This blog will be short and sweet as I share a few pointers:
- Walk around. Before and during labor, it's good to walk around if you can. Practice strengthening your legs by holding a gentle squat as an exercise practice so that you are fit for labor. (Ask your midwife or doctor if this is okay first, as the rules would be different depending on the pregnancy...also ask him/her about what are safe exercises for you to do at this time).
- It's good to sip and have light snacks. When you are in labor, you don't want to be barfing, by eating a ridiculously big meal during labor, but you do want to maintain energy with juice, ice water, peanut butter crackers or peanut butter toast, etc. I speak as one who found that important while having a non-epidural labor. In other words, the rules might be different if you are going to have an epidural, but I found snacking on the correct snacks as needed was important for my very LONG and almost natural labor. I needed the energy and strength. (P.S. You may have to be assertive about this at the hospital, as the nurses have a tendency to say "ice chips only". I do not agree with this, personally. Listen to your body, especially if you are going natural.)
- How can I go ALMOST natural? Do you know that pitocin isn't the only form of inducing, and that epidural isn't the only drug to help with the pain? You can use other drugs that can help you to go as natural as possible and still get some relief. Ask your midwife! :)
- Doctors and midwives on the birthing team, working together, is the best! Some say "doctors"; some say "midwives", but I say "both"! If you found a birthing team that includes both doctors and midwives who purposefully work together on the birthing floor or the birthing center, you really have a beautiful system, as they each apparently are able to appreciate the other person's role and not be in competition or animosity. For example, when I was in labor, there was a point that the midwife decided to ask a doctor on her team to come in and see me. She needed her advice. The doctor told her to give me blood pressure medicine before it was time to push since I apparently had high blood pressure in that moment. Otherwise, they feared that I could have had a stroke. Did I appreciate BOTH midwife and doctor? You bet I did! :)
In conclusion, I must put in the disclaimer that I am NOT a doctor or midwife, but I have had a child and am sharing from my experience. These are only my opinions. You make labor decisions as you deem best. Hope these thoughts shared are helpful to somebody out there!