Roll call! Who’s putting the labor in Labor Day? Check out these tips for your labor!
September 4, 2017
Who’s spending this Labor Day anxiously awaiting their own labor? I myself was in labor on Labor Day weekend 2 years ago in 2015. Oh, the irony. So in honor of Labor Day, here are some super useful and practical tips for anyone else who may find themselves laboring this Labor Day!
Deep-breathing exercises WORK – medicated or not
Even if you plan all along to get that epidural ASAP, the early stages of labor before you go to the hospital will likely still be painful. Personally, I had been experiencing a lot of Braxton Hicks and contractions from uterine irritability during my third trimester, so when I started having painful contractions in the middle of the night on the day my son was born, I stayed home for a few hours waiting to make sure they were real. In that time the contractions got more intense and super painful, and even though I was planning on an epidural at the hospital I needed to find a way to relieve the pain from those contractions in the meantime. In my mind I tried to think of tips I’d heard before, and of course “breathe” is the first one to come to mind, but it worked! In the midst of the tightest, most painful contractions, forcing out a big exhale helped ease the pain!
So don’t discount the value of learning these pain-management techniques if you’re planning on pain medication. The meds don’t always come the second the pain starts, and you never know if your baby will decide to come before you get the chance at medication.
Befriend the nurses
Get to know the nurses personally. Ask about their kids, hobbies, and their experience as a nurse. It will make your time in the hospital more personal and enjoyable for you and them. Consider bringing a stash of candy bars to give to each nurse who cares for you. It’s a nice gesture for someone who’s working long shifts caring for other people, and it never hurts to be on the good side of the person responsible for your comfort and pain management.
Don’t fear the chance of poop
This shouldn’t be a thing anymore, but it is. If there is something in the pipes ahead of your baby, it will come out first. This is just logic. And in the history of mankind, your poop is nothing special or unique from all of the other probably-billions of other women who have pooped during labor. Everybody poops. You probably won’t even notice if it happens and those nurses are so fast at cleaning up all the goodies that come out with birth that you won’t even think about it.
Voice your opinions, but let them be educated ones
Birth classes and birth plans are fantastic. Knowledge is power. I believe that the more birth stories a woman reads or hears, the more she’ll realize how unique every labor is and the less unknown there will be to fear. However, no amount of online research can replace the years of studying, practice, and wisdom of a seasoned doctor. If you take anything away from doing your own research, it should be that hardly any births go according to the mother’s plan. So while you should voice your opinions and you are entitled to a birth you want, keep in mind that the doctor knows what is best for you and the baby and you must go in with an open mind and flexible attitude to ensure the best interests of you and the baby are the priority.
Ask for extra recovery items
When it’s time for you to leave the hospital, you will be given a “goodie bag,” if you will, of items to help with your recovery. These could include giant pads, tucks pads, a squirt bottle, and a numbing spray to help with the discomfort. Ask for more of these. In fact, (warning, TMI coming), I had a few stitches and was concerned about those, so the nurse left and brought me a sitz bath to add to my collection. I asked for extras of a lot of the items because this wasn’t my first rodeo and I knew I’d probably run out of these things, and wouldn’t feel up to going to the store for a while. My nurse didn’t hesitate to load me up with extras, and I was SO GLAD a few weeks later.
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