Nothing can really prepare a soon-to-be-mama for what to expect when gives birth. She may take classes, read books, and talk to other fellow moms, but every experience differs from the next. What was difficult for one mama may be easy for another and so on.
If there was a magical "do-over" button for women to press after they gave birth, these 10 women (and probably many others) would press it. While they love their sweet, little baby more than life itself, there are things about the process of labor and delivery that run differently in real life than from their minds. From contractions to epidurals, here are 10 things women wish they could do over in the delivery room (or for their next baby!).
10 WARM BATHS HELP EASE CONTRACTIONS
No one can really show a woman what contractions will feel like. Other moms may tell pregnant moms that it feels like the worst period cramps they've ever had in their lives, but time will only tell.
One mama told Kindred Bravely that she wishes she eased her contraction pains with warm baths. "I can’t believe I never did it until my third,” she said. Some delivery rooms even have a tub that they can fill for a mom. Just give the hospital a head's up if it's something you're interested in.
9 HAVING LITTLE CONTROL OVER THEIR CHILD ONCE THEY'RE BORN
A mom in labor will feel like there hundreds of people in the delivery room (except their doctor). Nurses are popping in and out, checking on the mom's stats and seeing if she needs anything. Anyone else the mom wishes to be in the delivery room will also be hovering around waiting in anticipation. Once the baby is born, the commotion only continues. One mom told WNYC that she wishes she was more "explicit" about her baby needed after birth. "I didn't feel I was the person making decisions over my child," she said.
8 THERE'S A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONTRACTIONS AND WHEN IT'S TIME TO PUSH
Hollywood movies make us believe that as soon a woman's water breaks and she begins her contractions that she has mere seconds before the baby pops their way into their lives. But that's not the case. A woman can be in labor (with horrific contractions) for days!
One mama told Babble that she wishes she knew the difference between contractions and the pain you feel when you start to push. She explains that classes typically prepare mama on early labor, not the actual labor.
7 YOU DON'T NEED TO DO EVERYTHING THE DOCTOR SUGGESTS
Women are typically in such excruciating pain that they have a hard time making decisions while in the delivery room. This is where a birth plan or her partner taking over can really help a mom out. Some moms even check out mentally and let their doctor make all the shots even if they don't agree with them; it's only because they're exhausted. But this is something one mom wishes she did differently. Moms have options. Just because the doctor suggests something doesn't mean they have to do it.
6 NEXT TIME, TRY TO GO NUMBER TWO!
One of the biggest fears for soon-to-be-mamas is going number two on the table. Most women are numb from the waist down and can only focus on the same reflexes as going to the bathroom to get their baby out safely. Going to the bathroom is something that totally happens during birth and nurses and doctors have seen it all. It's nothing to be worried or ashamed of.
A mom told Babble that she wishes she didn't focus so much on not going and just focused on going if that's what made her baby come out easier and quicker.
5 AN EPIDURAL ISN'T ALWAYS THE BEST OPTION
There are moms and health professionals who push for women to get an epidural if it eases their pain, nerves, and minds. And while they can make labor a little bit easier, it's not always the best option for every woman.
One mom told Kindred Bravely that she was not a fan of the epidural. As she told the site, "Talk about major panic attacks not being able to move half my body!"
4 TRY TO INCLUDE YOUR PARTNER
While every couple is different, some partners have a hard time feeling connected in the birth process. It's all about mom and baby and the partner can feel helpless at times.
One mom told Mommy Bites she wished she included her husband more in the process of labor and delivery, she just didn't know how. It's as much as his baby and experience as hers. For her next pregnancy, she's going to have him go to more classes with her and attend a class on how to better assist her in the delivery room.
3 PRACTICE PAIN RESPONSES
How does a mom handle the pain? Well, every woman is different but one mom wishes she handled her reactions differently. She was upset that the labor classes she attended didn't help her with anything to use during labor. "I didn’t realize that pain’s unconscious response of tightening and cramping up is really working against your body," she noted. Next time around, she wants to learn how to focus more on "relaxation techniques" for the body.
2 NOT RUSHING TO THE DELIVERY ROOM AS SOON AS THOSE CONTRACTIONS HIT
When contractions hit, women may get worried and feel like they have to rush to the hospital. And while that may be the case for certain women, some women have much more time than they think. "I wish I had known that it was better to labor for a while at home and not rush to the hospital straight away with my first," one woman told WNYC. It was the adrenaline of meeting her baby and being safe that made her rush to the hospital ahead of schedule.
1 YOU'RE NOT A FAILURE FOR GETTING A C-SECTION
I'm not sure where the myth came from about C-sections being an "easy" way out but that couldn't be further from the truth. Whether you're giving birth vaginally or via C-section, birth is birth.
One mom said she was so dead-set on having a natural birth that when the time came to either have medication or a C-section, she felt "guilty." Perhaps next time it's smart to have a Plan B and a Plan C in case Plan A gets muddled.