Shockingly, the number of Caesarean births are rising aggressively today. The number is skyrocketing in cities, while it is said to be lower in villages. While both the C-section and the natural birth give you healthy babies, the c-sector is a major trauma for the mother’s body. Here we share with you some tips to follow to have a normal delivery.
Begin before Pregnancy
If you are not yet pregnant, you have a wonderful opportunity to prepare for it. Once the baby is in, that little one is going to rule you – so now is the perfect opportunity to set your bases right. We sometimes falsely believe that we have a ‘taste’ for junk food or it is our ‘nature’ to worry and stress about everything. But it is not. They are our ‘habits,’ not ‘nature.’ Breaking habits take time and effort. Before you get ready to welcome another little being, you have to love yourself, nurture yourself and revise your eating, sleeping and exercising habits. Stick with regular bedtimes, change your work schedules and eat healthily. Sign up for at least 10 minutes of cardio to build stamina.
Most women start preparing only after they realize they are pregnant – but very little can be done then. Beginning early is winning half the war. So start immediately and transform into a pure, healthy and loving being!
IN THE FIRST TRIMESTER!
The first trimester has a notorious reputation for being so troubling. You feel nauseous all the time, voraciously hungry, suddenly craving for sweets and so sleepy. There’s a tiny little one growing inside you, and your hormones are zapping crazy to welcome it and to make it comfortable, resulting in all these damn surprises and swirls of emotions.
How on earth are you going to cope? But worry not, all the flurry cluelessness fades away once the hormones get stable, (hopefully).
It is important for you to ‘eat’ even if you feel sick. Starving will only make you weak and the hunger will tire you. Sip juices throughout the day and pamper yourself with a healthy snack of your choice every now and then. The blueprints for the tiny little organs are laid out in this period, so keep yourself amply nourished.
Stay away from saunas, very hot water baths, heavy exercises and climbing stairs too often. It’s also time to review any OTC or prescription medications you might be taking. Be liberal in resting and eating during this phase.
While you are curled up in angst, there is also another important duty you have to fulfill at this stage. You need to know about pregnancy, the stages, the do’s and don’ts and the stages of labour. Between all the vomiting and mood swings, it might be nearly impossible for you to pick up a book, so resort to authentic CD’s or audio books. There are also some educational TV and internet shows on the topic available on search. Having the right knowledge is vital for a stress-free pregnancy.
The second trimester is where most women find themselves a little stable. We begin to notice physical changes, get a little belly, and feel the first kicks and trade off old problems for fresh ones!
Doctors usually perform a mandatory ultrasound during 4 months to asses organ functioning in your little one. This scan also reveals any congenital birth defects, so don’t miss it!
Pregnancy is different for each lady. Some shed all morning sickness at this stage, but it may continue for others. The ‘heartburn’ sensation is a famous trouble maker of this stage. It might help to keep the spices low, and break down meals into smaller portions. The stomach is being squished around by the growing belly, resulting in the spilling of gastric juices into the oesophagus, causing the heart burn. Experiment with different foods until you figure out something that’s healthy and calm (good luck!).
The second trimester is also the right time to start a few light exercises. Consult your doctor and draw out small tasks to keep your muscles fit.
Your baby would have a well-developed hearing sense now, so you can talk to them! You can play them your favourite musicals and introduce their daddy! What’s even more astonishing is that the flavours of what you eat can be tasted by your baby too! At 21 weeks, the amniotic fluid surrounding your little one changes in taste every minute according to what you eat, the same for breast milk too. Also what you eat now might shape into a lifelong preference for your little one. This actually makes sense – this is nature’s way of introducing foods and flavours that the babies are likely to grow up with, in their future. If you eat a lot of veggies, your baby will very likely accept them without making faces, (fingers crossed!). So relish different cuisines and give your baby the joy of tasting delicious and healthy food right from the start!
The Third Trimester!
The third trimester is where you officially get a baby bump, have your baby punch your bladder and a host of other bittersweet issues!
The third trimester is an extensive preparation to labour. Your baby will go from looking like a miniature to a full sized grown baby. They gain weight during this stage, so it is important for you to eat fulfilling diets.
The growing belly will bring upon new challenges. You’ll find your bladder signalling ‘urgent bathroom’ very often and might have severe leg cramps (ow!). We can do nothing about the bladder part (sob!), but the cramps can be somewhat prevented! Avoid lying flat or laying in the same position for a long time. To compensate for the disturbed sleep, you can liberally take cosy naps all through the day.
