- Women's Health
Preparing for Childbirth
The birth of your new baby will be one of the most special and memorable days of your life. However, many first-time moms go into the hospital on that special day unprepared for what is to come. Making sure that you know what to expect and are well-prepared on that special day will make the process go a lot smoother and make the experience much more enjoyable.
It is a good idea to pack your hospital bag about a month before your due date. This way you can just grab it and go and not be scrambling to pack everything while you are having contractions. Some things you will want to include in your hospital bag are:
- Coming home outfit for baby
- Bedroom slippers
- Personal hygiene items(toothbrush, shampoo, deodorant)
- Coming home clothes for mom
- Nursing pads
- Blanket for baby
You may want to pack a bag for Dad too. The hospital will supply onesies and little hats for the baby along with bottles and formula during the hospital stay. Some hospitals also provide robes for new moms. You may want to check with the hospital you plan to deliver at. If you don’t have a robe then you will have to walk around in the hospital gown trying to keep your butt covered.
There are several different options for pain control during childbirth. Some of the main ways to provide relief during labor and childbirth are local anesthesia, regional anesthesia, general anesthesia, and pain medications injected into a vein or muscle.
Local anesthesia numbs only a small area where you need pain relief. It is usually in the vaginal area during birth in the case of tears or after childbirth if stitches are needed.
Regional anesthesia blocks a wider area of your body from pain. It is usually administered in the form of an epidural or spinal anesthesia. It greatly reduces labor pains and can also be used if a c-section is necessary.
General anesthesia puts the mother to sleep during childbirth. This type of pain relief is rarely used because the mother is unable to see and bond with the baby immediately after childbirth.
Pain medications given by injection are usually used in the early stages of labor to lessen pain and allow the mother to relax and conserve energy. These medications are usually not given in the late stages of labor because they make the mother and the baby sleepy.
There are also many classes you can take to prepare you for childbirth. These classes will tech you relaxation techniques to help you through labor pains. One popular method is to focus on breathing. Another method for relaxation is to focus on relaxing one body part at a time. For example, think about nothing except relaxing your head, neck and shoulders. Once they feel relaxed, focus only on relaxing you stomach and back. Work your way down your body and then start back at the top again.