Feeling frenzied all the time can take a toll on your fertility. Here’s how you can chillax and boost your odds of baby-making success.
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There are few things more exciting than growing another human being inside of you. But with excitement, comes stress. (The nursery isn’t ready! My OB-GYN is booked for the next three months!) Here, 5 meditation techniques to help you find peace throughout this exhilarating process (including labor), whether you’re a meditation newbie or om expert.
As we grow these little tiny beings in our bodies, we are always thinking about the big day when he/she will come out. "How will I be able to handle the pain?" we ask ourselves. "What can I do to prepare?" The truth of the matter is, there is a lot of pain, suffering and “uncomfortableness” around pregnancy, and leading up to the big day. If we condition ourselves to be “comfortable” with what we go through during pregnancy, we will have a solid foundation going into birth.
Pregnancy is full of changes. Your body changes, your emotions are all over the place, and even your house changes to accommodate all of the “necessary” baby accessories. One of the less common changes – but one with potentially big impact – is changing your doctor or midwife. If the prenatal care you’re receiving isn’t meeting your needs or if your care provider doesn’t support your preferences for birth, consider switching to a new practice. Finding a new doctor or midwife, even if you’re in your third trimester, isn’t as difficult as you may think.
Is the hospital you’ve chosen totally supportive of the six Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices?
Once you educate yourself on the elements of a healthy birth, there may be times you need to advocate for yourself and your baby.
Hopefully you’re able to choose a birthplace that largely supports your goals for birth, but if that’s not possible, here are some suggestions that might make negotiating easier.
It often feels like life is moving faster and faster all the time, but in the delivery room, things are actually slowing down. A National Institutes of Health study found that childbirth for first-time moms now takes 2.6 hours longer than it did 50 years ago. To make that extra time in the delivery room less painful and more joyful, it helps to know how to make the hard work of having a baby more manageable. Starting today, here are 10 things you can do to make your birth experience that much easier.
Finding the right person to care for you and your baby during pregnancy, labor and birth is one of the most important decisions you will make, and it can help you feel confident to push for the safest, healthiest birth.
As you review doctors and midwives in your area, the following questions can help you find someone who will provide the care you are looking for. Asking questions and providing information builds trust, and it’s the best way to make sure everyone is working toward the same goal – the safest, healthiest birth possible for you and your baby.
Having a doula is like having a personal trainer. You’re familiar with the equipment at the gym, but a trainer gives you the support you need to finish your workout. Your OB-GYN is usually there in the active part of labor and, obviously, during the delivery, but a doula will come to your home when labor starts and support you there as long as possible. Studies show that the more time a woman stays at home, the less chance of interventions.
Choosing a labor doula is a little like falling in love: The chemistry has to be just right. After all, this trained birth assistant will be at your side during one of the most important days of your life. So how do you find your special someone? Enter doula speed-dating, a chance to meet a variety of doulas with different styles, backgrounds and experience levels in hopes of finding “the one.”
Some women envision their birth-day as a time to invite anyone who is close and dear to them into the birthing room—mother, sisters, partner/husband, children, in-laws, next-door neighbor—and yet other moms feel most comfortable with only their husband/partner in the room. Ultimately, there is no one right way, but rather, the way that is best for you.
I’ve spent this week interviewing obstetricians and midwives for several upcoming articles. I also hosted a baby shower. While none of these events were intended to be “all about cesarean sections;” c-sections became the focus of our conversations and shined some light on the prevailing opinions people currently have about c-sections. While the most “informed” opinions presumably came from the obstetricians, the most enlightening conversations happened at the baby shower.
Last week, my niece was born. She was born at home, in a birthing tub, surrounded by midwives, doulas and family. When we heard she was here we were quiet more than jubilant. Somehow, knowing our niece had been born, and knowing--as we now know--what childbirth and childrearing entail, we weren’t in cigar-smoking, champagne-popping mode. Happy, yes. Delighted to have a new niece, relieved and happy and proud to know the home birth had gone well. And….pensive.
My mom just came for a visit, and I feel like I’ve just been on vacation. When she’s here, my mother does the bulk of what I normally do around the house (and then some)—she cooks; she cleans; she unloads the dishwasher, then loads it back up again; she does the laundry; she changes diapers; she gives the kids baths; she babysits; she tells me to put my feet up and then waits on me, too. We try to convince her to relax and take it easy, but she’s not easily persuaded.
Be prepared—caring for a newborn while recovering from childbirth is not easy. Before you get overwhelmed, seek assistance from one or more of these mother’s helpers.
■ What she does Cares for newborn; instructs and supports mother; performs light household chores. Doulas of North America (DONA) offers training and certification.
■ How to find one Ask your friends, childbirth educator or doctor, or search by ZIP code at dona.org. Average cost: $30 per hour.