When you are pregnant with your first child, you may be unsure of what you can expect from the process of labor and childbirth. You may have heard stories from other women who had difficult pregnancies and therefore may experience unneeded anxiety as your due date approaches. Childbirth should be a special experience for every woman, and you can make it a more pleasant one when you follow the guidelines below and work closely with your OBGYN.
- Sign up for a birthing class: Talk to your doctor about your goals for childbirth and ask for a recommendation on classes to help you prepare. There are many different types of birthing classes available that teach various methods, so do a little research about which method might suit you and sign up for the class well in advance.
- Understand the stages of labor: Childbirth takes place in three stages and knowing what to expect during each stage will help you prepare. The first stage will alert you that you are in labor; you will experience contractions while the cervix becomes dilated. These can be painful and will occur closer together as the baby moves into the birthing position. You may experience false labor and feel contractions about one week before you give birth. It can be hard to determine the difference between real and false labor, so don’t try to differentiate real from false. Follow the direction of your obstetrician.
- Create a birth plan: Your OBGYN is a valuable resource; he or she can help you create a birth plan that incorporates many of your preferences in the process of childbirth. This will help you feel more in control once you are in labor and will allow for a personalized labor and delivery.
For comprehensive care during your pregnancy and helpful tips for a successful delivery, visit Desert West OBGYN. Schedule a consultation by calling (602) 457-6459.