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making labor and delivery less stressful
June 27, 2007
11:03 am
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risingfromtheashes
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reading the thread for mich made me think.

how can I make my labor and delivery less stressful and more pleasant?

my last delivery was in a county hospital with interns and residents...it was very "clinical".

I want this one to be more relaxing.

I do have a jacuzzi tub in the room...I already bought really soft fuzzy socks to wear.

I was thinking of bringing in one of those candle warming thingies...with my favorite candle scent...or an electric tart warmer....and some music....my favorite blankie, which happens to be 20 or more years old, and has gone many places with me...perhaps a teddy bear...I love the feel of satin...so maybe something soft to feel.

Any other ideas?

I have a great partner, but fear he is going to be nervous as hell given this is his first, and he's young...and VERY excited. he wants to tape the birth...I'm ok with it....just nervous he's gonna get all freaked out...lol.

I wonder what else I could take with me to make the experience more peaceful.

This is my second, so maybe I won't even have time to use any of this...if it goes quickly, like many second children do.

June 27, 2007
11:13 am
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StronginHim77
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It's very important to have a calm, supportive partner. Get him some pre-coaching support, so that he is prepared and ready and CALM.

My first son's birth was a clinical, hospital experience. Interns piled into the delivery room. Sort of a medical Spectator Event. Hated it.

So, I chose to have my second child at home. Yup. Home birth with a midwife. It wasn't cheap, ($4,000 and that was 18 years ago), but it was a GREAT birthing experience. During a home birth, you are allowed to eat real food (which prevents alot of the panic and stress of "transition"), walk around freely, assume whatever position is comfortable for you, etc. I never regretted it.

The only major requirement is that you have no medical complications which would rule out home birth, such as a previous Caesarian birth, high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, etc. And you have to be on standby for immediate transport to the hospital, should any birthing complications develop during labor which might endanger you or the baby.

But most home births are quite successful.

- Ma Strong

June 27, 2007
11:33 am
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risingfromtheashes
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thanks ma....I am working on educating him...I think the newness of it is making him overeager...he's learning tho.

I couldn't do it at home...tho, I had a dream that I went into labor at home, and by time the ambulance got there, baby was crowing, and I made them deliver me on the bed, cuz I refused to deliver in the ambulance.

then they wisked us off to the hospital.

the hospital isn't really close...and we are due in January, which is a BAD month for travel up here in the north country....so I would hesitate to do it at home and cost would be prohibitive.

so, I want to make the ldr room very comfortable.

I also bought a body ball and going to use it to get a little toned, plus, I hear they use them for delivery...so, all is good.

we will be going to lamaze classes...he has his own idea of what they are like...he'll be disappointed...lol...just going to let him learn as he goes...I'm sure he'll adapt/adjust.

I can see him now...getting all excited, then passing out at the least likely moment...lol.

not sure if daughter is going to participate...don't want to gross her out...but think it might be an important life lesson. gonna let her decide and honor her wishes...maybe make her go to hospital...let her wait outside...and if she is curious, she can join us...which is how she usually operates.

June 27, 2007
2:08 pm
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StronginHim77
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How old is your daughter?

June 27, 2007
2:23 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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she will be 14 by then.

figured it would be good birth control!!!! LOL...she sees how painful it is, she may think twice about being risky!

she doesn't want kids as it is, so seeing this may make her that much more careful!

she has no interest in boys at this stage...so it's not a worry right now. but time changes things.

June 27, 2007
3:37 pm
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Randomwomen2
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I had a absolutely wonderful support team with me. I had my husband my sis in law (best friend) my mother and my mother in law. It was fantastic. I knew that I was going to be taken care of. They would rub my feet or rub my head. I remember saying that my feet are cold and having 3 people rush to get me socks.

June 27, 2007
3:52 pm
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Matteo
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risingfromtheashes ~ perhaps I am old fashion, or perhaps it is about boundaries, but I think from family members only those who were present when the baby was conceived should be present when the baby is born.

I don't know your daughter, everyone is different, but I know that witnessing labour live in colour would freak me out till the rest of my life if I saw it as a child (or a teenager) - just like witnessing an intercourse would.

