A woman feels a lot of things when she is about to take a pregnancy test. Nervous with just a touch of excitement, or the other way around. When she sees those two pink lines, there is another rush of emotions coming her way. She is happy, worried and elated.
It doesn’t take very long for those feelings to change though. Her excitement may quickly turn to anxiety when she realizes that this baby has to come out. As time passes, her worry may intensify because she realizes that her baby is only getting bigger. She can read all of the books and attend all the classes and still not feel prepared for childbirth.
It is one of the most momentous things a woman will ever face in her life, and it will be one of the toughest things she accomplishes. However, there are certain things mom can look out for during her pregnancy that may anticipate how her labour will go. We have found 18 signs that predict an easy childbirth and 2 that predict a difficult one.
If an expectant mom reads this, it may actually give her some tips and tricks on how to make her labour easier.
20 Did Your Yoga
Yoga is one of the best things anyone can do, so it is no surprise that it is very beneficial for pregnant women. However, they need to do prenatal yoga. Prenatal yoga is specifically designed for women who are expecting and if mom has signed up for a class or two it is a sign, she may have an easy labour. The positions that yoga puts the body through are all great for childbirth.
Think of pregnancy as the practice run. Mom is getting her body ready to go through its toughest battle and the more we practice anything, the better we are at it. Yoga will also help mom learn to focus on her breathing, which is essential when giving birth.
19 Nice And Relaxed
A relaxed woman is a happy woman, especially when she is pregnant. There are so many aches and pains that come with pregnancy;, it is worth it to go and get some prenatal massages. If mom has a few of these books during their pregnancy, they may have an easier time giving birth. It is important that it is a prenatal massage, as it is different for women who are pregnant.
A massage works the muscles in the body and muscles that are worked have an easier time. Muscles who have been worked over have an easier time relaxing at the end of each contraction. This can make the time between contractions feel a little longer.
This one is going to seem a little weird, but women who have hypnosis done during pregnancy have reported that their labours were very easy, or at least easier than they thought it would be. We are not talking about hypnosis where the man on the stage makes everyone roar like a lion. We are talking about therapeutic hypnosis. The same kind that is done to help people quit smoking.
Hypnosis when pregnant can teach a woman how to relax. It can also help erase some of the fears they may have about the upcoming birth. It is chosen by a lot of women who are really hoping for a natural birth with no pain medication.
17 Where Is Your Baby?
Sometimes there is very little we can do to create a naturally easy labour and we have to hope that a bit of luck is on our side. It turns out that the position of the baby can play a factor in how easy or difficult or labour will be. If you are lucky enough to get an ultrasound done near the end of your pregnancy try and find out which way your baby is facing.
You want your baby to be facing your tailbone. If the baby is facing the other way that means their head is resting on the tailbone. This can cause ‘back labour’ which has been described as a lot harder to get through than when the baby is facing the correct way.
16 The K Word: Kegels
It is something that is drilled into the head of every pregnant woman; do your Kegels. If mom is doing her Kegels it is a sign that her labour will be a bit easier. Kegels are very easy to do. You simply tighten your pelvic floor, much like you would if you were holding in pee. You hold it for ten seconds, then release and you continue to do this for as long as you feel comfortable.
This is great because you can do it everywhere and discreetly. This is a great way to strengthen your pelvic floor so that it is better able to push out that baby. It is also a great way to fight incontinence that sometimes comes after having a baby.
15 A Different Type Of Massage
There is a different type of massage that can make childbirth easier and if you are already doing it than chances are you are well on your way to having a smoother birth. This is called a perineal massage. A perineal massage is one that is done on the area that will be most affected during labour. It seems weird and it may make some feel uncomfortable, but it can really help during childbirth.
The baby’s head is ten centimeters, which is still larger than the opening it has to come out of. While it is true that the muscles down there are incredibly stretchy, they may still need some help opening. A perineal massage can help this area open easier. It reduces the risk of tearing.
14 Did You Hire A Doula?
Have you hired a doula? If you have than chances are you are going to have an easier childbirth experience. Doula’s are supportive professionals who are specially trained to help women through childbirth. We have OB’s and midwives to take care of the medical side, but Doula’s are really there to help mom emotionally.
She can remind her how and when to breathe and can rub pressure points during labour. A support person, like a husband or mom, is great but they do not possess the expert training that a doula has to get through labour. Women who had a doula have reported that they were able to have an easier labour than they originally thought.
13 Birth Plan
Have you gone over your birth plan? The list of things you want to happen, or don't want to happen, while you are in labour. Chances are you have included where you want to give birth on this list. While it is totally fine to give birth in a hospital, mom’s who spend more time labouring at home have shown to have easier labours.
The reason could be simple. There is nowhere on this earth that we feel more comfortable in than our own home. Having all of our belongings around us help us feel safe and secure, two things we want to feel when we are going through something scary. When mom is at home, she is also able to move freely and eat and drink, which gives her the energy she will need to get through.
12 All In The Attitude
Have you ever heard the saying that it is all just ‘mind over matter’? Well, it is true. Sometimes all we need to do is have the right attitude and everything seems simpler. A lot of what makes childbirth easier is how it is perceived by women. If a woman goes into it with a calm and clear head, she may find that she has an easier time getting through it.
So, how do we do that? Well, the answer is going to depend on the person. Some educate themselves about something so that they feel more prepared and less anxious. Others practice forms of meditation to help them relax. Find what works for you and do that.
