One of the most common pieces of advice new mothers are given is, "Don't compare your journey to anyone else's journey." And while that is true -- that no pregnancy and birth experience are the same -- there are things that women commonly experience that you were never told. Put your mind at ease and know that yes, others have experienced this and no, no one warned you.
What you need to know
Here are some things about birth that you should know, that no one told you.
Labor and delivery might not be as painful as you were told. No, it's not pain-free, but you might not experience that bed-clenching, crying-out pain that is so often portrayed in movies. According to Yoga Journal, strengthening your pelvic floor with stretching and yoga-like activities can minimize the discomforts of labor and make delivery easier. Additional therapies to ease labor pain include breathing exercises, massages, and changing positions.
Even if you labor for hours, you will still have time to rest. While every mom wishes for a speedy labor and quick deliver, chances are you will be waiting for "the moment" for a while. But don't worry, you will be able to rest during that time. Be prepared for nurses and your provider to check in on you, especially as you get closer and closer to delivery, but they won't be in the room with you the entire time. They will frequently check in on you, giving you the times in between to rest and share some moments alone together with your support person.
Enjoy all of the moments. Of course the most memorable moment will be when you hold your baby for the first time, and every little moment of life after birth. But be sure to enjoy the moments before delivery. Labor is not a walk in the park, but there will be special memories made:
- Sharing the moment with your partner
- The many attempts at distracting you from labor pains
- All the little things that make the moment yours
It can be easy to get lost in the labor process, with your focus being on the delivery. But take time, and enjoy what will become sweet memories.
If you're feeling like you have to go, then you will probably go. Surely a mom-friend or two has told you when you know it's time to start the delivery process: the feeling of having to go to the bathroom. What they might not share with you is that you might actually just have to go, and will probably go right then and there. It's nothing to be ashamed of, and it happens more often than you might think. Don't feel embarrassed, and don't think that this is the first time it has happened to the doctor or nurses. As for your partner witnessing it all -- it will become one of the moments that you will look back and laugh.
Recovery is not one pace fits all. If there is anything you should not compare, this is one of them. Women recover differently. Some women can give birth and be on the road to recovery with very few pains, discomforts, or issues. Other women will heal a little slower, maybe experience some pain, but that does not mean something is wrong**. If you had a C-section, your recovery will not be the same as a vaginal birth. It's important to remember that you have to take the time YOU need to recover.
**If you do experience sharp pains, or that something might not be right, call your doctor immediately for guidance.
No matter what, your experience will be yours
While it can be easy to start to compare, continue to remember that your experience will be unique to you. You should continue to read baby books and all the "what to expect when you're expecting" articles and blogs, as there will be things that every woman experiences that are one in the same. Research and prepare, but make your experience just that -- yours.
Logansport Memorial's Family Birth Center
At Logansport Memorial Hospital, our Family Birth Center was designed with your comfort in mind. Our LDRP rooms are spacious to see you through your entire stay with us -- labor, delivery, recovery, and postpartum.
When you’re having a baby, Logansport Memorial offers convenient maternity care and a nurturing childbirth experience in a comfortable, home-like environment. Schedule an appointment with one of our OB/GYNs to get started on your pregnancy journey.