The TV shows when the wholy family gathers for hours and days while a woman is in labour truly amaze me. Or those when a woman for some reason is completely naked while giving birth. They make it like it's something nice easy and pleasant while the mother is in excruciating pain. Give me a break. The best part is that there actually is an audience watching these shows.

Anyhow, I would be interested to hear what will be your decision on this one.

June 27, 2007
3:53 pm
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Matteo
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whole family, not wholy family, lol!

June 27, 2007
4:03 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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matteo - I'm pretty open minded - I walk around my house butt nekid with my daughter and BF in the house (nobody else)...when I lived with my mom, I didn't care if she saw me either (she brought me into this world) and she did the same (I am going to have to wipe her butt someday, so....).....so the idea of being nekid...no big deal.

I had my first child in a teaching community hospital...so MANY people saw my parts....residents, interns, different docs, midwives...you name it. I got to the point where I didn't care who saw me.

It's a human body...everyone has one...no big deal.

I wouldn't be a nudist...but for those around me who I am intimate with, who cares?

Now - as far as birth - my mom was present for my daughter, as the father was NOT present. She cut the cord, held my knees to my ears and yelled for me to push. If I could afford a Doula, I would.

I don't know if I would have my mother in law with me, as I am not close to her...but being that she is in the nursing field, she's seen it all too and cares for handicapped adults, so sees it all too. She is a bit old fashioned, so she may choose NOT to be there. But she is welcome to. I don't know if I would want her in the room the whole time...but we'll cross that bridge.

So yeah, I am pretty open. If my daughter wants to see it, I will let her. I won't PUSH her to. I will let her own curiosity dictate it.

You see, when the time really comes - the doc is down bottom, surrounded by nurses usually - your "parts" are usually covered...short of someone actually positioning themselves at your butt, you really don't see so much. 26 plans on being DOWN THERE....so someone else up front holding my hands and wiping my brow would be nice.

I think the birth of a child is a wonderful experience and don't mind sharing it...and I don't think it takes away from how special it is. It becomes a bigger celebration.

As I said, I did not have father there for first...only my own mother, and a bunch of different staff members...I might think differently if I didn't have that experience. But because I became "numb" to who sees my parts...I don't think it's a big deal.

no, I don't have a sense of modesty.

June 27, 2007
4:05 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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oh, and everyone has different boundaries and that's ok.

June 27, 2007
4:05 pm
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Randomwomen2
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for me any sense of modesty goes out the window when you are giving birth.

June 27, 2007
5:01 pm
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Matteo
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It is not about modesty, but personal comfort. If you think you would like a crowd around you (I am not talking about medical staff) - then why not. I just gave you different perspective, that not everyone is keen to participate and watch such event, and that some might be deeply (and negatively) affected by that, including the husbands, so I think it is good to wait till someone approaches you that they want to be present.

June 27, 2007
5:16 pm
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taj64
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Im a totally private person. I did not even want my mother in the room while giving birth. I did not want anything one in there it is private affair like when you made the baby. If i had it my way the doctors too but you have to have them there. And all the candles, softie things in the world don't do a bit of good when the child come out. It is a very painful experience, nothing pleasant about it. OF course i did it natural for 2 kids with no drugs. I have a 15 year daughter that now thinks it is ok to walk around in her underwear and I say NO. I believe in privacy as we don't live in nomad society. She can wear shortie shorts around the house but nothing naked. I don't think it is right but that is me. I do care and personally I cannot stand it to see others so open about it as if it is one big party in a birthing room, the more the merrier. I don't want to see too much of someone's body. So I have to totally disagree. I do not think children and even teens need to see it. THe baby yes after it is cleaned up and mom can get dressed. Im private, and it is not that I am not proud of my body because I do have a very nice body and I get stares all the time and I dress modestly. I like my body very much but I do not need to have it out there. I like being private and that also include births, sex and lots of things that other people are open about. I cannot stand it at work when people talk about their births or sex life. I don't want to hear it. And I don't want my daughter to be too open either. I have to tell her all the time to not show too much. But this is for me as not too closed off but not being too open either.

But anyway it should be nice if you plan it that way but it could all go haywire if you are in a lot of pain, none of the frilly stuff matter because it is one hard job to have a baby. ANd it is nasty looking down there I could not even look, no way it is not romantic or pretty. and it hurts like the devil. THe best part comes a little later after you get settled in and the baby gets rest. That is when the candles and all the frilly stuff has meaning at least to me. It is cool that you are that open and those around you seem to be that way but not in my house.

