1. All bodies are not created equal – Okay so to some of you this is common sense but to some it may not be. Let’s be realistic here, some women get that beautiful glow about them and some women spend their entire pregnancy green and ready to blow at any moment. Some boobs grow to the size of watermelons while some barely grow at all, some women have the cute baby bump and some feel like the bump is all over them, their butt, their thighs, just everywhere and it can be hard for some women, so to all women I say: All bodies are not created equal
2. Your due date is an estimate – Yup it’s called an estimated due date for a reason but so many of us put so much faith into this date and if it comes and goes we can be just crushed by this and may rush to get the baby out. It is so important to know again that all bodies are not created equal; some women ovulate near the beginning of their cycle, some in the middle and some near the end yet the way we estimate a due date is the same for all so it is going to be normal for some of us to delivery early, some deliver on or near our due date and some past our due date and all 3 of these options are very normal. Anywhere from 36-42 weeks can be considered a healthy time to give birth naturally, you will be observed throughout your pregnancy and it is so great if you can trust your body and your baby to be ready when they are good and ready.
3. I Can Do That? – We have this image in our heads sometimes of what we can and cannot do during labor; well it is time to clear that up. First and foremost you can wear your own clothes during labor and birth should you choose, you do not need to sport that hospital gown if you choose not to. You can also eat during labor if you feel like it and you can bring things from home to make the room more comfortable, bring your pillow, your slippers, some flameless candles, some music, anything you think might help relax you (use common sense as if you are in a hospital as you have to be respectful of others around you). And probably most importantly you can get out of that bed; that’s right you do not need to be bed ridden during labor, so get up and walk around, go in the shower if you feel like it, walk through the halls, get on the birth ball or the rocking chair, dance with your partner, movement is amazing during labor as long as you don’t overdo it and exhaust yourself so get up and let gravity do some of the work for you. You can be vocal while moving around too, using your voice can be amazing during labor but try to use low tones that are pushing down toward your pelvic area and not high pitched tones coming up through your mouth as you want the baby to come out the other end J
4. Diaper Please – When you see on some of those lists of what to bring to the hospital and it says oversized pads; believe it! For the first hours and days following labor you will feel like you are wearing a diaper as much as your baby feels they are wearing one. It is normal to bleed the first few days after labor and it can be quite heavy, you should be under observation from your care provider to ensure it is not too much but you will need those big pads that feel like they stretch from your belly button to your lower back for at least a few days, it is also a good idea to bring a towel for the car ride home just in case you leak through your pants on to the seat of your car.
5. More Contractions? – Just when you think you are done with contractions; you have pushed out your baby, you have pushed out your placenta (your what you say? your placenta which yes needs to come out too, it was nourishing baby these 9 months but it gets evicted shortly after baby and requires a little pushing and the help from some contractions) and now you think you are done with contractions. Well maybe you are and maybe you aren’t, many women who breastfeed experience light contractions or heavy cramping during breastfeeding, again this is normal, your body is still producing contractions which help your uterus go back to its original size and location and the oxytocin that releases during breastfeeding stimulates contractions and will generally speed up overall recovery time