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What preparation helped you cope best when you were in labour?

(77 Posts)
mameulah Sat 28-Jun-14 23:00:27

Sorry for posting on aibu but I am getting closer and closer to my due date and am getting a bit nervous.

And this is our second baby. I feel like I know less this time round than last time.

Any practical (or any at advice at all) advice would be much appreciated.


ShergarAndSpies Sat 28-Jun-14 23:01:07

Doing what the midwives told me to be honest!

AnotherStitchInTime Sat 28-Jun-14 23:03:08

Remembering the breathing.

Renting a TENS machine ahead of time and figuring out how it worked.

BiscuitMillionaire Sat 28-Jun-14 23:03:17

Listened to CDs from You're meant to listen all the way through the pregnancy I think, but I only got mine (from a friend) towards the end, but it made a huge difference in making me calm, relaxed and confident.

Best wishes.

onedev Sat 28-Jun-14 23:04:51

Just breathe & do exactly as the midwife says - you'll be fine. All the best smile

mameulah Sat 28-Jun-14 23:04:52

So what did they tell you?

I keep getting told 'do what your body tells you.'

This would be easier to be comfortable with if I hadn't been on an extremely busy ward during my first labour......being ignored by the far too busy and overworked midwives. I lost all control and by the time someone was actually able to support me and recognise that I was in fact in labour I was basically in a mess. Well my head was anyway.

When you were contracting were you told to focus? And if you were what did you focus on?

spicegirl13 Sat 28-Jun-14 23:06:45

Just taking each contraction as it came and not thinking about how long it may go on for. It's the hardest day's work you'll ever do, but it's just that, one day (hopefully!) Just get your head down and get on with it. Thinking like this really helped me with my 2nd labour, I felt out of control first time round.

Wigeon Sat 28-Jun-14 23:07:20

Read Birth Skills by Juju Sundin. Sounds exactly what you are looking for. I read it before DD2 but I wished I'd read it first time round. Highly recommended.

IdaClair Sat 28-Jun-14 23:07:42

Preparing my birth plan.

Everyone here seems to look down at birth plans like they are some kind of 'this is what will happen' document. I would like to rename them birth preferences and will say to anyone claiming they will just go with the flow to think about what will happen if you are going with the flow fine but cannot speak and something is done or happens that you really did not want - all because you cannot currently speak.

I knew I did not want anyone to touch me, or anyone to talk to me, or for anyone to cut the cord. I wrote that in big letters and stuck it all over the room. When my midwives arrived, they knew straight away and I did not have to break my labour space or concentration to start explaining petty details when I needed the headspace to labour.

Possibly sticking it all over the walls is an extreme example but the idea of handing some preferences to someone who you have only just met to explain a little about things that are important to you is not a bad idea when the chances are excellent you will be somewhat preoccupied.

Samedaydifferentusername Sat 28-Jun-14 23:08:09

Breathing techniques and yoga, helped me stay upright most of my labour which had a great impact on my ability to deal with pain.

I did a yoga class through most of pregnancy but I bed you'd get on YouTube.

Good luck

RollingGreenMarble Sat 28-Jun-14 23:09:33

It's gonna hurt like hell if it all goes well, just get it over and done with one contraction at a time. HTH grin

Seriously I think there is nothing you can do except just take it as it comes.

WashingFanatic Sat 28-Jun-14 23:09:42

DC1 was just a horrific labour, extended induction, epidural bla bla etc.

DC2 though, the best thing I did was stay on my feet. I'm convinced it makes such a difference to hurrying things along. The MWs were telling me to come and have a lie down, I was still pacing up and down the corridor at 8cm lol.

IHeartKingThistle Sat 28-Jun-14 23:12:35

With DC2I finally realised that if I didn't tense up my stomach it didn't hurt as much. I was like 'WHY did no-one tell me that for 20 hours with DC1?'

MsVestibule Sat 28-Jun-14 23:13:16

These are my best, most basic tips:

1. When having contractions, lean on something, rock backwards and forwards and count your breaths. It helped me to know that it would start to ease off after, say, 10 breaths. Until the contractions suddenly got longer...