June 27, 2007
7:49 pm
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armyleo
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Rising -

Congratulations first of all...

I didn't know you were expecting a baby, that's great news...

I hope your happy, and your pregnancy is going smooth.

I would do whatever, you are comfortable with. I had my H and my mom with me.

I was also able to experience as a support person with my brother twice and my SIL twice. It was an awesome experience, trying to keep mom to be confortable, and then watching the babies be born. Just in awe of those special moments listening to a babies first cry.

Well take care and keep us posted...

June 28, 2007
8:40 am
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risingfromtheashes
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taj,

my BF is a very modest person - yet he is being very UNmodest about all this...wanting to videotape it and everything. I am ok with it. I will be so focused on birthing the baby to not be aware of what's going on - would love to see it from another angle.

I dress modestly, and I make my daughter dress modestly. but what I call "modest" may not be your definition of modesty. And again, because both have seen me nude, I feel free to walk down my own halls in the nude.

I know that delivery is painful, I did it one other time.

But when I did it, it was all so "clinical"...so sterile. I don't believe that all the frilly things won't help - I believe that certain smells relax me. I know that certain fabrics make me more relaxed than scratchy hospital linens. I know that keeping my feet warm is important. Who cares if they get all ucky?

During hard labor, yeah, maybe none of this will make a difference. BUT, my first labor was 14 hours...and I would have been more relaxed, less anxious if I wasn't smelling hospital smells and wearing hospital scratchy issue slipper socks and listening to all the hustle and bustle of hospital noise. I don't like tv, so that didn't help. Once you start to push, all that frilly stuff DOES go out the window...yes, but it's the hours before that I want to be comfortable. That's why they made the labor rooms more "inviting" these days and that's why they put jacuzzi tubs in there...it helps pain management if mom is more comfortable. And if certain candle scents and music helps - they why not?

When my daughter was born, I was having trouble pushing...as an incentive, they told me to touch the top of her head...yes, it was GROSS, all that blood. If I could have seen it, I think it would have been better...but just touching something like that and getting blood on my hand was NOT an incentive. Showing me the forceps WAS the incentive I needed to get her out...I didn't want them.

Taj, you almost make labor and delivery sound like a chore - suck it up, get it out, THEN celebrate...and for me, I think the whole process IS a celebration. Why go thru the pain and agony alone?

I also said that I will not force my daughter to be there. No-one HAS to be there. My mother WANTED to be there, 26 WANTS to be there. My daughter will have the option. This is such a natural thing, I can't see how it will harm her. She has watched the medical delivery shows and seen it all already, so knows what the basics are all about. She doesn't have to be down below seeing all the icky stuff. Most of the people in the room do NOT see it - as they are usually up by your head.

anyway, difference of opinions, it's all fine. You do what works for you, I'll do what works for me.

One more thing - I have had surgeries - and have taken my favorite blankie...and fuzzy socks and soft gown...and it DOES make a difference, even if you are in pain...you DO notice.

June 28, 2007
10:26 am
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Rising,

I think it's great that you can relax yourself with familiar smells, textures and sounds. I can't do that. I have to say, I'm with Taj on this one...

I didn't find much to celebrate about during my son's 72 hours of labor... and even though my daughter's was considerably shorter, I STILL didn't really enjoy the process. Sure it's a miracle and all, but I definitely didn't want anyone looking at my swollen, torn, bloody private parts (sorry to be so graphic)... even my husband. He stayed up by my head but there was a big mirror at the foot of the bed, so he could still see everything. I chose to remove my contact lenses so that I couldn't see. The whole thing freaked me out!

After it was over both times, I sat back and said "WOW! I just pushed a baby out of myself!" I KNEW it. I appreciated the miracle. I just didn't want to see it!!

Different strokes for different folks!

I hope you have a wonderful, stress free labor and delivery, Rising... and a perfect, beautiful healthy baby!

TC

June 28, 2007
10:38 am
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Matteo
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Geez - a mandatory mirror at the foot of the bed?? I guess that's for those who call it "a celebration", lol!

All the best to you, rising!