It is very important to strictly watch your posture during these days. Sit straight always – slouching will strain your spine. The third trimester usually brings about swelling of the legs and it can be aggravated by sitting for long times with your legs hanging. Use a good supportive chair; sitting without a back rest can increase your back pains. Also, too much bending forward puts lots of pressure on the baby. Sometimes, your lower ribs can even leave marks on the baby. When you have to lift something, don’t bend over. Stand with your feet apart, stand upright and squat at the knees to pick the object. And since your ligaments are loosening up, if you walk for long amounts of time, your feet may stretch a bit and go up a shoe size. If you have been using any supportive belts for your tummy to ease pain, it is a good idea to stop them now. These belts have known to be quite restrictive in letting the baby’s head move down into your pelvis to get ready for delivery. You may also experience some cramps in your lower abdomen. These are just trial cramps in preparation for the real labour.
Your doctor may also advise you to keep count of the baby’s movements. If you have not noticed any movement in a while, have a glass of sweet and cold juice and lay down for 10 minutes without moving. You should sense your little one swishing around.
It is not advisable to change your doctor during the third trimester. Pick a doc that you trust and stick with them; if you have intentions to have your baby in a different place, start your appointments with them at the beginning of this trimester. Pack your hospital bag ready during the 8th month.
Some basic stuff you can pack in are:
- Clean Sheets.
- Wet Tissues.
- Infant Sweater.
- A Pair of unisex baby clothes.
- Door Mat.
- Water Bottle.
- Hair Ties.
- Comb + Hair Oil.
- Mild Deodorant/ Perfume.
- Tooth Brush, Tooth Paste.
- Camera + Batteries + Memory Card.
- Changing Sheet.
- A Hot Flask.
- Tiny Socks and Gloves.
- A Beanie Cap.
- Copies of your Papers – Driver’s License, Family Card, Insurance Papers.
- Three to Four Maternity Wear.
- Napkins + Underpants.
- Phone + Charger.
- Eye glasses.
- A Swaddling Towel.
- Money or your Card.
What not to pack:
- Don’t carry dresses/ night wear you don’t want to get soiled.
- Don’t carry jewellery or precious stuff.
- Don’t carry lots of cash.
The Pain of Labour
We’ve all watched loads of movies since childhood where the mom would scream the hell and cry to give birth. While the pain is really true, it is not something to be afraid of.
The pain of labour is triggered by Oxytocin. It begins to gently compress the uterus in a rhythm to push the baby out. We feel this as pain. First, the pain is negligible; gradually, the pain will begin to get intense and the time between these contractions will get lesser. Some hospitals use ‘Pitocin’ or a synthetic variation of the Oxytocin to artificially trigger pains. This is not recommended unnecessarily because the artificial hormone will not have the same rhythm as your real brain. It will just dump violent contractions upon you with unpredictable irregular time variations and will just tire you out without a productive labour. Moreover, Oxytocin is commonly called as the ‘Love Hormone’. For Oxytocin to secrete and for the labour to progress beautifully, you must feel love. If you are afraid, panicking or stressed, your labour will be troubled. For this purpose, you can request your mother, cousin or sister to accompany you to the labour room – so you will relax and not panic.
If you have not had any complications in your pregnancy, like blood pressure or diabetes, it is safe to wait at home during early labour until the contractions advance to uncomfortable levels. If your contractions are building up very fast, you may go to the hospital early.
If your water breaks unexpectedly while you are alone, take care to clean your privates well after each restroom use until you get to the hospital. Any infection can spread quickly when the sac has been breached. If you haven’t noticed any movement in half a day in the third trimester, you should immediately get to the doctor. It’s common to get cramps in the third trimester. The only difference between real and fake labour pain is that the fake ones go away after some rest. Most women probably develop haemorrhoids during pregnancy as a result of their belly pushing out too much on their innards. It may be an embarrassing problem, but talk to your doctor about – it will go away after you deliver.
Breastfeeding is the best ever food that you can give to your baby. The first milk or the colostrum is very rich in nutrients needed for your little one to grow healthy. Feed your little one on demand. Your tummy will take some time to get back to normal. You will still look pregnant for a week or so. Breastfeeding helps the uterus contract better and go back to its smaller size.
With good food, proper rest, little exercise and the right guidance, normal delivery isn’t a feat. It is normal. If for some reason you undergo a C-section, don’t lose hope. Having your baby screaming, pooping and kicking is more important than risking his life; while not impossible, you will recover from a C-section in time. Normal delivery is 100 times easier, but it doesn’t mean that you should detest an operation when necessary.
We hope that this little guide improved your life in some way. We’d love to hear stories about your pregnancies. Share with us your wonderful journey of motherhood here!
20 Tips to Achieve a Normal Delivery
Pregnancy is a package of different aches and sickness, so you’ll probably wish just to lay down and cuddle forever. But for a normal delivery, the tendons and the ligaments in the hip need to loosen up to make way for the baby. Keeping yourself active is the only way to do that.