2. Do not lie on the bed unless you absolutely have to. Some midwives want you to because it's easier to examine you, but I kept moving as much as I could. If you want to stay in one place, kneel up against the headboard.

3. Stay at home until you really need to go to hospital. (Presume you're not having a home birth?) I was 9cm dilated when I got there with DC1 (induced with DC2) and think being at home helped.

4. Remember that your body is specifically designed to grow and give birth to a baby. Believe that you can do it.

Good luck and keep focusing on that beautiful baby you'll be cradling in your arms at the end of it.

Mintyy Sat 28-Jun-14 23:14:32

TENS machine - fantastic invention. Get it on early, as soon as things start getting painful.

NewtRipley Sat 28-Jun-14 23:16:12

I met with a senior midwife to debrief from my first labour. Should have done that sooner. And a friend of a friend was an independent midwife and we met her and had a chat. I felt more in control just fromthe fact it was the second labour, too.

IdaClair Sat 28-Jun-14 23:17:28

Absolutely stay at home until you really want to get up and leave.

I never actually got to the point of wanting that at any point, see aforementioned problems with headspace for things like car journeys, bags, keys, being out in public. So I didn't go. But I would be a fan of waiting as long as you can if you must go - but not so late you have the baby in the car!

SaucyJack Sat 28-Jun-14 23:19:13

Nothing with the first. I honestly wanted to die. Second and third time round, I knew that if I just gritted my teeth and got on with it it would be over soon enough.

Don't go for the "birth experience" either. It's not a fun day out for all the family. Nothing will make it fun. But it will be a dim and distant memory within weeks.

whereisshe Sat 28-Jun-14 23:19:43

Second the TENS machine. I loved mine. And a birth pool really helped me too.

For the contractions, I found that not fighting them made a huge difference. If you let them totally take over it's easier.

DragonMamma Sat 28-Jun-14 23:21:51

Plan for the worst, hope for the best

I had a hwb with dc2, it was a bit kum by yah (even by my standards) but being more vocal about my preferences certainly helped. First time round I was so pleased I'd survived unscathed that nothing else mattered!

cashmiriana Sat 28-Jun-14 23:28:31

I second the natalhypnotherapy CDs
I had a failed induction at 42 weeks with DD1 - cascade of horrible interventions eventually resulting after 36 hours in EMCS. It was horrendous.

I was expecting the same to happen with DD2, as I knew she too was large and in a less than great position. In fact, with the self hypnosis, and someone other than DH as an additional birth partner, I had a perfectly straightforward VBAC with a bit of gas and air. I am a total coward with pain, and it was genuinely fine. All 10lbs of her.

Sleepysheepsleeping Sat 28-Jun-14 23:30:23

Juju Sundin juju Sundin juju Sundin.
So brilliant wish she did UK classes

And yoga and natal hypnotherapy tapes. That combined with a big dose of luck no doubt got me a lovely home vbac after 2 sections.

DirtyDancing Sat 28-Jun-14 23:33:00

Hypnobirthing. Gravity. Breathing.

OccamsRaiser Sat 28-Jun-14 23:33:43

I've just had DS2, and it was a completely different experience to my 12 hour labour with DS1, who was back-to-back and never turned!

Things that helped? Agree with reading Birth Skills (though some was a bit too much for my tastes!) Getting on my feet and walking/marching through contractions, having a warm bath to lie in when they were really intense. Because it had taken such a long time with my first, I expected similar with my second (merrily ignoring the midwives saying "second babies come quicker" through my antenatal appointments...) But they sure do.

In the end, I made it to hospital with 10 minutes to spare, they didn't have a chance to examine me - my waters broke on the toilet 2 minutes after getting there, and I delivered him standing up under a hot shower 8 minutes later (2 push wonder!)

Good luck, don't let fear overwhelm you. You can do this and it will all be worth it!

Waltonswatcher Sat 28-Jun-14 23:34:14

Best advice I can give - leave your man at home .
It's only my opinion and I will no doubt get pinched , but I prefer a man free labour .

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