During active labor, you move from one chapter of your life to the next – from carrying your baby inside you to bringing him into the world. It is both an exciting and overwhelming experience for parents. Hence, it’s only natural for them to eagerly await delivery, but concerns about labor also abound.
While every parent wants a smooth delivery, it isn’t always possible. Birth fears are not irrational or unfounded. However, preparing for labor can subdue much of that fear. It is also an effective way to decrease the risks associated with a difficult delivery.
The first step is to increase your knowledge and learn about each and every phase of the delivery process. Once you know what’s to come, the chances for a smoother delivery increase tenfold.
Below, we have listed five things every parent should know before going into labor.
1. Learn About Medical Negligence
The thought of your child getting harmed at birth is highly unsettling. Unfortunately, medical negligence happens far more commonly than you think. According to the CDC, every seven babies per thousand live birth experience some form of injury.
Despite being a small percentage, there is still a chance for something to go wrong, which is why you must prepare yourself. One of the ways you can do this is by looking into a birth injury lawyer and learning about your legal options in case your child sustains an injury by the careless staff.
You must also know what happens during labor that can lead to these events.
During active labor, your body undergoes sudden changes; this prepares the uterus for pushing the baby out. Throughout this stage, you must monitor your health and pick up on any unusual signs and symptoms.
A medical professional plays a vital role in making your baby’s arrival safe. A negligent medical staff will be evident from the very beginning. They may undermine your pain, fail to respond to your demands, or neglect assistance.
It is distressing for the mother to go through prolonged labor, which increases the likelihood of birth injuries. The lack of oxygen, build-up of pressure in the womb, and weak contractions can harm your baby.
Additionally, exerting heavy force, using a vacuum pump at maximum suction, and recklessly using forceps to guide the baby out can injure them. These instances are prime examples of medical malpractice and give you the right to sue.
2. Know The Symptoms of Labor
You can go into labor anytime as you get closer to your due date. It is an intense sensation that you will feel in your lower back and abdomen as your uterus contracts in a rhythmic manner.
The pressure you feel occurs every thirty to ninety seconds and can be extremely overpowering. After a pattern gets established, your water may break, which means you’re ready to give birth. But not every contraction indicates the start of your labor.
A contraction that is less than thirty seconds and as long as two minutes is a Braxton-Hicks contraction. These unpredictable cramps are not painful to experience but can leave you with a dull ache in your back.
However, if you don’t go into active labor, and neither does your water break, which means you will not be giving birth anytime soon. It also helps to visit the hospital and get a physical evaluation. A doctor may be able to tell you why you’re experiencing a Braxton Hicks contraction and the condition of your uterus.
3. Seek Timely Help
Ideally, when you enter labor, you should experience regular contractions, feel your mucus plug getting expelled, and soon after, feel your water break. But this doesn’t always happen. You may experience unusual symptoms during active labor that warrant immediate emergency care.
As you get closer to your due date but don’t feel your baby moving, have a sudden fever, or suddenly lose your vision, you may be in severe medical distress. Likewise, you must check up if you start bleeding heavily, find yourself incapable of moving, and get dizzying spells.
These red flags are detrimental to you and your baby. You can jeopardize your health if you don’t get medical help immediately. Therefore, if you are feeling sick, experiencing severe nausea, or experiencing unusual pain, see a doctor.
4. Understand The Need For Inducing
Sometimes you may not go into labor despite your water breaking. It is a severe medical crisis because your baby needs to move out of the womb once it’s in the birthing position. If this doesn’t happen on time, your baby can asphyxiate on the amniotic fluid, experience a decrease in oxygen level, or get stuck in the birth canal. In all these cases, it is vital to prompt you into active labor, break your water and encourage you to give birth.
You may also need an induction if you are past your due date but show no signs of labor, if your uterus is infected or if you developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
While getting induced may be slightly more painful than regular labor, you must complete the procedure. Ease your worries by talking to your doctor, learning about the procedure thoroughly, and taking sage painkillers.
5. Have A Birth Plan
A birth plan is a safe way to chart how you prefer to deliver your child. A comprehensive outline helps you decide where you are comfortable giving birth, whether you want a doctor or a midwife to help you, and if you want to take medication to facilitate your journey.
A birth plan gives you a sense of control and comfort, making your delivery easy. Generally, if you’re new to drafting a birth plan, you need to consider details like who will be present at your child’s birth, if your partner will cut the cord, and how long you want to wait before your baby gets cleaned up.
Your outline can also mention if you need special equipment like your exercise ball or a music box that can stimulate your contractions to come in faster and make for a quick birth.
Giving birth is an overwhelming experience, but if you feel ready and have made the necessary preparations, you can subside some significant concerns.
As with most things in life, you should prepare for what lies ahead during the labor process. It can be a scary prospect when you don’t know what to expect when you enter active labor.
Learning about what labor is, what sensations you will feel, and where the medical staff makes mistakes in providing care through this delicate time can subside your anxiety.
You’re also better positioned to look after yourself and seek immediate care when you don’t feel well. As a result of your willingness to learn, you’ll cultivate a comfortable environment for yourself to have your child, prevent significant mishaps, and safely welcome your baby.