- Pick a provider you are comfortable with. He or she will be your guide for this wonderful journey you are about to embark on.
- Feel comfortable with the facility you are delivering at. Take a tour of the birth place.
- I suggest participating in a birthing class. They are informative, helpful and often include a tour. If attending a class conflicts with your schedule, or if you prefer to learn by other methods, there are plenty of online or print/video information available out there.
- Your obstetrician can also guide you in the process of selecting a physician for the baby.
Pain management is a very important part of labor. Pain tolerance differs from person to person. Talk to your provider before delivery about what your expectation of pain management is. He or she will walk you through the scenarios that may occur during labor and options for treatment. Do you want medication or would you prefer natural methods for relaxation such as Jacuzzi, shower, rocking chair, or a birthing ball? Acupressure and hypnosis can also be incorporated into labor. Comfort items such as pillows, robes and music mixes are essential. They will often help you get through the sometimes painful and long hours early in labor.
Finally, decide who you want in the room during the delivery. These people are there to support you throughout labor. During labor, monitoring of the fetus can often be tailored to your needs as long as fetal well-being is assured. At delivery, decide on if you would like photos or videos to capture the special moment. Assign this to someone in the room. Who will cut the umbilical cord? Would you like the baby placed on your chest or taken to the warmer? If you are planning on breastfeeding, the nursing staff and lactation consultant can work with you on getting it started soon after birth. Take the time to enjoy those first precious moments with your new bundle of joy. Families waiting can visit when you are ready for them.
This is a special time. I want you to make it a personal experience for you and your baby.