I vividly remember my time leading up to the day I went into labour. To say that I was nervous would be an understatement. I knew there would be moments that we would remember for the rest of our lives. In my attempts to have everything under control, I ended up stressing more than I should have. I didn’t want anything to go wrong. Childbirth can be intimidating and scary. And in order to not lose ourselves in the anxiety of ensuring everything goes smoothly, I have made a small list of do’s and don’t that an expectant mother can follow.
These are few things that you and your partner need to keep in mind to make the big day a lot less stressful and celebrate the arrival of your little one.
1. Educate yourself -Join a childbirth class.
This one is of utmost importance. We might think we know everything about the birthing process but that’s hardly the case. There might be folks around you who would say, ‘what is the point of all these classes? We didn’t have them during our time and we did just fine. All this is a waste of money.’
Don’t listen to them.
I took the class my doctor offered to me reluctantly. I thought I knew everything that I needed to know. But I was wrong. Childbirth is a complex process and it is good to have a heads up beforehand to prepare myself in a better way.
2. Finalize your doctor and the hospital.
Don’t wait until the last minute, finalise the doctor and the hospital where you are planning to give birth. If you are travelling to be with your parents, it is advisable to meet the new doctor and both of you get acquainted with each other. Also, book the hospital room and services beforehand to avoid any last-minute hassle for you and your family members.
3. Talk to your partner-how you want the birthing process to be.
Every expectant mother has a vision of how they want their childbirth to be. It is better for you and your partner to sit down and talk to each other about how the day is going to be. Hospitals nowadays don’t allow anyone in the labour room other than the husband. The partner needs to know it is going to be intense and not aesthetically pleasing( read gross).
The men need to know they would be the primary providers of strength and comfort for their partners and they should be mentally prepared for that. There might be a lot of yellings too, so be prepared for that. Sorry!
4. Prepare your help/house help for the process.
Who is going to look after your house while you are away? Parents/In-laws? A friend? Siblings? Update them with your current health status and things that need to be taken care of while you are away.
5. Don’t listen to 20 different people/ cancel negativity.
As a pregnant woman, you would be offered a lot of free/unwarranted advice. Everyone has a different set of does and don’ts that work for them that they want you to follow. Few of them would sense and most of them, are just hearsay.
A lot of them would be ‘women used to this-that in older times and they were just fine.’ Ignore them as much as you can.
I was advised to not take iron and calcium meds as apparently most women can recover on their own without this pharma scams-Just like the old times.
Women can deliver on their own without the need of an epidural-Just like the old times.
Vaccines(babies and otherwise) are scams again-Just like the old times.
Weird enough? I know.
6. Prepare your bags and the documents.
I would suggest you pack your hospital bag beforehand and don’t pack everything in one bag. One for the expectant mother, one for the baby and one for the caretaker. Everything in one bag and you will end up scrambling the bag as you need them. And yes, the documents, Adhar, hospital registration documents and childbirth registration documents(if any). Moreover, carry the documents in a separate folder for easy access.
7. Stock up on essentials/clean up the house.
The husband and our house took time to clean the house inside out leading to the days of my due date. I always wanted to bring the baby in a clean house and it helped in calming my OCD genes. A clean house always brings positive vibes, don’t they?
We had stocked up the essentials so that once the baby arrives, we have all the time to focus on her. No worries about grocery shopping and stuff alike.
8. Talk to yourself:
How have you envisioned your child’s birth to be? A vaginal delivery or C-section? I know I am not supposed to endorse a c-section. I always felt I didn’t have it in me to go for vaginal delivery. A lot of us feel the same but are not supposed to talk about it openly. C-section is somehow considered shameful and I never understood why.
I changed my decision last minute and opted for vaginal delivery. It didn’t work out for me and I ended up having a c-section, something I wanted in the first place. Having a C-section does not make you less of a woman. Don’t let anybody influence you otherwise.
9. Keep a backup plan handy.
We are living in a global pandemic as I write this. And it’s always advisable to keep a back plan handy in case things don’t go as you have planned. You never know.
10. Don’t forget to take the camera with you.
You don’t want to miss those moments do you?! Meeting your bundle of joy for the first time, capturing those moments as they happen right in time. Those precious moments! Do make sure to recharge the camera battery in advance.