Pregnancy Month By Month (Labor, Delivery and First Days of Life)

Welcome to the final article in the series : Pregnancy Month By Month. I hope you have gained some useful insights during this series and will use what has been written to make your pregnancy run as smoothly as possible.

For this final article, I want to provide some tips on what happens during labor, during the delivery of your baby, and what to do and look out for during those first crucial days of your new-born’s life.

Labor

Hopefully, things would have gone to schedule and you will be fully prepared to know within a day or two when your contractions will start. Preparation is everything as this will be a stressful time and you would have, therefore, wanted to have all of the necessary prep work done (see month 9 of Pregnancy Month By Month – Months 8 and 9).

Of course how you have approached the whole of your pregnancy will be reflected on how easy the next 24 hours are going to be. If you have built up your strength with the correct exercises and food, then that will pay dividends during labor and delivery.

Have you previously decided where the birth will take place ? In a hospital, at home, in a birth pool…. In the back of the yellow cab on the way to hospital ? Where ever it’s going to be, just make sure you have prepared for it.

He you decided to have any pain killing gas or injections. Make sure that all of this is documented before-hand. You don’t want to have to make decisions on the day as you will be too stressed.

The Birth

Remember any breathing lessons you might have has, these will make the difference (trust me !!!). Also make sure the father of the baby is in attendance, so you can claw into his hand and blame him for the pain that you are now going through (only joking….although he should be there of course).

“When A Child Is Born “

So your little boy or little girl has arrived…. Now what ?

Well, you need to get back to ‘normal’. You’ve just delivered quite a sizable human being. You are obviously going to have some soreness in the vagina region (or soreness form the stitches if you had a Caesarean section). Witch Hazel or an ice pack will help dampen the pain.

Hemorrhoids might also be an issue. There are plenty of creams and gels that can help, as well as remembering to maintain a high fluid intake and a fruit and fiber rich diet.

Some moms suffer from post natal depression – this is one step up from the more common baby blues and if it gets too bad then you will need to involve your doctor. Try to get as much sleep as possible and look to get as much assistance with the baby as possible (can your mom or your partner’s mom help ?). Your hormones will be messed up and this will add to your feeling down. As always, eat correctly, but don’t be afraid to ‘spoil yourself’ occasionally – go on, eat that chocolate…. in moderation of course.

Assuming you had a normal birth, with no stitches, then exercise can also be a great way to release those feel good hormones, to counteract any sadness you might be experiencing – even if the exercise is just a good walk in a park, or by the coast. If time is a problem, then try out the excellent Belly Beautiful postnatal fitness DVD by Patricia Friberg.

In short, the better you look after yourself, the better position you will be in to look after the little one in your life.

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