Moms-to-be think so much about what will happen once their baby is here. The nursery is set up with stuffed animals and blankets, their friends and family are eagerly awaiting the big day, and they feel totally ready. Sure, they know that they will be giving birth soon, but that can feel like such an abstract concept.
But what happens in the delivery room is just as crucial as the weeks and months afterward, even if it can be tough to even picture giving birth because there is so much emotion surrounding this moment. Whether she's having her first kid or she's about to be a mom for the third time, a mom definitely needs to have a game plan for when she gets to the hospital. It's a good idea to think about everything beforehand because it's going to be pretty busy and chaotic once her water breaks and she rushes to her local hospital.
A mom needs to stand up for herself during this important time and know what she wants and doesn't want to happen while giving birth. Read on to find out 20 surprising times moms will have to stand their ground in the delivery room.
20 Birth Positions
A mom will also have to decide the best birth position, and this is another time that she will have to stand her ground in the delivery room. She will have to explain what she would prefer so it's a good idea to think about the best positions beforehand.
According to The Bump, this is especially crucial when she's not taking any meds because otherwise, certain positioning could be a real drag. As birth doula Lindsey Bliss told the publication, "Labor positions are used during the labor process to help ease discomfort, move the baby down through the pelvis and encourage optimal fetal positioning."
19 What She'll Wear While Birthing
What do you want to wear while you give birth to your baby? You might assume that you have to wear a gown that the hospital gives you, but you do have a choice in the matter.
Of course, most people will think that you want to wear the gown, so you will have to stand your ground if you want to wear something different. Just say that it's about making this the best experience possible and that should go over fine. According to Baby + Co, moms could put on a t-shirt or a "loose-fitting dress." The website also says that moms can get gowns on their own and wear them.
18 She Doesn't Want Pain-Relieving Meds
What if a mom doesn't want pain-relieving meds while she's in the delivery room? She will definitely have to stand up for herself on this subject.
According to Pregnancy Birth and Baby, there are a lot of other ways that she can make this experience more comfortable. As the website says, "Massage and [heated] packs can ease your pain in labor. Massage helps distract you from the pain. Heat packs can help your body release its natural painkillers – endorphins." The website also suggests meditation, essential oils, and some other ideas.
No matter how many times the hospital staff suggests that you could take some meds, you can simply explain that you don't want that and you have figured out some other options.
17 Wanting Skin-To-Skin (Especially If Baby Is Delivered Via C-Section)
Moms have to decide if they would prefer "skin-to-skin" as soon as they give birth, especially when they have had a C-section. As Childrensmd.org says, "Do you want to hold your baby skin-to-skin right after delivery, even if you have a c-section? You need to be clear about this in your birth plan. Some hospitals, especially those that have the BestFed Beginnings program, allow healthy newborns to spend the first few minutes of life 'skin-to-skin' with their mother."
Although it seems like new moms should be asked this right before they go into labor or right after, things might happen so quickly that it's not possible. It's a good idea for moms to speak up if they are interested in this.
16 Not Wanting A Mirror Or To Literally Watch The Birth
Some moms want to be given a mirror so they can literally watch the birth as it happens... and other moms are really, really not interested in that. This is a choice that you will have to make and you will definitely have to be vocal about it.
A mom shared on Reddit that a nurse insisted that she would want to see it. She wrote, "I was around 6 centimeters dilated when a nurse rolled in a full-length mirror. I asked her what’s the mirror for? She replied so you can watch the baby come out. I replied I DON’T WANT TO WATCH THE BABY COME OUT! EWWW GROSS!"
It makes sense that some people would rather not see this so up close.
15 Keeping Unwelcome Visitors Out
When a woman is about to give birth, she's going to have to stand her ground about who she wants to be there. She should be allowed to keep unwelcome visitors out. If someone is going to stress her out or make the experience anything but peaceful and pleasant, that's totally her right.
As one mom told Motherly, it was "Just my husband." She continued, "We didn't want anyone in the waiting room, either. We wanted time with just our family of 3 before everyone started playing 'pass the baby.'"
Some people might be offended that they're not allowed to be in the delivery room, but as a soon to be mom, this is completely her call.
14 Asking For The Umbilical Cord To Be Clamped A Bit Later
Some moms might not know that the cord can be clamped later on, and it's definitely surprising that the hospital might not tell you about this.
According to Parents.com, "Waiting a few extra minutes to cut the umbilical cord after birth and allowing extra [circulation] from the placenta to your baby—aka delayed cord clamping—has been proven to have health benefits for your baby, including a lowered risk of anemia in the first six months." The website mentions that the ACOG "now recommends delayed cord clamping for at least 30 to 60 seconds for all low-risk deliveries."
If this is something that a mom wants, she will have to stand her ground.
13 Sticking To Birth Plan
Whether you want a birth plan or not is a subjective and personal decision. It's similar to other parenting decisions that you will make: some people might not agree with you, and that's totally fine. You're doing what you feel is the best thing, and that's what always matters.
When you want to stick to your birth plan, this is something that you feel is very important, and it's also a time when you will have to stand your ground in the delivery room. If something happens that you didn't write down or vice versa, you're going to want to speak up.
12 Which Pediatrician She Wants
It seems like a new mom should be asked which pediatrician she wants, but that doesn't necessarily happen. As Living and Loving says, "You’ll find that your hospital assigns a paed to attend your birth, but you’ll get to choose the doctor who conducts your baby’s routine checks and sees to them when they’re ill."
A mom will definitely have to stand her ground if there is a doctor that she would prefer and feels more comfortable with. This can be part of her birth plan if she is going to write one up. It's good to think about this ahead of time and be prepared.
