BTDT Ladies- What do you wish you had known about labor/delivery?

Avatar for cmkristy
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2005
BTDT Ladies- What do you wish you had known about labor/delivery?
8
Wed, 10-05-2011 - 10:03am

BTDT ladies, what do you wish you'd known about labor/delivery before you experienced it for the first time? What advice or suggestions would you give to a first-time mama who's about to experience labor and delivery for the first time?

We asked our iVillage mamas to spill the dirt on their labor – and what they wish someone had clued them in on beforehand. Here’s their advice.

Take it From a New Mom: 18 Tips to Make Delivery Easier- http://www.ivillage.com/things-no-one-told-us-about-labor-and-delivery-process/6-b-333559?ice=iv:mb:...

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
I had a detailed (but pretty flexible) birth plan but never considered what would happen if I had a cesarian. I just never thought it would happen that way. I suggest making at least a rough plan for every scenario you can think of, including a plan for the care of your baby. After my c/s, the baby was whisked away and lots of things were done with none of my knowledge or permission, despite the fact that he had no life threats. Also, don't be afraid to ask for a new nurse if you don't like the one you have and don't be afraid to make people leave the room. I had a ton of people in my room after the baby was born and maybe they thought they could hang out cause the baby wasn't in my room anyway, but it was not fun having an audience while I was recovering from surgery.

Manda :)

Community Leader
Registered: 04-18-2003

That's EXACTLY why I decided to post about birth plans for a cesearean.

Gail

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
I think if I would have had a plan for it, I could have been more outspoken about how things would be handled (even through my hysteria). I do feel like I was cheated out of giving birth. I feel like I should have fought harder not to allow the induction, or at least fought harder not to be banished to the bed, on my back, which was how the really b!tchy nurse made me stay. Every time I moved, she'd come in and ream me out about following directions. My previously consistent contractions became very erratic and I was extremely uncomfortable from my position. I really think that's why the baby was not doing well and I was not progressing. I also feel like I was cheated out of bonding time with my baby. If I would have been prepared I would have demanded that he be brought to me to breastfeed as soon as they were sure his lungs were clear. Instead, they kept him from me for hours, which of course meant that he got cold (so had to be under warmer), his blood sugar dropped (so they tube fed formula), his oxygen levels dipped (so he was on O2). It was a nightmare and the minute I finally got to hold him-24 hours later, ALL of those issues resolved. Weird. I was just too high on morphine to do anything about it the day before, even though I wanted to, I was just too emotional to get my point across to the staff. I had been so prepared for a natural birth, had taken a Bradley class, had prepared for the possible need for interventions, but truly believed that with all my preparation I would not need a c/s. I was just not prepared for my MW to dump me at the hospital with a terrible nurse. I really think that experience was why I did not progress and my baby was in distress because I was in distress.

Manda :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-1998

That was a pretty poor article, IMO. The only thing in it I found both true and useful was the emphasis on how important the nurses (and your relationship with them) is. Ok, that and the not quite explicitly stated "every labor is different and you don't know what you'll get" The rest was fuzzy useless "lay back & let them work on you" stuff.

My first labor was my 2nd baby. I had really bad pre-e in the 8th month. After a lousy c-section experience, I never wanted to do that again, so I read everything . The only thing I wish I'd known after all that was that the average time to push

Cthulu Crochet

Community Leader
Registered: 04-18-2003

ca_dreamer:

Gail

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
"In reality, your medical team -- whose job is to do whatever is best for you and your baby -- might simply make those decisions for you. While it may make you feel good to put your preferences down on paper, your birth plan won't have a whole lot of influence on what's going to go down in that delivery room."

This excerpt is what really bothers me. I am NOT ok with people making decisions "for" me unless I'm unconcious and dying. Then it becomes their job to make my decisions for me. I think your birth plan should have A LOT of influence on what happens in the delivery room. If most hospitals had their way, every woman would be strapped to monitors, laying in bed, and filled with drugs. They'd make more money and deliveries would have less surprises (like screaming, laboring mothers) AND c/section rates would be even higher, along with longer recovery times for moms and babies (due to excessive interventions). I'm not saying that interventions and drugs aren't necessary for some births but I do think they are over-used and pushed on moms who have not educated themselves about birth. I think the best advice there is for moms out there is to EDUCATE yourself. You have lots of choices and they are your's to make-not the hospital's. It is up to you to weigh all the pros and cons of every part of your birth and make informed decisions.

Manda :)

Community Leader
Registered: 04-18-2003

mandak78: I'm not saying that interventions and drugs aren't necessary for some births but I do think they are over-used and pushed on moms who have not educated themselves about birth. I think the best advice there is for moms out there is to EDUCATE yourself. You have lots of choices and they are your's to make-not the hospital's. It is up to you to weigh all the pros and cons of every part of your birth and make informed decisions.

Women are not encouraged to educate themselves about labour and delivery.

Gail

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-18-2012

So, my thought was initially that I would come in equipped with as detailed and precise a birthplan as I could so that I would not be left helpless in the hands of my medical team. Other than that, how am I best to assert myself? I am a first-time mom to-be and I have recently steeled myself against wanting ANY drugs for my labor, unless something goes awfully wrong and I need a c/section or other intervention to ensure my baby's safety. How can I be sure that any deviation from my birth plan truly is in her best interest, and how can I put my foot down against measures that are unnecessary for her safety?