Walking is a good beginner’s exercise when you are pregnant. If you swim, you can do in the third trimester with your doctor’s advice. Kegel exercises are also said to strengthen the vagina in preparation for labour. Also, focus on your thighs too – they are an important accessory for you to push during birth.
If your doctor gives you the green flag, concentrate more on keeping yourself active during the last month.
2)Say no to Stress!
If you are an impulsive social doll who often takes things personally, stop the habit now! Stress and tension trigger a series of adverse reactions inside our body that will result in anything ranging from urine infections to hair fall. You look beautiful with a smile, not a frown. Moreover, researchers think that your moods might affect the character of your baby, so take double care.
Find comfort in meditation or talk to your loved ones if something is making you anxious. If you are a music lover, let a few tunes slip around you to keep yourself smiling.
How many times do we actually stop and care about our breath? It is something we involuntarily do every minute, but what if we are doing it wrong? Shallow breaths indicate to our system that we are in distress and need an escape. This makes our bodies worry unnecessarily in search of a solution all day long.
Get in touch with a proper breath practitioner to help you relax. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll be nourishing your baby every minute, without yourself knowing!
Our eating habits are largely responsible for our well-being. Taking care of your diet is even more vital for a normal delivery. If you have low blood haemoglobin or diabetes, take care to adjust your diet accordingly. Even if you don’t feel like eating a lot due to heartburns and morning sickness, sip fruit juices and snack on filling nuts through the day.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind in your diet when trying for a normal delivery:
- Formulate a wholesome diet of grains, fibres, fruits, greens, vegetables and lean meat and stick to it.
- Get your proteins and carbs right.
- Your body needs extra calcium and iron during pregnancy, so have a tab on your iron and calcium intake.
- Consume seafood moderately.
- Excessive use of sugar salt and fats should also be checked.
- Avoid eating out and from roadside stalls – prepare your food at home, as unclean food can bring about severe food poisoning.
5)Keep a Check on your Weight
Overweight women can have extra problems during a normal delivery. Of course you have to gain a lot of weight during pregnancy, but check if it is on par with the charts. If you suddenly seem to be going too much weight during pregnancy, consult with your doctor to take remedial measures.
6)Avoid Negative Birth Stories
Among the women around you, some might have easy births and some might have had very difficult ones. Hearing stories about horror births is in no way going to help you. In fact, it will just make you anxious, nervous and panicky. We are trying to stay stress-free and positive here, so say no to labour gossips gone wrong.
- If you come across persistent mothers who want to share their sorrows with you, excuse with a sign of vomiting or plug in your earphones.
- Unnecessary panic can cause you to not sleep properly, showing adverse effects on your own pregnancy.
- Everyone is different, just because your sister nearly died does not mean that everyone will feel that way. Be happy, healthy and follow your doc’s advice, and there will be nothing much left to worry about.
7)Knowledge is Power
Educating yourself about what labour is, how it commences, and how the baby comes out can provide you a strong sense of relief. You will be armed with information and if something seems off, you’ll be able to get a whiff before it goes wrong.
Some ways you can get powerful knowledge are:
- Get a good book about pregnancy and childbirth. Go for ones with detailed pictures and good explanations. If you are doing terrible and don’t want to even read a word, then there are loads of audio books for you to listen to as you lay in bed all day.
- You could follow childbirth community websites for some excellent advice from real moms. You’ll know what worked for them and what didn’t – but make sure that you are on a quality site (like this!) and not some unreliable sites trying to sell you stuff.
- Keep an elder woman of your family close by so you can talk to them and get their love, support, care, affection and wisdom. There’s nothing like family to make us feel at home, right?
- Don’t lose sleep over qualms. If you have anything bugging you, no matter how silly it seems, ask your doctor. Momma’s intuitions are pretty right and you will end up safe and sound.
8)Have Good Support
Pregnancy is a phase with raging hormones. You’ll feel awfully crazy going through it alone. If there is someone with you who has gone through it all before, it will be the greatest gift for you. If you are close to your mom or gram, request them to move in with you.
Make sure that:
- You and your partner agree with the child birth plan.
- Your partner is a stable and caring person – you don’t want any more stress added to you at the last minute.
9)Choose a Good Doctor
With a very heavy heart, we all have to admit that caesareans are becoming more about money than about the well-being of the mother and baby. So the key to a happy and successful delivery lies in choosing your doctor wisely.
Look for these signs in your gynec:
- Make sure that your doctor respects your wishes about a normal delivery.
- Check if the rates of caesarean births are high in the hospital you are about to deliver.
- Trust your instincts about if you like the environment of the hospital and staff.
