Labor And Birth
Pregnancy can seem to stretch in an endless manner while the mother-to-be both yearns for and fears her labor and delivery. She can't wait to see the life taking form beneath her skin, but it is only natural for her to worry about her ability to cope with the very physical birth process. Just how much will it hurt? Does it have to hurt? These are just a few of the questions that every pregnant woman will want answered.
One of your major concerns may be that you will wait too long to go to the hospital and will end up giving birth in a taxi, on the roadside with your husband tying off the cord with his shoelaces, or (Heavens!) in the toilet. Rest assured that these things don't happen very often if at all. There are good guidelines for knowing just when it's time to go to the hospital.
As for contractions, you'll want to know how to tell real contractions from false labor so you don't end up at the hospital at 3 AM for no reason. This too, is a problem that can be sorted out with ease. But if you're pregnant (and you are, or you wouldn't be reading this), you'll want to know just how bad those contractions hurt. Does Lamaze really help? Is it really, really terrible for you to forego the natural birth and get some drugs to kill the pain—say an epidural? This section is designed to help you navigate these important decisions so you can choose what is best for you and for your baby.
Of course, during your pregnancy, you'll have lots of time to plan out just how you want your birth to proceed. Maybe you'll want to have the lights dimmed during the birth so that your baby doesn't come into this world in an environment that has harsh lighting. Maybe you'll want to have the New World Symphony playing as your baby's head crowns. These details and the more medical details such as who will cut the cord and whether or not you'll want an episiotomy can be specified by you in your birth plan. We tell you how to go about creating your own unique program for this special time in your life.
What can you expect to happen at the different stages of your labor and delivery? We map it all out for you here so that when the moment comes, you will be ready for your journey into motherhood.