Giving birth to a baby is one of the most exciting experiences a woman can ever have in her life. Though you may be thrilled with the idea of bringing your bundle of joy into the world, it’s also natural to feel a bit apprehensive. If you want to face the birth of your child with confidence, these five steps can help you to feel mentally prepared.
Enroll in a Birthing Class
One of the best ways to know what to expect when you’re getting ready to have a baby is to take a birthing class. These helpful courses are available at numerous hospitals and also at some local community centers. These classes can teach you about breathing and relaxation techniques, pain relief options, laboring positions, the importance of having a birthing partner, and much more. There are a variety of different types of classes you can choose from, so if you’re not sure which one is right for you, ask your obstetrician or midwife to recommend a reputable birthing class in your area.
Take a Hospital Maternity Ward Tour
Knowing exactly where you’re going to go for your birth experience, what the facility looks like, and how to find your way around are essential steps in preparing for your child’s birth. Many birthing classes that are held at hospitals actually include tours of the maternity ward. If your class doesn’t include a tour or it’s not being held at your hospital, call and request a tour well in advance of your due date.
Talk to Friends and Family about Childbirth Experiences
Sometimes you can feel better about your upcoming childbirth experience by listening to the experiences of others you know who have gone through childbirth. Their testimonies of making it safely through the process in spite of challenges they may have faced can give you much-needed reassurance. You can ask them questions, such as how contractions feel, how to recognize symptoms of labor, or what it feels like when your water breaks. Their real life answers will help you to be ready when the time comes for you to give birth.
Write Down a Detailed Birth Plan
This critical step can give you an organized list to remind your obstetrician or midwife of your preferences on a whole host of issues related to your child’s birth. You may not be mentally or emotionally equipped to think through these important decisions if you wait until you’re already in labor. For example, you can figure out answers to questions like where you’ll be having your baby, what type of pain control you’re willing to receive, who you want to have with you in the delivery room. You can find comprehensive birth plan ideas online if you’re not sure where to start.
Discuss Your Birth Plan with Your Obstetrician or Midwife as well as an Attorney
It’s important to thoroughly discuss your completed birth plan with the health care professional who will be overseeing your childbirth experience. Make sure they understand and agree to your plan in advance to minimize any surprises or disagreements. If you find that you and your health care provider are not on the same page on significant issues, you’ll want to find out soon enough to make other arrangements.
No matter how carefully you plan, things don’t always go exactly as you may expect. This is why some moms consider having legal plans in place as part of their birthing plans. You can search for a reputable birth injury attorney and include their contact information in your birth plan just to be safe.
If you’re expecting, it makes sense to do all that you can to feel ready for your baby’s arrival. By following these common sense steps, you can prepare both your mind and body for this monumental milestone in your life. Once you’re prepared, you can look forward with eager anticipation to the day you can finally hold your little one in your arms.