We all have a plan in our mind about how we hope our birth will go. Some have a more detailed picture in mind than others but everyone will have some thoughts on where and how to give birth. We encourage you to think about your birth wishes, place of birth and to learn more about the different options for pain relief. However, please keep in mind that as we can’t influence how our body will react to contractions, a birth might not go as you might have envisaged it to be.
You can compare giving birth with running a marathon; your legs will need to run and your mind needs to adjust if things go differently then expected. Maybe the wind is harder then hoped for, or your shoes are hurting. The same can happen during labour. Mostly it starts in the night which means you will miss a few hours of sleep which can make it harder to cope with contractions. However, when running a marathon there is one thing that really pulls you through, even with blisters on your feet and muscle cramps all over your body: if you receive continuous support throughout the 40 mile run, if people are cheering at every corner of the street, you will feel much more confident to pull through. This is exactly the same during labour. You will have to adjust your expectations and hopes. However this doesn’t mean at all you will have a negative birth experience. Even though you can’t control how well your body will labour or if there will be complications, you can control how to cope with how it’s going.
For many women there is a discrepancy in the confidence they felt initially and how they actually felt as they went through the experience of giving birth. That’s why it’s so important to feel fully supported during labour by your (birth)partner and by us to create a positive birth experience even if things go differently as planned.
During your first labour you’ll have about 50% chance of developing a medical indication which means your care will be taken over by the hospital staff. Fortunately there is rarely an emergency as 96% are non urgent reasons. The biggest reason for a medical indication is pain relief (except gas & air), followed by an IV drip with oxytocin to speed up labour.
Other reasons to hand over the care is meconium stained amniotic fluid or when contractions haven’t started spontaneously after >24hrs of broken membranes.
If your care has to be handed over to the hospital staff, rest assured that they will do all they can to provide you with the support of labour you and need.
We’re not going to tell you it is going to be easy, we are telling you it’s going to be worth it!