If things go differently as planned…
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.
It’s good to realize that there is a 50% chance (with a first born) that we will have to hand over the care to the hospital where the clinical midwife or attending doctor takes over the care. In 96% of the cases, this is no emergency. The biggest reason is because of need of pain relief, or an intravenous drip with oxytocin (the labor hormone) because labor is too slow or because the baby has poo-ed in the amniotic fluid. Only occasionally is it urgent and then we can always go to the nearest hospital.
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.
Support of labour
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. Want to have guaranteed continuous support of labour by us, even if your medical care has been handed over to the hospital? Read more.
Try not to get disappointed in yourself if things turn out very differently from what you hoped for and expected. Your body has to do the work, to make good contractions and to dilate. By trying to relax as much as possible and continuous support of labour, by your (birth)partner and us, we will pull you through.