When it comes to labor and delivery, there is no right way to go about it. Some parents-to-be are sure that home births are the only way to go and other mommies- and daddies-in-training swear that hospital births are the be all, end all. The journey to parenthood is different for everyone; no two births experiences are identical.
So expectant parents can enter the wonderful and exciting world of parenthood knowing that whatever they choose, they aren't already doing things wrong. That said, there are a handful of things that some laboring mamas do that might generally be considered a "childbirth no-no." These no-nos tend to be pretty standard among mothers who are not seasoned parents. They are most definitely beginners' oopsies. It isn't very often that you find a mother of four making some of these missteps.
The good news is that even if moms do pack away 10 tacos on the drive to the hospital or invite 20 of their closest friends to the hospital to meet their new baby, no baby police will show up at the door with ramifications. All that happens is that parents learn through their trials and errors, and they get to make a whole new set of labor and delivery choices the next time around. That is, indeed, the beauty of parenthood. We never stop growing and learning and a fresh day always offers up the space for new choices.
We bet some of these newbies made other choices in the delivery room when baby number two rolled around!
20 Try To Cram One More Greasy Meal In Before Go Time
We know, you are nine months pregnant and starving all of the time. Eating is a pregnant woman's favorite past time. Some first timers will try to pack in one last meal before heading to the hospital to deliver their baby. Whether it's a Burger King drive-thru run or a huge Italian feast the evening before a planned C-section, it isn't a great idea to stuff yourself before the big day. It's also smart to eat foods that will fuel the body and not cause tummy pains, gas, and other unpleasant digestive issues. Those are the last things you want to deal with when you are pushing out a human being.
19 Staying Still And Horizontal During The Labor Process
For several years the general thought was that women laboring in the hospital were to remain lateral and still until the baby popped out, but we now know that is not the best idea for anyone in hopes of a quick delivery. Walking, squatting, dancing, and swaying around helps to move the baby down towards the birthing canal while lying flat will do the opposite. Seasoned mothers know that gravity is their greatest ally in childbirth, but new mothers often miss this critical tip and trick. If you can, try moving around and helping your little one get to where she is supposed to go.
18 Arriving At The Hospital Too Early
You have hit the nine-month mark; you feel some cramping, what do you do? One thing you shouldn't do is grab your hospital bag and car keys and rush to the nearest hospital. First-time mothers are notorious for getting to the hospital long before it is time. They get all excited and mentally accept that this is finally happening, only to discover that could be turned away because their labor was false or because it is just too early to admit them. So when will women know when it is time to go? If contractions are regular and substantial, occurring every four or five minutes throughout several hours, then it might be time to head to the hospital and let the professionals decide what is best.
17 Call In The Cavalry At The First Sign Of Labor
We know that you are excited as all get out. The time has finally arrived for the pair of you to meet your little one. Your close friends and family are likely as excited as you are to get to know this new baby, but that doesn't mean that you need to alert everyone at the first sign of labor so that they all rush over to the hospital. Labor can take hours, even days, and the last thing you will want is all of your friends and family camped out in the waiting room for eternity. Have your partner call them over when you are good and dilated, and delivery is close.
16 Not Snooze During The Early Labor
It seems like a hard thing to do for most mamas to be; sleep while you are hours away from meeting the love of your life, but it's a really smart idea. The earliest stages of labor can be pretty dull, and the pain hasn't really kicked in just yet, so go ahead and rest up. Once active labor hits and the baby is getting closer to making his or her grand appearance, snoozing might not be an option. Catch your zzz's while you can. Labor is hard and exhausting work; you'll need all of your strength to get through it.
15 Inviting The Gang Over For A Sneak Peek
So, the baby is finally here. She is perfect; you are smitten, you want everybody and their mother to rush over to the hospital to meet this tiny person. Think twice before you call everyone in to visit you and the baby. Before childbirth, moms have no point of reference for how tired and sore they will be after the big event. In retrospect, you might not be up for company during those first few days. Get through the delivery and then decide if you are up for company. The baby isn't going anywhere, so you'll have plenty of time to show her off to the world.
14 Recording The Big Event
Here's the thing: videotaping your kid's entrance into the world always seems like a great idea, especially if you are about to be a first-time parent. What are you going to do with this video though? Maybe you and your partner will watch it on your baby's first birthday, but other than that it will stay hidden away. It's not like your friends and neighbors want a front row seat to this type of thing. You kid won't want to watch it when they grow older either. Besides, if you are worrying over camera angles and lighting, then you are not present for the actual moment that your child enters the world. You need no video of that. It will be in your mind and heart forever.
13 Getting Done Up To Greet Your Baby
Social media has added this extra, very unnecessary, layer to motherhood and childbirth. Before people became obsessed with looking their best for the entire Internet, moms just gave birth, snapped sweaty, candid photos of them with their newborns, and went on with life. Nowadays moms get glammed up like they are headed to an awards show, not the hospital. It's pretty ridiculous if you think about it. Why apply fake lashes before you engage in the most primal thing in the history of the universe? Also, your baby and your husband couldn't care less about what you look like while giving birth. They think you are perfect just the way you are.
12 Sticking To The Birth Plan Despite Curveballs
New moms often make the mistake of getting hung up on their carefully thought out birth plans. In their minds, the labor and delivery must go exactly so, and sometimes they leave no room for deviation. They just spent nine long months researching what they feel is the best way to bring their baby into the world, so it's understandable that they would feel passionate about doing things their way. The thing about childbirth is it is entirely unpredictable, and moms have to be able to adjust their thinking in case of emergency. Not everything goes according to plan in the labor and delivery room.