June 28, 2007
10:52 am
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risingfromtheashes
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I'm not really looking to ENJOY the process...there is nothing FUN about it.

But to make it more bearable/tolerable...that's the goal.

Make it less stressful, as the title of my post said.

I am NOT looking forward to the painful experience, BUT, it's necessary...all part of the process.

I am also not the type that enjoys being pregnant...sure it's a miracle in the making...but I am not making a fuss out of it...just trying to stay comfortable thru the process.

As far as my swollen, bloody, torn parts...I don't find it gross, that kind of stuff never did gross me out, so if it doesn't gross anyone else out and they want to see it (family/friends), have at it. It's just a body...we all have them.

Like you said, different strokes...we all have our own ideas of what works for us.

I couldn't have the mirror at the end of my bed...too many people helping with delivery cuz I had problems. I don't think they are "mandatory".

June 28, 2007
11:02 am
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The mirror was not mandatory. It was just "there". It was a huge mirror that covered one entire wall of the delivery room. I guess I'm in the minority... most people WANT to see...

June 28, 2007
11:15 am
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risingfromtheashes
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I wouldn't be able to see without my glasses!

June 28, 2007
7:21 pm
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taj64
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Gosh rising you took everything I said wrong. But that is not surprsing. What I meant was that labor was painful that all the frilly stuff won't matter when the pain is ther. If I made it sound like a chore that was not waht I meant. Anyway you get defensive whenever i write to you so I won't do anymore.

June 29, 2007
9:12 am
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risingfromtheashes
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taj, wasn't defensive, just disagreeing, just as you did. we both have rights to our opinions.

if you don't want to post anymore to me, that's fine...I understand.

June 29, 2007
12:07 pm
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Hi Rising,

I didn't take time to read through all the posts, but what I do know about making L and D less stressful is think about who you want to be with and what you want to do this special time in your life. I think having your 14 year-old daughter is a wonderful way to welcome her sibling into the world, IF she has the maturity to handle it, knows fully what to expect, and has place to go, should she change her mind. Younger children may make the situation more stressful for mom because they can take the focus off off of the task at hand if she is too concerned with their needs, or they become too emotional over seeing her in pain.

It's a good idea to tour your facility, which it sounds like you have already done. Get to know the nurses. THEY are the ones who will be with you throughout the majority of your labor, NOT your doctor. Dont EVER let a nurse initimdate you or feel the you are doing something 'wrong'. If you feel stressed over a particular nurse's care, by all means, SPEAK UP and demand to have another nurse take over your care. This is important, the nurse's primary job is comfort and support, because stress from any source can delay or even stop contractions (this is true!).

Ask your facility about having a birthing plan. This is simply a list of what you would or would not prefer. For instance, if you do not want a routine episiotomy, then you need to speak up. If you want to breastfeed immediately after birth, for instance, let them know this. If you want an epidural, or no meds at all you can put this in the plan also. But also know that you have the right to change your mind. In general, you have the right to make your birthing expierience as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

One book that may help you is "Ina Mae's Guide to Childbirth." Ina Mae is the founder of a birthing center that promotes natural childbirth. Natural (meaning home setting and NO drugs, and using only midwifes) may not be your preference, but the book is chock-full of information and statistics about clinical births vs natural birth, the history of birthing methods, and many many stories of women's unique birthing experiences.

Hope this helps

DM

June 29, 2007
12:19 pm
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Desert Moon
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Oh, you also said this is your partner's first child and that he may be expecially nervous. You also may consider hiring a doula, who is a professional support person who will stay with you throughout your labor.

June 29, 2007
2:19 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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thank you Desert moon for the info.

I was NOT informed with my daughter...so I plan to be this time.

This is MY experience, as you said.

As for my daughter...she knows the birthing, has seen it in health, but also watches the discovery, and TLC shows on labor and delivery. I think she will be ok if she chooses to do it and she can always wait in the waiting room if it gets overwhelming...she's a good kid and we will just make sure she's prepared...I'll also have a backup in case she wants to go home and wait.

I would love a doula, but it's too costly...so we'll make due...once our move is complete (this week), I am going to venture to the bookstore and get some reading material for daddy...so he knows what to expect, maybe watch some of those shows with him..I think he'll be fine...tho may be anxious going into it...in the last few days going into it.

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