While many women know exactly how they want their birth experience to be, many go into the day scared and wondering what they will be able to handle. It may be your first baby or your fifth but either way, pregnancy and delivery can be very unpredictable. Here are some different things to think about when planning your birth and making delivery decisions.
First and foremost, expect nothing. Each woman's pregnancy is different. While a woman may hear from her friend how she hated giving birth in a bed, it may be the best and easiest thing for her. Each persons body is different and each person handles pain differently, so going in having no expectations will ultimately give a woman the best experience for her.
Secondly, know what your options are. When informed of your options prior to delivery, you will have the knowledge you need so that when things come up (and they will come up) you are able to decide what to do. Some hospitals may offer water births while others prefer to have moms lie in bed and be continually monitored. If your insurance or budget allows, tour different hospitals and meet with different doctors early on to find one that offers what you're looking for. A hospital or doctor that is open to trying new and different things may be the best choice for many moms that want to have more than one option.
Thirdly, do your research. The internet is a great resource for finding information that you may consider beneficial in your birthing experience. Meet up online with other moms or moms-to-be and find out their experiences. Look online for childbirth videos to give you an example of what is to come. You can also visit your local library and hospital to borrow books on child birth. Your hospital may also offer different classes that you may find beneficial. One important thing to remember when doing your research is to research both natural and cesarean deliveries. It is common for moms to go to childbirth classes and learn about natural deliveries but for some reason or another end up having a cesarean section and lack the knowledge to know what choices they have for a cesarean.
Lastly, put together a plan. Whether you prefer to have a written birth plan covering every possible event or just discuss your choices with your partner, planning things out will help you to feel somewhat in control of a situation that is ultimately out of your control. When making a plan, don't forget to think about things like who will be watching your older children or taking care of your pets when you are in the hospital. Also, planning some meals for when you get home can be a huge help. Enlist a few friends or family members to be on stand by if you run across something you are in need of.
Whether you are a first time mom or just adding another baby to the family mix, it can be a very stressful time. By taking some of the steps mentioned above, you may be able to ease some of the stress and have a worry free delivery. One last thing to remember is that regardless of how your baby arrives in your arms, in the end that is where your baby will be. Once you hold your child for the first time, none of the details will matter. Good luck on your journey into motherhood.