Having a baby is a beautiful thing, but as much as it’s beautiful and exciting, it’s also extremely terrifying and confusing – especially the first time because we all think we know what to expect thanks to how society, parenting magazines and even movies have made the journey look over the years, but the reality is different for everyone, so in order to help you navigate this new chapter of your life, then in this post we’re going to share with you how to prepare for the birth of your first child by looking at some of the things you may not have considered already, and by focusing less on things like what stroller you need to buy and whether you’ll co-sleep with your baby for the first few weeks or not.
Decide where you want to give birth:
In the past, home births were the norm because people didn’t have access to things like cars to get them to a hospital on time, and then gradually over the years, hospital births became the norm because they were viewed as safer for mother and baby. Nowadays, however, we have options – not just between hospital and home births, but also things like dedictaed birthing centers.
Giving birth is a situation where you really need as much help and support as you can possibly find, and it’s something that only you know your comfort levels around, so you should start thinking about where you’d like to give birth. It’s also important to remember that if you have a high-risk pregnancy, then a home birth may not be an option available since you and your baby may need extra monitoring, and even if you decide to go with a home birth if you’re not at risk, then it’s important to be close to a hospital just in case because child birth is very unpredictable – even for the healthiest of pregnanices.
Communicate with your doctor or midwife:
Whether you’re going to be assisted in giving birth by a doctor or a midwife will depend on various things, but these are people who are going to require your full trust during one of the most important moments of your life, so it’s essential that you have a good relationship with them and are able to communicate with them. Whether it’s through asking about things like what to expect during labor, or understanding the difference between real contractions and braxton hicks, they’re there to help you navigate your way through this new process. If you are struggling to understand when contractions are the real thing, then apps like Bloomlife teaches you how to time contractions and can be a good source of comfort when you’re not sure.
Be flexible with your birth plan:
Having a birth plan is a great idea, but it’s important to remember that giving birth is not something you can be totally rigid with, and you’ll sometimes have to forego the things listed on your birth plan if they’re not in the best interests of yourself and your baby. This means, for example, if you had your heart set on a natural birth and have this in your birth plan, then you can only expect your doctor to allow this for as long as the baby and yourself are not in danger. If they later decide you need to have a C-Section, then you need to accept this and not make things difficult.
Be kind to yourself:
This is probably one of the most important things for you to remember throughout this process because giving birth is not only a huge physical challenge, but emotionally it’s lifechanging and so many women are not prepared for this due to either a lack of support or just not enough understanding from medical professionals in how this still affects women today.
Being kind to yourself and understanding that you’re human is so crucial in a world where we’re made to feel that baby weight has to be lost in 6 weeks and that if we’re not able to breastfeed then something must be wrong because the truth is, pregnancy and birth is not a cookie-cutter situation, and everyone is different and will experience it differently.
If we relied on things like celebrities and movies to dictate how birth should look, then we’d all give birth quite easily with a few pushes, have a glowing complexion 30 minutes later, bond with our babies immediately and all be breastfeedind champions, but the reality is far less glamorous. More women than ever are dealing with difficulty breastfeeding, post-partum depression, and let’s be honest, after giving birth is hardly the time when we want to be posing for pictures, so it’s important to remember that there’s no normal in this area, and no matter what you’re dealing with is okay, so be kind to yourself because now more than ever is really when you deserve it for what you’re just about to go through.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.