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Advice on the labour, or how to prepare?

I am feeling quite nervous about the labour. I have never had an operation or broken a bone in my body, so I havent really been tested on the pain front so dont quite know my pain threshold yet! But I am not naive I know the labours going to hurt alot! I wondered if you ladies have any advice on ways to reduce my anxiety and prepare myself better. I did consider hypnobirthing but its very expensive! xx


  • mum2be2011mum2be2011 Posts: 1,172

    I'm pregnant with my first baby and am in the same position as you, never broken a bone, never had an op either. I'm trying not to dwell on it or think about it too much and I'm not sure how you would prepare although I also like the thought of hypnobirthing and the birthing pool. Like you, I know it will be very painful but it is what the female body was made for and I've never spoken to anyone who hasn't said it was worth it. A lot of people have told me stories about their own labours but really it doesn't help to hear it as everyone is different, I've heard of some people being in labour for 3 days and others for 20 mins (hope I'm closer to 20 mins)! x
  • howards21howards21 Posts: 286
    i know people seem to feel the need to give me the horror stories of their labours and it just makes me more anxious, i keep trying to put it to the back of my mind but it creeps back once in a while! i know we are normal feeling this way as its the fear of the unknown but i feel like a bit of a failure thinking it x
  • mum2be2011mum2be2011 Posts: 1,172
    Don't feel like a failure!! We all think this, the first thing I said when I found out I was pregnant was 'I'm going to have to give birth'.... image

    We wouldn't be human if the thought of labour didn't make us nervous. Have you spoken to your Mum about her labour? My midwife told me that women usually have labours similar to their mother, the other benefit of that is that she probably wouldn't give you horror stories like others do. I used to watch One Born Every Minute before I fell pregnant and I was amazed at how some of the women coped with it and every one has a smile on their face as soon as they see baby. Also, I think of the women who do it again and again and it makes me feel more confident x
  • mum2be2011mum2be2011 Posts: 1,172
    I forgot to ask, when are you due? x
  • hev1980hev1980 Posts: 146
    Hey ladies.. bit of a long shot but I live in Lancaster and there is someone who is just starting hypno birthing in the area for full course its £150... (usually £250)

    If you're anywhere near or want details let me know... we've just signed up as I'm terrified at the thought of giving birth!! Can't even watch one born every minute as I'm too scared!!!
  • mum2be2011mum2be2011 Posts: 1,172
    Thanks Hev but I'm in Scotland so would be a bit of a trip, I've contacted a hypnotherapy place here to ask about costs and I'm waiting on a reply. I love One Born, always feel really sorry for the husbands though they often get a lot of grief, small price to pay for a baby in comparison to the ladies though.

    I think if the hypnobirthing does work then its worth the costly fee x
  • SteampunkbrideSteampunkbride Posts: 1,748
    My mantra became 'my body was built to do this'.

    Every women copes differently. Some have no pain relief (heaven knows how!) and some have epidurals. Some labours are short and others long. It's impossible to predict how your labour will go, but the end result will be the same.

    My labour (first baby, he's 9 months old today image ) lasted about 8 hours. I had the gas and air (loved that stuff!) and spent most of my labour at home. He was meant to be a home birth, but I was pushing for too long so they took me to hospital and 20 minutes after arriving out he popped (I pushed all the way in the ambulance too image ).

    Take some snacks, you don't know how long it'll be. Lucozade or energy drinks. I had a water spray (you'll find it next to holiday stuff and sun tan lotion in the supermarket), it's nice to have it sprayed on your face. Don't forget your camera and phone!

    I used a TENS machine for the first couple of hours of labour (a quicker labour means the contractions get stronger quicker). I found moving around and moo-ing helped (honestly, you won't care) and when you push it's nothing like you've ever known, your body will take over.

    Don't be scared, go with it. Yes, it will be painful but it's kind of a good pain because you know you get a baby at the end of it and not just a plaster. So my advice is relax, breath deeply, sway, move, moo and remember, your body was built to do this. Good luck image
  • Hi i think some peoples labour is bad.But if it was that bad we wouldnt want to have more kids later on.Thats how i see it lol.