11 Knowledge Of Hot And Cold
Sometimes knowledge is your best weapon against anything, and the more knowledge you have about how to relieve pain and aches, the easier labour can be for you. Since you know how to apply what and where, you can make some of the painful parts of labour easier. A heating pad will help your muscles relax, so placing one on your back or belly can remove some of the tension.
Ice is a great way to take away pain. Now, it won’t take away the pain of a contraction, but it can be placed on the back to relieve some of the back pain that is associated with childbirth.
10 Are You A Mover?
No, what kind of person are you? Are you someone who likes to chill on the couch and watch your favourite TV show, or do you like to keep moving? Chances are, if you are someone who likes to keep moving, labour may be easier for you. Moving while in labour can help alleviate a lot of the pain and discomfort.
An added bonus is that movement can also help the baby move down the birth canal, which can speed the process up a bit. One of the problems with childbirth is how long it is, which can be one of the hardest parts. Anything you can do to speed things along is great.
9 Have You Done TENS?
This is an interesting one and it is not normally practiced all over the world. It is currently really popular in the UK and they are working at bringing it over to North America. TENS stands for Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and it is an effective tool for relieving some of the pain during childbirth.
This is when electrical pads are placed on mom’s back controlled with a handheld device. Mom can increase the electrical output during a contraction and it has been quite successful in relieving some of the pain. If you are someone who does your research about how to make labour easier than it will be.
8 What About Water?
Another thing a lot of people don’t really think about is how helpful water can be during labour. If you are someone who has already considered this and are planning to use it during your labour than you may already be on the route for an easier time. Some hospitals have water accommodations in the delivery room, like a shower or a tub. Find out when you do your hospital tour.
Hot water has the amazing ability to relax us, and it may even help a woman dilate. When we soak in hot water, oxytocin is released from our brain. Oxytocin is a hormone that can help women dilate faster. When you think you are ready for the epidural, try a hot shower instead.
7 Positional Practice
How well do you know the different labouring positions? If you answered that you know them well, chances are you are going to have an easier labour. A woman laying on her back is the traditional way of giving birth, it is the way we all know. However, this may not be the best position. Getting to know different positions that you can labour in can make the experience completely different.
The only thing holding a woman back from using different labour positions is the epidural. If a woman has an epidural she will have to stay on her back due to the catheter in her spine. However, this does not stop a woman from moving around before the epidural is placed in.
6 Are You A Yeller? Good!
Would you consider yourself a vocal person? If you are, that is a sign that you may have an easier labour. If you are normally quiet and reserved, labour may be more difficult. During contractions, if mom makes a low moaning sound it may make it pass easier. That is because releasing these sounds helps ease your muscles making you more relaxed.
When you are in the throes of it and pushing, it is OK to yell. In fact, it is encouraged as it is a great way to relieve the tension and stress you are definitely feeling. You may be thinking right now that screaming during labour is embarrassing, but when the time comes you won’t care at all, trust us.
5 What’s Your Pain Scale?
We are all built differently, and that includes our bodies. We can all handle things at a different level. So, how do you handle pain? Are you someone who can withstand a lot without really wincing, or does a papercut bring you to tears? It doesn’t really matter which one you, but it will be a sign of how well you will do in labour.
Childbirth is one of the most painful things your body could go through. It doesn’t matter how many people you talk to, or how many books you read, the pain will be unexpected, and it will take your breath away. Your ability to handle pain should give you a glimpse at how easy you will find childbirth.
4 A Supportive Partner
There are a lot of articles out there telling mom what she should pack in her hospital bag, however, the best thing she can bring is a person. It is always important to have a supportive figure with you. This could be a spouse, mother, sister or friend. Anyone that you feel comfortable with. Childbirth is not a time when you want to feel alone.
This person may not be able to do much, but even just being by your side and encouraging you should be enough to make the whole process just a little bit easier for you. If you don’t have someone lined up already, start your interviews.
3 How Did Your Mom Do?
Genetics may play a part in how easy or difficult labour will be. The verdict is still out, but how our own mothers did during childbirth may determine how our labour will go. This may boil down to medical problems that happened. Did mom have an incompetent cervix? If so. her daughter might have one too.
The good news is, any medical issue will likely be discovered before labour actually occurs. This means that the doctors and professionals can work with mom to try and find the easiest way for her to safely deliver her baby. Medical advancements have come so far even just since our mothers had children, so the choices seem to be endless.
2 A Big Baby Could Make It Difficult!
Unfortunately, we have to discuss two things that could mean your childbirth will be difficult. Again, these are not guaranteed but they can be scary. The first one is the size of your baby. Throughout your pregnancy, the doctor will monitor the growth of your baby. Conditions like gestational diabetes can result in large babies, so those moms will definitely be tracked.
No matter how big the baby gets, the exit only has enough room, and this could mean that labour will be difficult. If the doctor senses the baby is too large, they may start discussing the possibility of needing to do a C-section to deliver the baby.
1 Lack Of Prenatal Care Could Make It Difficult!
Prenatal care is so important, and if there is a lack of care for an expectant mom than her labour could be a little difficult. The reason for this is because mom would be missing out on a lot of information. OB’s and midwives deliver hundreds of babies every year, and have a significant amount of experience.
They have seen what works and what doesn’t when trying to make labour go as smoothly as possible. This means that if mom is a little nervous, she can ask her doctor for some advice on how to make it more comfortable. Childbirth will never be ‘easy’, but we can all try and make it the best experience possible.