11 Not Hydrating
Think of childbirth as the greatest marathon of your life. You will need proper rest and hydration if you are going to make it to the finish line. Lots of new mothers get caught up in the excitement of the stage of life and forget that they have to keep their bodies full of water. The last thing you want to deal with during childbirth is dehydration. If you are nauseous and can't chug down the H2O, try eating ice chips or taking small sips of water. Get it down any way that you can. It's essential to both you and your baby.
10 Putting Too Much Emphasis On The Newborn Photoshoot
Newborn photography sessions have become a favorite obsession for new mothers thanks to specific social media outlets. The more elaborate these session are, the better. Women spend countless hours trying to outdo the last one that saw. For them, the elusive, perfect newborn photo shoot is of utmost importance. But is it honestly? In the grand scheme of things, the answer is no. Try placing less emphasis on wrapping your newborn in leaves and sticks and more focus on what is truly important during these first few weeks, like bonding and recovering.
9 Shying Away From Questions
Childbirth can be intimidating. Here you are, compromising, anxious, clueless as to how this is all going to play out. You probably have a million questions at any given point.
"Is this normal?"
"Is everything okay?"
"When is that epidural coming?"
Some new mothers are too shy to ask their healthcare providers questions. Remember, this is your birthing experience, so ask away. They are used to questions and have probably heard them all before. If you still find that asking doctors questions feels daunting, consider having your partner relay your concerns or try asking a nurse. Sometimes a nurse feels a bit more personal.
8 Overpacking For The Hospital Stay
You likely have an entire closet full of adorable outfits, booties, and hats by the time 40 weeks hits. So what do you bring to the hospital with you? How will you ever choose those first few outfits from the dozens that you have already become emotionally attached to? For starters, try not to overpack. Your baby won't need 90% of what you bring for him. I'm pretty sure I made this mistake with my first and brought along three blankets. Three! I never used a single one of them. Think about it, your baby will be home in a few short days, and you and she can play dress-up all day long.
7 Clinging To Social Media and Technology
Of course, moms and dads want to tweet out those first precious pictures of their baby to the virtual world and text everyone in their cell phone memory bank, but sometimes new parents get hung up on their technology and forget to focus on what matters most. You only get these first few days with your child one time, so don't waste these special days staring at a cell phone. All of that can wait. Try staring at your baby instead. We know that it's tempting to get their sweet images out to the world asap because they are the cutest thing you ever laid your eyes on, but they will still be cute in a few days.
6 Freaking Out Over Number Two
If you ask moms-to-be what their greatest worry about childbirth is they will almost always say the pain. Their number two concern is almost always the actual going of a number two. The bottom line, (a little pun intended here) is that sometimes this happens. Labor involves a whole lot of primal pushing, and in terms of body systems, everything down there is pretty close together. There is nothing to be embarrassed over though. If it does happen to you, you won't be the first, and you certainly won't be the last to leave it all on the delivery room floor.
5 Placing Expectations On Your Partner
Did you envision your husband standing ready and waiting to catch his son in his open arms? If so, then you might want to consider dreams like this don't always shake out accordingly. This experience will be new for him also, and regardless of how many youtube birthing videos he has watched, the real thing is way different. He might become squeamish, need to stand on the other side of the curtain and in some cases might even become faint. A good rule of thumb in regards to how your partner will handle labor is to set no expectations or low ones.
4 Deciding Against Help During Those Initial Days
So, the two fo you have decided to go it alone after the baby arrives? Hmm, this is a very typical new parent mistake. It's not your fault. You have no clue as to how sore you will be or how tired the two of you will become once the adrenaline wears thin. Consider lining up a little bit of help, even if it is for a few hours during the day, so that you and dad can nap, shower or enjoy a sandwich. Remember, if you can't take care of yourself, then you can't take care of a baby.
3 Ignore Signs Of Declining Mental Health
A mother's emotions can run the full spectrum during those first few weeks and months of parenthood. Many ladies experience something called the Baby Blues. While the blues are a pain, they usually subside over a couple of weeks. Sometimes they linger and even get worse. This is when a mother should reach out to friends, family and health care professionals and get help. There is no need to struggle with sadness and depression in silence. It's not good for anyone. If you do find yourself in this situation, know that you aren't alone and these feelings are normal and can be handled with the right help.
2 Staying Lateral Following Cesarean Section
If you have just undergone a cesarean section, waltzing around your recovery room immediately after delivery is probably not topping your list of things to do. You have just experienced a significant surgery, and the recovery will not be instant. While you might feel like not moving for the next month or so, it's pretty essential to get a bit of blood flowing throughout your system, and slow movement will do just this. Walking about following your surgery helps body functions like those stubborn bowels get back to doing their job. It also helps to lower any risks of post-operation complications, like clots.
1 Not Getting Enough Sleep While At The Hospital
Girl, sleeeeeeep. The hospital is notorious for being one of the most uncomfortable places to snooze at, but do your best to rest while you can. Ask for extra pillows, blankets, or bring your own. Have your personal items readily available. Bring comfortable clothes, a sound machine or anything else from home that might make you feel more comfortable while you stay over. It's tempting to stare at your baby and visit with eager family and friends, but the hospital is the place where rest is possible if you try. Nurses will often take the baby to the hospital nursery so that you can nap. If your hospital does this, jump on that opportunity. No one is going to be there to guarantee you a nap once you and baby return home.
Resources: motherrisingbirth.com, Parents, The Bump