    I was 17 when i had my daughter and i had no pain relif at all.I did want it but didnt get in the hospital in time so couldnt have it.It just feels like your constipated(you need to go but you cant)you cant sleep when your in labour its to hard.and the min you hold your child you forget any way.Move around alot when your in labour aswell and use the exercise balls they have aswell as that tends to help bring the labour on.i was in labour for 1 hour and 40 min with my little girl who is now 3.

    But just try to stay calm it is going to hurt dont think that it wont but you will be fine like i said if it was that bad we wouldnt go back to have more children x good luck x
  • Natalie_1024Natalie_1024 Posts: 157
    Hiya, the best advice I can give is not to worry because you forget it all as soon as you hold your baby! Probably so you want to do it all again! Trust your instincts though. I had my second son 3 weeks ago by induction and (to cut a long story short) I was told I was having "propess pains" so there was no point examining me. When they did, I was 9cm dilated and by the time I'd walked around the corner to delivery, I was having the urge to push as he was crowning! 7 minutes it took, but my first was a slow labour of 73 hours so I had an epidural after 60 hours just because I needed to sleep! The longer one was the easier one even though he was ventouse in the end. That may be because the induction was painful and because I was being told I wasn't in labour so I was worrying I'd have another long one and that I'd never cope once the "real contractions" started! Don't be afraid of needing pain relief because I know I don't feel like I achieved something the second time by not having any, or that I failed the first time. No one is ever a failure after giving birth!

    Good luck xx
  • The one thing thing I would advise is that although you may have a birthing plan of how you want things done, be aware that things don't always go to plan! You might change your mind about what (if any) pain relief you want when you are in labour or baby might make the midwives have to change how the birth progresses. I think most mums (not just first time mums) have had the feeling of 'how am i going to do this???' - me with my second when I was banging my head against the wall because of the pain having just been told baby was being born now and that no time to get me on the labour ward let alone have an epidural!! - and i think as somebody above said you just have to tell yourself that you will be able to do it.

    Labour hurts a lot, there's not really any point in pretending otherwise but out of my 2 births - one with gas and air and an epidural and the second with no pain relief whatsoever - I can honestly say I would choose the no pain relief way if I was to have any more. Purely because everything was so much calmer afterwards, and as most people say the pain of labour (with my second) was gone immediately and made me wonder why I had been so scared of it. image

    Hope everything goes well for you. x x
  • NowMrsMNowMrsM Posts: 536
    I'm with the other ladies- don't panic what will be will be!

    I had what was classed as a 'long and difficult' labor ending in emergency c section and although on paper I went through a lot, the midwives were fabulous (as was my husband!) and the care I got was second to none (a positive report on NHS maternity care!).

    I didn't follow a word of my birth plan in the end but still came out a very happy lady with a beautiful little boy and I wouldn't change a thing.

    If I had to give any advice it's keep open minded and make sure your birthing partner knows your views so they can help you made decisions when the time comes. It's ok to change your mind too- your birth plan isn't set in stone!

    Even the most difficult labors can be a positive experience!

    Good luck to you all x
  • JHyamsJHyams Posts: 1,848
    Book some antenatal classes. I've had the NCT ones (had 3 out of 6) and they have been really good. They tell you when to go to the hospital, so that you're not waiting in a ward beforehand, how to reduce contractions by relaxing, which lowers your adrenaline levels, which make contractions more painful and breathing techniques.

    This is my 1st child as well and I'm 32 weeks pregnant. I'm hoping to have a water birth because I know I can't cope with pain very well (although haven't had broken bones/ ops etc.) and water birth is the 2nd most effective pain reliever, after an epidural. But as there is only 1 water pool in the hospital where I am going, its 1st come, 1st serve, so an epidural will probably have to be the answer if its unavailable.

    Just try reading up on things and going to classes, because the more clued up you are about how to relax and what pain relief is on offer, then the shorter the labour x
  • leighh5ukleighh5uk Posts: 278
    I was exactly same position as you, but i decided not to go to antenatal classes etc because all any of the others wanted was labour stuff and like you say you dont want to listen to other peoples horror stories!

    my son was 6months on monday and i was in full labour for 19hours and my waters had broke 9 hours before that. alot of people said take snacks but my hospital (scotland) didnt allow me to eat possibly because in the end i had an apidural.

    i think everyone is different and you just have to get past by thinking what an amazing thing is coming from it x
  • PeasnCarrotsPeasnCarrots Posts: 1,831
    I always used to say that I am never going to have kids because I was so scared of labour. I would like to tell you what helped me...

