Continuing our blog on optimizing your chances of vaginal birth, we discuss further recommendations based on scientific evidence.
Evidence suggests that, in addition to regular nursing care, continuous one-to-one emotional support is associated with improved outcomes for women in labor. Make sure you and your support person are prepared for the labor and delivery process beforehand by attending a childbirth class either in-person or online with the best OBGYN in Atlanta. Your support person in the delivery room will be able to help encourage you throughout labor and provide comfort measures. A support person should be a positive, comforting individual and someone you trust.
During your pregnancy, rely on sound, scientific birthing advice from the experts like your provider rather than social media, asking your friends or googling. There are literally hundreds of books about pregnancy and birth and an ever-increasing number of websites that contain information about pregnancy, labor, birth, and early parenting. Yet, despite the wealth of information that is available, many resources contain negative information, inaccuracies and can increase women’s fears about labor and birth.
When you know what to expect during labor and delivery, you’re more likely to feel in control and relaxed. Feeling this way might increase your chances of vaginal birth. Attending a childbirth class can help you prepare by giving you detailed information about labor, birth, pain relief choices and more. Writing a birth plan can also help you prepare for labor and birth. Your birth plan can include things like:
It is important to keep in mind that your baby’s plan might be different from yours. Also, what you need and want might change on the day, so think of the birth plan as a guide and stay flexible. Before labor, it’s a good idea to share your birth plan with the doctor who’ll be looking after you. This will help them understand your preferences and work with you to achieve them.
Online childbirth preparation resources:
In the labor and delivery room, staying active and using upright positions might help your labor progress and improve your chances of vaginal birth. This is because gravity helps move your baby down and relaxes your pelvic floor muscles. The baby can move through the birth canal with ease.
Pillows, yoga mats, cushions, water or birth balls might help you find comfortable positions for labor.
The environment where you are giving birth can affect how you labor and give birth to your baby. The ideal labor environment is one where you:
With planning and preparation, you can usually create the environment you’d like in the hospital. For example, you could bring a Bluetooth speaker for music, aromatherapy, pillows, food, comfortable clothing, sound machine, or other things from home. This kind of environment will help you stay calm during labor, which means you’re more likely to have a vaginal birth.
Although vaginal birth is the most common delivery and viewed to be a lower risk method for full-term infants, it can be contraindicated in some circumstances. Contraindications to vaginal delivery include umbilical cord prolapse, persistent fetal distress on monitoring, placental abruption, placenta previa, suspected or confirmed cephalopelvic disproportion, fetal malpresentation, maternal instability, a history of multiple prior abdominal deliveries or of a vertical uterine scar, or active genital herpes. Many of the abovementioned contraindications are not predictable, meaning the mother has no way to influence their presence during the pregnancy and some of the contraindications may arise during the labor and delivery process. It is important to be prepared for the unexpected and stay focused on your goal of remaining healthy and having a healthy baby.
This is a continuation of our blog on optimizing your chances of vaginal birth.