So you’ve taken classes, rehearsed the hospital route, packed your suitcase and read all the books. What else is there? Well, you‘ve got to realize that every birth is unique, and there are so many unexpected things that can happen! Sometimes sticking to the plan isn’t an option. But don’t freak out. Here’s how to handle labor and delivery curveballs so you can focus on the more pleasant aspects of birth.
Surprise! It hurts more than you thought it would
Lots of women can handle birthing without pain medication…good for them! But no matter how many books you read or websites you visit you don’t know what labor is going to feel like until it happens to you. You can start out determined to have a drug-free birth, but after hours and hours of excruciating labor you might change your mind. Don’t hesitate to ask the doctor for some medication to help you have an easier delivery.
Surprise! You need a C-section
Caesarean births are still near an all-time high—and some women even want to have C-sections instead of going into labor. But when it is unexpected, whether from fetal distress, breech presentation, or labor that simply isn’t progressing, it doesn’t matter as long as you end up with a healthy baby. For six weeks after the birth, a mother who went through a C-section should recover, sleep and nurse the baby.
Surprise! You need to be induced
Sometimes, the labor just doesn’t happen on time and you need to be induced. Doctors will induce labor when there’s a medical condition that puts mom or baby at risk, for example, pre-eclampsia, diabetes or an abruption of the placenta. And actually, some women asked to be induced because they want their baby to be born on a specific day. If you are induced expect that the contractions will be closer together and much more regular than natural contractions.