
Ros – Stress Free Mommies
My best labor and delivery survival tip would be to pray first (always calms me down) and then try to relax. Have an open mind and do not over think things. Stay positive!
Also, do not over pack your hospital bag, keep it simple! Make sure that you have all of your important documents at hand. At the end of the day, all that matters is that you will be welcoming your new baby and that’s good enough reason to ease most of your fears.
Check out Ros’ website here: www.stressfreemommies.com
Follow Ros on Pinterest: Stress Free Mommies Pinterest
Ray – Stork Mama
Practice your distraction techniques. In early labor, this can be laughing, resting and relaxing. Use these to try and stay at home as long as possible.
As labor ramps up and those contractions get going, try to focus on your breathing. It’s so cliché but it really works. Repetitive chants or humming are a great way to zone out and focus through the contraction.
Keep mobile and change position often to help your baby move down your pelvis. This is possible even with an epidural.
Oh yeah, one more thing: don’t be afraid to poop. It’s such a huge fear most women have and can totally throw the whole labor. You can read my guide to prevent pooping during birth here.
Bookmark this website now: www.StorkMama.com
I would like to say a huge thank you to all the pregnancy and parenting bloggers who featured in this post.
Let me know, in the comments below: What is your best labor and delivery survival tip? I would love to hear them.
Remember to share this post with your friends to help empower women through birth.