I show concerned parents who want to give their children the best start to life how to better understand their children.

6 May 2013

How to thwart those Debbie Downer Delivery Dilemmas

Other than health concerns for your unborn child, the next big item on your pregnancy worry list will probably be the actual delivery. We’ve all seen the Hollywood versions; either horrifying bloodcurdling screams and fainting husbands or just a little grimace and out pops the little darling already cooing and beaming up at their overly proud parents.

Yes, the truth is that the realities of delivery are sort a brutal wakeup call that concludes all those months of daydreaming and fantasizing. Chances are as your belly expands, you will run into that one person out there who has either experienced or knows someone who went through a terrifying birth gone wrong, but before you start dooming your birth experience to a harrowing episode from the pages of ER, take a deep breath.
Fortunately, statistics prove that childbirth has never been safer, for both mother and child. And with knowledge in your corner you can combat even those who can recall (in graphic detail) their very personal worst-case scenario.
  • Birth Plan: Having this in place will help keep your delivery running smoother, especially when you are in the throes of labor. Well before your due date, you should consider many different aspects of the labor and delivery process and a birth plan is a great way to do this. This will let the medical staff know if you would like visitors or if you would like to be offered pain medication, if you are planning on nursing or if your child is a boy, whether you would like to have him circumcised. Often times during labor, these ideas will be lost due to excruciating pain or skyrocketing anxiety levels, that is why it is so important to have this on hand before your water breaks. Who will take pictures? Cut the cord? Sometimes, immediately after the birth, these little ‘firsts’ for your baby will be lost in the ensuing activity. Make a plan and have it in writing.
  • Plan B: Being the ever-efficient planner, you signed up for every Lamaze class, read countless books of self-hypnosis relaxation techniques and practiced deep cleansing breaths so that when childbirth approached you would not only embrace this life-transforming experience but would be able to transcend the need of pain and medical intervention. And now, with lights dimmed and Andean pan pipes softly playing on your MP3 player, you are ready! Nine months awaiting this most spectacular moment; you’ve envisioned a scene of miraculous proportion; a reenactment of Duccio di Buoninsegna’s “Madonna and Child”, however your bucolic reverie was shattered when your daughter’s heartbeat suddenly plummeted and the need for a C-section was not only imminent but critical. Remember, you must be willing to put your (and your unborn child’s) care into professional hands. After all, the medical staff is there to make sure all parties involved receive the best care possible. Be flexible, not difficult, especially when it comes to health of you and your child. This will be the first of many parenthood lessons; expect the unexpected.
  • Think Positive: It’s true, if you are looking to your labor as that critical but necessary step to finally meeting this newest little member, your labor may be profoundly different than someone who is filled with doubts and worries. Yes, there will be times that it may fill you with worry and concern especially if the pain becomes too great to bear, one thing to keep in mind though is to think of all those women you know who have not only gone through their own birth experiences, but most importantly, went back and had more children. If women went on to have more than one child you know it can’t be that awful.
  • Tour the Facility: Before your due date take a supervised tour of the birthing center, chances are when you see the rooms with their comfortable d├ęcor, (even a bed for dad) the nursery and meet some of the staff, you will already be familiar with the setting when it is your turn. Gone are the days of sterile and clinical environments, today’s birthing centers are warm and family friendly. If you have other children, often times they are encouraged to meet their newest sibling and even have such important duties as cutting the cord.
At the end of the day, your birth experience will always be your (and your child’s) personal story, nothing will ever change that between the two of you. Whether you want to share more personal details will be at your discretion. If things didn’t go the way you planned, you might think twice about relaying the information to an already nervous expectant mother. On the other hand, sometimes speaking with other mothers who have gone through similar experiences can help you if your birth plan didn’t go as expected.
The most important part though is to keep yourself healthy, to have a plan in place and delivering your child in the safest and healthiest way possible.

Article written by Kristen Hurst
Kristen Hurst is a stay at home mother of three who enjoys blogging. She received her bachelor's degree in fashion marketing, and writes often about nursing clothes. When she's not trying to juggle the lives of Casey, Austin and Ben, she enjoys painting and catching up with a great Jane Austen novel.

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