One of the things we can’t help but think about during pregnancy is going into labor. If you’re a first-time mom, it can be daunting to let your mind go down that path. You can’t help but wonder: How will I know when it’s the real thing? How much is it going to hurt? What will it feel like? Tips for a fear-free labor would certainly be helpful!
I learned some very valuable things during my pregnancy journey, things other women taught me who have labored and delivered their babies, and women who have helped other women give birth.
While I took their advice to heart, I also developed my own path. I will share some of these tips for a fear-free labor that I learned and that helped me immensely.
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1: REASONABLE Research
First, I researched very carefully. I didn’t want to freak myself out by reading too much or allowing myself to learn about all the “what-if’s”.
I made sure my research was positive, strengthening, and matter-of-fact.
Read my experiences as a first-time expectant mama and gain support and encouragement from my Mama Fearless Book. (It’s a super quick read)
2: POSITIVE Advice
Next, I spoke with strong, positive women who fearlessly gave birth to their babies. I allowed their confidence to influence and strengthen me.
These women told their stories with laughs and smiles, with ease. They didn’t focus on all the negatives, and accepted the facts of labor and delivery like good sports.
They kept their focus on the prize: their precious baby.
Stay positive with this book of Biblical Affirmations and birth your baby like a BOSS!
3: Hospital Tour
I toured the hospital in which I would be giving birth. It was one of the best things Adam and I could have done.
No, it wasn’t just about the info. It put images to the words: “hospital room”, “parking lot”, “elevator”, “postpartum room”.
Because we knew exactly where we were going and what to expect, it added ease in a big way. This was the best thing Adam could have done to prepare himself (note to the fellas).
4: Labor Plan
I also developed a labor plan–not a birth plan (I had one of each). I mapped out what I needed and how I wanted to handle my labor at home.
Adam downloaded soft, beautiful music that he played on his phone when the time came.
I listed the types of essential oils I wanted to use while laboring (some made me nauseated while I craved other scents), that I wanted candles lighted and my birthing ball handy.
The lights were dim, adding to the relaxed atmosphere.
5: Birth Team
I specified who would be near me as I labored (that’s a biggie for those with large families), and handed out my labor plan before my due date.
It yielded amazing results, because when the time came, those with me were prepared and ready to be apart of the team. My plan wasn’t mean or bossy.
It simply listed the things I felt I would need, and my family was totally ready. This contributed to calm, relaxed organization during my labor, and it was a good thing since we had to rush to the hospital (read more about it in my birth story).
6: Helpful Tools
Let’s not forget the precious birthing ball. That thing was amazing. I didn’t spend too much time reading about how I supposed to labor with it. I simply followed my instinctive desire and leaned over it, resting my forearms on the ball and slowly rocked back and forth.
That took some of the pressure off my belly and the rhythmic motion was soothing. I didn’t use it through my entire labor but I very much appreciated the birthing ball.
There were other things that helped as well. I showered and freshened up. I had a list of items to take take with us to the hospital near the door. Our hospital bag and small suitcase were already packed.
Feeling fresh, prepared and confident made all the difference in the world.
7: Inner Calm
Next, I just became still on the inside. This was done through a lot of prayer. I had spent a lot of private time in prayer, especially at the end of my pregnancy.
I wanted to be at a place of peace. When the time came, I had practiced at “being still”.
The inner solitude provided a quiet calm that was an incredible boost during labor. It left room for concentration and even excitement.
It allowed me to be completely tuned in to myself. My instincts were much easier to follow.
Breathing. That one is huge.
Not only for obvious reasons (like air) but because it’s so easy to hold your breath and tense up during labor–which makes things harder.
My mom stood near me as the contractions came, quietly reminding me to breathe. I thought of each contraction as a mountain, imagined breathing myself to the top.
Once I was over the top of the mountain, I got a break until it was time to breathe over or climb the next one.
Breathing kept me physically in control.
9: Take Time to Learn Your Needs
Every mama is different. You may gain absolutely nothing from a labor plan, but taking a walk may add the kind of calm you need.
The goal is to do your best to be prepared in the ways that matter to you. Take time to learn what helps you feel soothed and comfortable, what helps you relax.
Learn the things that matter to you and what will help you feel more confident. It may be tools and resources to help you labor, a particular drink, or a certain person. Maybe a massage or a birth coach to guide you.
Feeling prepared will combat the fear and anxiety.
10: YOU Are the Most Important Part!
And remember, when it comes down to the bare necessities, you’ve already got them. They come standard in the “mama” package.
You’re already fully equipped to birth that baby.
You’re made out of pretty amazing stuff. Don’t forget that–it’s the most important.
Stay confident, Mama! You’ve got this!