Pregnancy massages are said to help you get your body relaxed and well in line for a normal delivery. They help you stretch in the right places and help the baby get lodged correctly into your pelvis. Acupuncture/acupressure believes that certain points near the ankle might trigger labour, so avoid strong foot massages.
- If you’ve reached the seventh month of your pregnancy, you are good to go for perineal massages.
- It can also help you relax and shed off stress, making you feel ecstatic.
- You’ll get a good rest after a long time, so it’s a big thumbs up!
11)Stay Well Hydrated
Water is a vital element of the human body, even more important when you are pregnant. Take time to sort out your water intake – staying hydrated is essential for you to pull off a successful delivery. If you are not a big fan of drinking plain water, spice it up with fresh juices or recommended healthy organic sports energy drinks!
12)Find a Mid Wife!
An experienced Doula is an invaluable asset for you. Their wisdom and experience can help you so much in getting your baby delivered normally. A doula can also be your strong and stable support while writhing in the pain of labour – she’ll be your partner in the whole affair, taking care of your birth plan for you.
- The correct lifestyle advice from a Doula is the best thing ever that can happen to you in pregnancy.
- She can help mediate with the doctors to facilitate the birth going as you wish.
- Her experience and advice can help you recover quickly from the labour and regain your strength.
- You will have a stable partner for you to take care of things, which will reduce the burden on you, so you can enjoy the process of popping out your little one.
13)Soak all you want!
Water can be a soothing relief to you in the process of birthing. Aside from downing hundreds of litres of during pregnancy, you can also use it to make your pregnancy luxurious.
- Hydrotherapy is said to be immensely beneficial in the management of discomfit during labour.
- You could always fill a tub with warm water and soak it in for relief. Add a few exciting bath salts and you’ll be instantly in heaven. Just don’t make it too hot – steaming hot water can harm the development of your baby. Keep it to an endurable level.
- Tub baths can also help you relax and sleep well.
- If your water has broken, don’t use bath tubs. Shower when you need to!
Squatting is a great exercise to prepare your tummy and hips for delivery. With the recommendation of your doctor, you can squat safely in the last trimester, gradually increasing your workouts.
- Squatting opens up your pelvis and helps your baby’s head get lodged in there.
- Squatting also tones your legs and thighs, so you’ll look hot ever after.
- If you find squatting a bit hard-core, you can try exercise balls – they are good too.
This isn’t completely official – but words are on the round that the Ice Challenge is a great way to know how the labour will be and to check how you react to all that pain.
Here’s what you need for the challenge:
Even if you are not all that interested, it might help to know how you’d cope with all that pain. You will get to know surprising truths about how resilient you are or how much you tend to swear when hurting. You’d be better equipped to prepare for the real deal, right?
Yoga has been termed as an excellent way to a healthy life and it can also be a great tool for a normal delivery. Yoga focuses on tuning your breath, so you are automatically showered with the goodness of breathing exercises. Also, you’ll get a lot more flexible with all the different poses and release your back tensions for a happy pregnancy. It can also make you feel poised and calm, ready for the big day!
17)Watch your Postures
Keeping your body aligned in harmony is the key to let your child glide smoothly in for a normal delivery. Standing or sitting for too long, rolling over in awkward poses, donning tight belts and high heels can all disrupt the harmonious alignment of your body.
- Always sit with proper support for your back. Pregnancy already puts a lot of stress on your spine and abusing it will only drive up the pains.
- Leaving your legs hanging for too long will cause it to swell, so sit with your legs folded or stretched out straight.
- Take care not to slouch while sitting, don’t rush up the stairs or bend down to lift objects – keep an eye on your suture at all times
Some women swear by this trick and some are not convinced – so it’s up to you to decide. Many chiropractors claim that they can even turn breech babies into a head down positions – so it might be worth a try. These massages can help the hips to loosen up and might encourage the baby to slip out easily without much trouble.
Rest after play is everything. With the little one tumbling in your belly, with the weird cravings popping up so awkwardly and the stress of the impending labour, it might seem impossible to make your mind think about anything else – but a girl’s gotta try! Let your hair down once in a while and enjoy a good reunion, a mystery novel or a new companion for your walk. Lighten up the mood and rest adequately to rock the labour like a diva!
20)The Possibility of a Caesarean
The tips for a normal delivery won’t be complete without the mention of caesarean. Though it may be fearsome, caesarean is just the only reason some of us get to be mothers. Isn’t that something wonderful? In a moment of crisis, the way you give birth doesn’t really matter – it’s not going to take away your awesome love for your baby or affect your great mothering skills. Don’t feel so worked up when thinking of a caesarean, just try to keep away from it until the dire necessity arises.
We hope that these 20 tips are super empowering and energizing for you! Hang on there, you will be alright! Have a delightful delivery!