The Bɪʀᴛʜ of a child is one of (if not the most important) moment in a parent’s life. While this moment is supposed to one filled with joy, sadly all too often this moment is filled with ᴛʀᴀᴜᴍᴀ when a baby sᴜꜰꜰᴇʀs ᴀɴ ᴜɴᴇxᴘᴇᴄᴛᴇᴅ ʙɪʀᴛʜ ɪɴᴊᴜʀʏ. Bɪʀᴛʜ ɪɴᴊᴜʀɪᴇs ᴄᴀɴ ʙᴇ ᴄᴀᴛᴀsᴛʀᴏᴘʜɪᴄ, leaving both the parents and the child’s lives forever changed. While any ʙɪʀᴛʜ ɪɴᴊᴜʀʏ can be difficult to emotionally deal with regardless of the cause, it can be incredibly difficult to know that the ɪɴᴊᴜʀʏ could have been prevented. When a preventable ʙɪʀᴛʜ ɪɴᴊᴜʀʏ occurs, it is considered to be ɴᴇɢʟɪɢᴇɴᴄᴇ for Mɪsᴛᴀᴋᴇs during Lᴀʙᴏʀ ᴀɴᴅ Dᴇʟɪᴠᴇʀʏ.
No one’s ʟᴀʙᴏʀ is the same! And your ʟᴀʙᴏʀs ᴀɴᴅ ʙɪʀᴛʜs will vary from child to child, too. These common ʟᴀʙᴏʀ Mɪsᴛᴀᴋᴇs won’t apply to every person. But within this post you’ll find some tips that can make ʟᴀʙᴏʀ faster and easier. Things That Make ʟᴀʙᴏʀ Harder
Stay in one position: It is so important to keep moving during your ʟᴀʙᴏʀ – whether you plan to have an ᴜɴᴍᴇᴅɪᴄᴀᴛᴇᴅ ʙɪʀᴛʜ ᴏʀ ᴀɴ ᴇᴘɪᴅᴜʀᴀʟ! It keeps your ᴊᴏɪɴᴛs ᴀɴᴅ ʟɪɢᴀᴍᴇɴᴛs ʟᴏᴏsᴇ and can allow the baby to move ʟᴏᴡᴇʀ ɪɴᴛᴏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴘᴇʟᴠɪs. If you ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴀɴ ᴇᴘɪᴅᴜʀᴀʟ, you should switch frequently between laying on your right side, left side, in a reclined position, sitting, or even with just a pillow under one of your hips! You don’t have to stay in one position if you get ᴀɴ ᴇᴘɪᴅᴜʀᴀʟ – that is one of the biggest myths! It is important to move with ᴀɴ ᴇᴘɪᴅᴜʀᴀʟ, because when your ᴇᴘɪᴅᴜʀᴀʟ wears off, you will be SO sᴏʀᴇ if you laid in one spot the whole time.
Being afraid to communicate your needs: Being ᴀ ᴘᴀᴛɪᴇɴᴛ ᴀɴᴅ ɢɪᴠɪɴɢ ʙɪʀᴛʜ can be kind of…awkward. Especially if you’re not used to feeling like you have to rely on the help of others. Be honest with your team. Do you need more pillows? Water? Heat? Ice? Let them know! They’re there to help you! It’s also a great idea to communicate what you might need to your partner beforehand. Gently guide them to this post where they can learn what may be expected to them!
Eating way too much or not at all: I see this all the time! Moms hear HORROR stories about being starving throughout ʟᴀʙᴏʀ, so they feel the ᴄᴏɴᴛʀᴀᴄᴛɪᴏɴs sᴛᴀʀᴛɪɴɢ and eat a huge meal. Let me tell you, many women ᴠᴏᴍɪᴛ ᴛʜʀᴏᴜɢʜᴏᴜᴛ ʟᴀʙᴏʀ. And it’s a very ᴜɴᴘʟᴇᴀsᴀɴᴛ thing to have happening when you’re already sᴏ ᴜɴᴄᴏᴍғᴏʀᴛᴀʙʟᴇ! It’s important to eat small amounts to keep your strength up (if your doctor allows it), but maybe stick with crackers or something bland so you don’t regret it later!
Not staying hydrated: Whether it be water, a sports drink, ginger ale, juice, tea…you name it! Sipping fluids throughout ʟᴀʙᴏʀ is super important. ʟᴀʙᴏʀ is a WORK OUT, BABY! You have to keep your strength up so you can ᴘᴜsʜ ʏᴏᴜʀ cutie into the world. Designate someone to remind you to drink drink drink.
Fighting the ᴄᴏɴᴛʀᴀᴄᴛɪᴏɴs: I am sᴜᴘᴇʀ ɢᴜɪʟᴛʏ of doing this during my ʟᴀʙᴏʀs, but it was something that I tried to keep in mind! When the ᴄᴏɴᴛʀᴀᴄᴛɪᴏɴ starts, it’s very ᴇᴀsʏ ᴛᴏ ᴛᴇɴsᴇ ᴜᴘ ᴀɴᴅ ᴛʀʏ ᴛᴏ “ғɪɢʜᴛ” it. Instead, accept each ᴄᴏɴᴛʀᴀᴄᴛɪᴏɴ as it comes, don’t think about the next ᴄᴏɴᴛʀᴀᴄᴛɪᴏɴ, and focus on relaxing your body, whether that be with guided imagery, ʙʀᴇᴀᴛʜɪɴɢ ᴛᴇᴄʜɴɪǫᴜᴇs, or movement. Think of the ᴄᴏɴᴛʀᴀᴄᴛɪᴏɴs as a wave you have to ride. Rɪᴅᴇ ɪᴛ ᴛᴏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴘᴇᴀᴋ and let your body relax as it comes down.
Not resting when you can: In between ᴄᴏɴᴛʀᴀᴄᴛɪᴏɴs, let your body totally relax. Don’t ᴘᴀɴɪᴄ that another ᴄᴏɴᴛʀᴀᴄᴛɪᴏɴ is coming, don’t think about how much longer it will be or how much time has passed, just focus on rest. It’s hard to do, and definitely easier said than done, but it really makes a difference to your mentality and energy levels!