Read about my labor experience here.
Tips on progressing labor naturally:
- Drink lots of water (even if you are on an IV)
- Pee EVERY HOUR, because a full bladder slows things down
- Stay as vertical as possible and use different labor positions. I brought an exercise ball to sit on. Rocking your pelvis will open you up and make you feel better. Change positions every 30 minutes to one hour
Things to remember if you are going to go into labor:
- Lamaze is the bomb. Take a class or look up breathing techniques online. You don’t have to do the “hee-hee-hoos,” just remember to breathe.
- Yoga is also awesome. It will teach you how to relax, how to breathe, and how to open up your pelvis and get ready for labor.
- Don’t go to the hospital until you are having big contractions that are 3 minutes apart (from the start of one to the start of the next), last for a minute, and have been going consistently or increasing for an hour. (3-1-1) Make it 5 mins if there is traffic or you live far away.
- If your water breaks, they tell you to go in right away, for fear of infection, but you should have time to at least eat something.
- Eat before you go!! Lots of carbs—you will need the energy. Eat like you are about to run a marathon. Pack snacks. Your partner will need to eat. If the hospital says that you are not supposed to eat while you are in labor, eat when none of the nurses are around. (I take no responsibility if you get into trouble…)
- Remember to drink water, pee every hour, and change your positions (see above).
- If you get pain relief, it will only really be effective if it is administered between 5 and 7 cm. If you get to 7 cm without drugs, you can make it to 10.
- Once you can push, you push through the contractions and it doesn’t hurt as much. LT said I pushed for almost 2 hours, but it didn’t feel like that long.
- To push correctly, take a deep breath at the beginning of the contraction, tighten your ab muscles, and “bear down” like you are pooping (sounds exciting, right? Haha). Release air slowly as you push if you need to. Follow with another deep breath.
- The biggest thing to remember is that the pain is temporary, that with every contraction you get closer to the end, and that it will be over soon and you will have your baby!