    The first thing I would like to do is tell you about my Aunty Liz's birth of her 3rd baby. She woke up at 3 with labour pains, took some paracetamol and fell back asleep. Woke up at 7, took the 2 older kids to school, came home and called the midwife (she had a homebirth), sent her husband to get her a sausage roll and some olives from Sainsburys deli counter, gave birth and then cleaned the house in time for the kids to come home. I know its her 3rd so the baby could have "fell" out (her words, not mine lol) but it made me feel better.

    Second thing is to remember that your baby is inside you now, he or she has to get out one way or another so there is no point stressing about it. Its going to happen whether you like it or not so stressing out is just a waste of energy that could be used in better ways, like browsing mamas and papas or mothercare image

    Thirdly, everytime you get a contraction imagine a picture of your cervix opening, the more you relax, the quicker it opens, the quicker you get to meet your baby. Every contraction = one step closer image

    And the fourth thing I would like to tell you is about my labour. Inbetween contractions I ate a huge dinner at my mums house, pulled a carpet up and removed some grippers ready for a new floor to be fitted the next day, Hoovered everywhere, changed my bedsheets and then went to hospital to find I was 6cm so I must have done at least half of that in what is classed as official labour (4cm) and all of it at least 2cm. Hot baths help alot when in labour, as does relaxing your body when you get a contraction and concentrating on one spot. Dont tense up or panic it seemed to make my contractions alot worse. I cant comment on anything past the contractions because I ended up having an emergency C section at 8cms but just wanted to tell you what I knew. I told my best pal the same thing and she said her labour was a breeze because of the advice I gave her!

    Goood luck

  • PeasnCarrotsPeasnCarrots Posts: 1,831
    my advice is relax, breath deeply, sway, move, moo and remember, your body was built to do this.

    Ive only just read everyone elses advice. This is good advice, I was making all sorts of wierd movements with my hips when the contractions came and that helped, as did humming. You will know whats right for YOU when the time comes x
  • poppet12poppet12 Posts: 357
    Like everyone has said the important thing is to remain calm.

    It will hurt and pain you cannot describe but it is a pain that disappears and forgotten the second you see your baby! Unlike a broken leg or any other ops the pain lingers.

    Just remember you are in good hands and the midwife will look after you and help you throughout and guide you. Don't put any pressure on yourself and do what you feel is right. I did not use any gas and air until I could no longer take it which was after 12 hours of contraction. I ended up having an emergency c section after being induced and being 11 days overdue with my blood pressure shooting through the roof.

    My only mistake was I did not eat properly on the day - which is difficult as food was the last thing on my mind. I had lucozade with me and bring a straw - makes it easier to drink when you are trying to deal with the contractions. Get yourself a ball to sit on - this helped me and don't be afraid to try different positions to ease the pain - your midwife will help you.

    Good luck - let us know how you get on. It will be worth it and you will feel you can conquer anything after giving birth!
  • JvLwithBabyBoyJvLwithBabyBoy Posts: 2,740 New bride
    im 29+1 with my first and have started to think about this as well. i feel like my due date is really creeping up on me now lol. to prepare i have booked some prep classes, read a hypnobirthing book, will get a birthing ball for at home and ive spoken to a friend of my moms who is a midwife. her advice was very much like what the other ladies have already said. she told me not to worry and to try and be relaxed and prepared and then i will be fine. my mother had 2 natural births with myself and my brother and said they were both fine, even though my brother was breech. i try not to listen to the horror stories too much, it wont help to scare myself silly. and at the end of the day the only thing that really matters is that our babies are born healthy. xx
  • clairemoneyclairemoney Posts: 2,255
    the human body is an amazing thing, i was really worried about it but when my waters broke i started bouncing on my birthing ball and visited our mums - i was so excited to meet my is painful but you just cope - i didnt get on the gas and air until really late but once on it it my labour changed you laugh between contractions lol any way your body does the work - harry is 14 wks today and im still amazed what my body done.
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