The time is almost here. Your baby will arrive before you know it. Future moms experience lots of emotions because giving birth and parenting is such a big deal. Just before giving birth, many mothers-to-be feel like they cannot wait for the pregnancy to be over. They may worry about the baby’s health. They may also feel confused about all the different advice everyone is giving them. On top of all this, they might feel absentminded, oversensitive, and unattractive.
It’s not all bad, though. Future moms feel special because of all the attention from friends, family, and even strangers. Couples may also feel closer by sharing this experience. Here are some ways moms-to-be can feel their best:
- Keep moving and stay active by walking, swimming, or stationary cycling.
- Pamper yourself. Do something special for yourself like getting a new haircut or finding a good book to read.
- Develop a support system to help you prepare for the baby — so the entire burden is not on you.
- Get enough rest. Try to go to bed at a decent hour. Try using pillows to help you find a comfortable sleep position. Doing too many activities without enough sleep may make you feel tired and cranky. If you can, take a nap during the day.
- Learn ways to relax. If you feel stress, try meditating or writing in a journal to express your feelings.
- Eat healthy foods. Get lots of fruits and vegetables to keep your system in good shape. Every day eat from each food group listed in the pregnancy and breastfeeding food guide.
Have you grown up believing that when you become a parent you would automatically know what to do and love doing it every minute of the day?
This is the myth of the perfect parent. It implies that we are all born knowing how to care for and raise our children and that we should never feel negative emotions about parenting.
It takes time, practice, patience, and experience to become a good parent. Expect to have times when you feel insecure, frustrated, resentful, and confused.
Do you expect your baby to be alert, adorable, and playful from day one? This is the myth of the perfect baby. Your expectations may have been influenced by seeing babies in magazines, on TV, or on labels of baby food products. These babies’ heads are perfectly formed; they are alert, smiling and very responsive. This is the perfect baby…right? Wrong! These are pictures of 6-12 week old babies and that is why they may look so perfect.
What does a newborn look like? A normal looking infant has a red and wrinkled face, large head, and puffy looking eyes. Some newborns sleep a lot after their trip down the birth canal. Others are awake and hungry from the start. Each baby is different. Enjoy the discovery of what yours will be like.
The delivery of the baby and placenta are stage 2 and 3 of labor.
After the cervix has dilated completely, contractions will begin to push the baby down the birth canal. This stage can last 15 minutes to 3 hours. Many doctors will ask you to help push the baby out by having you bear down during a contraction. If you have not gotten any medication, you will have a tremendous urge to bear down at this point in your labor.
You can push from lots of positions, but most women are semi-sitting. Never lie flat and push because gravity is working against you. When a contraction begins, round your back and take some deep breaths. As the contraction builds, hold your breath, drop your chin to your chest, and press down. When your breath runs out, lift your head, take another breath and repeat. Continue as long as your contraction lasts. Relax between contractions. If your baby is moving quickly, the doctor may not want you to push hard and will tell you when to pant or blow.
The last stage of labor will probably be quick.
The last stage of labor takes from 5 minutes to 1 hour. The placenta, which has nourished your baby throughout pregnancy, usually slips out without too much effort.
Every birth experience is different.
You may be disappointed if you decide what your birth experience is going to be like before it happens. If you have specific ideas about what you want or don’t want at the birth, make sure your doctor knows and agrees to this in advance.
Remember, the goal is to bring your baby into the world in the healthiest way possible — for both mother and baby.