11 She Would Love To Give Her Newborn Their First Bath
Why are babies bathed after they have been born? It's because of "vernix." That might sound like an unpleasant thing since it's not the nicest name out there. As Childrensmd.org explains, newborns have this "waxy white substance that looks something like cream cheese." The publication explains, "Some parents want to do their baby’s first bath themselves, often with their own special soap."
Some moms might be fine with the hospital staff doing this, but if this sounds like it would be a really nice experience to have, then a new mom has to voice her preference. (Of course, if she would rather not, then she can talk about that, too.)
10 Insist On Listening To Music If It Helps
Do you want to listen to music when you're in the delivery room? As Parents.com explains, "Even if you end up with a standard hospital room, make sure to give it a personal touch. Take along a picture from home, or make a playlist. (Many women find that listening to soft music with a steady beat helps them count through their contractions.)"
If you want music, you will have to make this clear to everyone around you, and you will definitely have to plan ahead. Remember that you want this to be a great experience and that it's great to listen to yourself.
9 Getting Up And Moving Around A Bit
Before you give birth to your first baby, you might not know that you can actually walk and move around during the labor experience. This isn't something that is talked about very much, but if this is what you want for your birth, you should bring it up. And it's another time when you will have to stand your ground.
As Mom 365 says, "Many women find walking during labor helps both distract them and diminish pain. Some facilities have bars along the hallway walls to help you do just that, others enforce staying in your room, on the bed."
8 She Doesn't Want Pitocin
Pitocin is used to stimulate contractions and it's also used after birth. According to The Bump, some moms don't want Pitocin because there can be "side effects." As the website explains, "While it’s difficult to assess objectively, many women do report more painful contractions with Pitocin."
If you don't want to be given this, that totally makes sense. But this is definitely a time when you would have to stand your ground in the delivery room. It might feel a bit awkward to explain yourself at first, but just remember that you're doing what is best for you and your baby because this is what you believe is the right thing.
7 Not Wanting The Newborn To Be Given Formula
If a new mom doesn't want her baby to be given formula while they are both in the hospital, this is another time when she will have to stand her ground.
Mom 365 says, "Will your baby be fed formula without your explicit permission?"
It's unfortunate that this might happen before you get the chance to explain your wishes, but it's good to remember how fast things can move while a woman is in labor. The best thing that you can do is stand up for yourself no matter what and make everything that you want (and don't want) super clear.
6 Wanting To Drink Water
Did you know that you can drink water while you're in the delivery room?
You actually can, even if your hospital doesn't tell you this. According to Mom 365, "Though plenty of studies show that it's fine for mom and baby to eat and drink during labor, many facilities ban both outright due to the concern that moms may need general anesthesia during labor (which is rare, even for C-sections). But some allow water or "clears" (meaning you could have chicken broth)." The website also mentions that The World Health Organization "recommend clear fluids be allowed." It's good to have this information ahead of time so you can explain yourself better.
5 Wanting To Know Who Will Deliver Your Baby And How Experienced They Are
Who is going to deliver your baby? How experienced are they?
It makes sense that new moms would want to know the answers to these questions. Unfortunately, you might be rushed into a hospital room and you wouldn't be given information about the staff who will be involved in your birth experience.
According to The Swaddle, you would want to know something like, "If your care provider has an 80% C-section rate, they might not be the best person to ensure a vaginal delivery (or vice versa)." This is another crucial moment when a mom will stand her ground in the delivery room.
4 Not Wanting An I.V.
Why are moms given IVs when they give birth? According to What To Expect, it's "A precaution — to prevent dehydration (especially important if drinking isn't allowed during labor, a policy which is fortunately far less common these days)."
According to The Swaddle, "For most women, having an IV during labor is unnecessary." If you don't want an IV, you will have to stand up for yourself so this is another crucial moment during your labor and delivery. As The Swaddle says, if you're not getting an epidural, you don't need an IV. It's tough to have because of it "limiting her movement and possibly increasing her discomfort (and making it a lot harder to get to the bathroom)."
3 Asking For Advice (On Pain, Breastfeeding, What To Expect After, Etc.)
There is a lot of talk about "the fourth trimester" and what happens after giving birth and going home with the baby. While they're still in the delivery room, moms will start wondering what to do now. What about breastfeeding? What kind of pain will they be in? And what should they expect to happen in the next little while?
Moms should be given some advice and guidance on these topics, and this is a really crucial time since their lives are about to be changed. Many moms would appreciate a bit of help around these subjects. They should ask the nurse about some breastfeeding advice or anything else they want to know.
2 Saying No To Some Tests
A new mom doesn't have to say yes to every test that she is offered. According to Mom 365, "Phased-out procedures are still in place at certain facilities (such as treating newborn's eyes with drops for syphilis even if the mom has tested negative for it)."
It's good for moms to be aware of these tests and why they matter (or don't matter). If there is something that you're not comfortable with and it's not important medically, feel free to speak up and say that you don't want it. It can be tough because you've just given birth so you're pretty exhausted, but you have a right to ask for what you want and don't want.
1 Wanting To Hold The Baby ASAP
As Emma's Diary says, "How soon after the delivery do you want baby to be placed in your arms? Some women like baby to be passed to them as soon as they are delivered, while others prefer them to be cleaned up a little first."
If she wants to hold the baby ASAP, a mom definitely needs to make that known.
It might seem like there are a lot of things that a new mom has to stand her ground on in the delivery room, but at the end of the day, this is her birth experience and she needs to make sure it's what she wants.
Sources: Motherly.com, Thebump.com, Babyandcompany.com, Pregnancybirthbaby.org.au, Childrensmd.org, Parents.com, Theswaddle.com, Mom365.com, Emmasdiary.co.uk, Reddit.com, Livingandloving.co.za