Are you preparing for the birth of your first child (or maybe your second or third)? If so, you’ve likely been thinking about your labor and delivery and how it might go. And if you’re a new mom, you’re probably interested in any and all labor advice you can get from experienced moms.
Labor and delivery can be a daunting event, but it doesn’t have to be scary. In most cases, there are things that you can do to help make your labor easier, or at least easier to push through.
In this post, nine experienced moms are giving out their best labor advice to help make your delivery as easy, smooth, and successful as possible.
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9 Moms’ Best Advice For Easy & Successful Labor
“Carefully pick your birth team”
My best tip for an easier labor and delivery is to carefully pick your birth team! Just by being there for me, my husband was my biggest asset. I can’t tell you how many times I told him I didn’t think I could do it anymore, that I was so tired, and he coached me and held my hand the whole time (literally and figuratively).
I labored mostly at home. Once at the hospital, my husband and the doula we hired helped me through a natural childbirth! I also love and trust my OB, though she wasn’t there for most of my labor, just delivery.
If you don’t want certain people at your birth, stand your ground (though give consideration to your partner’s wants, too)!
— Ainsley, new mom and mom blogger at Momma McGovern
“There is no trophy”
It is all too common for expectant mamas to get caught up in the pressure for that “perfect delivery.” Whether it is a natural delivery or c-section baby, success should be measured in bringing that beautiful healthy baby into this world – rather than focusing on “the how.”
Remember, there is no trophy awarded for the greatest delivery story, but you do get to bring home the greatest gift of your life. Honor your delivery, and most importantly, honor yourself.
— Jeri Delgado is one of the moms behind Daytona Beach Mom, a place committed to refreshing stories of motherhood, always with an eye toward beauty, style, and joy.
“Do your homework”
Do your own homework beforehand, mama, above and beyond the information the hospital offers you. While hospitals do know their stuff and I respect their expertise, what spared me an emergency C-section was the information I learned elsewhere: from my prenatal yoga class, from my Bradley method (natural childbirth) class, and from books I’d read about childbirth. That information helped me make smart choices “in the moment”—and took ALL the fear out of them.
Honestly, I’d always been petrified of childbirth, but having “practiced” mentally (and to the extent that I could, physically), I felt completely empowered to have the natural birth I wanted. My doctor worked with my knowledge and we avoided what he said would’ve otherwise been an emergency.
— Sarah R. Moore of Dandelion Seeds Positive Parenting is a positive parenting writer and recovering perfectionist, currently world-schooling her child in Europe.
“Support partners that you trust”
I gave birth naturally in a hospital with the help of 3 support partners. Nurses are busy and can’t help every patient so I recommend having at least two support partners that you trust by your side during labor. One for physical support and the other to remind you to breathe and motivate you to keep going.
If one has to leave or use the restroom you will have the other one there so you’re not alone. I had my husband putting relieving pressure on my lower back, my mom holding my hand, and my cousin reminding me to breathe and keep going.
— Thrifty Brittany, mom blogger
“Weekly chiropractor appointments”
I feel like there are so many great natural options to have an easy and safe labor and delivery. Weekly chiropractor appointments are definitely at the top of my list. When I think back to when I was pregnant I didn’t really see the results until the very end of my pregnancy.
When you go to the chiropractor on a weekly basis or every other week it help keeps your body in line and your pelvis in the right spot. If your pelvis is off or twisted the baby cannot drop down into position for a smooth delivery. It can also help throughout your pregnancy along with good posture and exercises as well as for labor and delivery.
When I was in my last week of my pregnancy I went to the chiropractor 3 times and each time that I went it progressed my pregnancy to the next level. In fact, I was at the chiropractor when my water broke and went right from there to the hospital. I hope this helps in your labor and delivery process and that you will have a smooth pregnancy and delivery!
— Sarah Walton, new mom and blogger at The Balanced Motherhood
“Be your own personal advocate”
Expect the unexpected! Think of your birth plan as a guideline but just know, it isn’t going to go exactly as planned. Also, patience AND personal advocacy. Your baby could literally be right there ready to enter the world, but he/she isn’t coming until the doctor is in that room.
I’ve been ready to push and my doctor was driving to get there and the whole room (full of nurses that could realistically deliver your baby) has to wait for the doctor to catch your baby. It can be SUPER frustrating so just be patient.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to speak up and be your own personal advocate if you feel like something isn’t working. Especially, if this isn’t your first rodeo. I was induced at 39 weeks with both my children using Pitocin and the foley bulb.
With my second, they just kept giving me Pitocin and I was not progressing. I explained to the nurses after being like this for 12 hours that the balloon was going to be the trick to getting me dilated and requested to see the doctor. I kid you not, the balloon was put in…my doctor walked out of the room and no more than 3-5 minutes later, I had dilated by several centimeters. Do not be afraid to speak up, this is your labor/your body and you deserve a right to have a voice!
— Kristen Weber, mommy to 2 adorable redheads, Motherhood and Lifestyle blogger at The Lulu Lady in Spring, Texas
“It’s all about your mindset”
It’s all about your mindset and how you view birth. Dissect what you feel and believe about labor and birth during your pregnancy, and deal with any fears or negative thoughts before you’re in labor. Are you afraid of the pain? Read as many birth stories as you can (you will find that there are many moms who didn’t think the pain was that bad) and practice coping techniques.
Do you believe labor is a miserable experience for every woman? Read more birth stories and talk to other moms and you will soon see the beauty in laboring to bring a new life into the world. Turn your dread into expectation.
— Marissa, mama to a sweet toddler and mom blogger passionate about sharing her experiences and research on all things motherhood at Mama Rissa.
“Eat and drink”
Make sure you are eating and drinking! It might seem like a simple thing but it will make the biggest difference. Giving birth is physically and emotionally similar to running a marathon. Your body will need energy to burn.
I recommend eating a large meal as soon as your contractions begin. As your contractions get closer together it will become more difficult to eat. I drank coconut water which is packed of electrolytes and kefir in my later stages of labor.
— Tricia Jones, work-from-home-mom with a beautiful two year old little girl; she loves nutrition, but also understands the need for balance–find her at the Healthy(ish) Home!
“Try a bath or shower”
Try a bath or a hot shower, whether you’re at home or at the hospital. Heat makes a huge difference and was a life-saver in the births of both my children!
— Cindy Hemming, parenting blogger at Living For The Sunshine, mom or two, and teacher, whose goal is to make pregnancy and babyhood easier for new moms!
Now it’s your turn to share! If you’ve already had a child, what’s your best labor advice? What labor advice would you give to a new mom?
Expecting your first? What’s your biggest fear or insecurity when it comes to childbirth? What labor advice from these experienced mamas did you find most helpful?
Share with us in the comments below!