27 Labor & Delivery Tips From New Moms

1. Do your

Do your research.

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Tal Guterman / Getty Images

“Research everything. Look into home birth, birth centers,
hospitals, pitocin, epidurals, vaccines, doulas,
breastfeeding, circumcision, etc. Know the risks and benefits
of it all. Learn why it all happens the way it does. You owe
it to yourself and your child to make the most informed
decision possible.”

— k4987fc1b9

ID: 8697128

2. Keep
your head in the game.

“Think of the pain as productive. If you imagine that each
contraction is helping to bring your baby out, it can start
feeling less like pain and more like pressure.”

— Andrea McBurney Leger, Facebook

ID: 8697461

4. But make
wise food choices.

“Don’t eat Salmon chowder. Seriously, don’t do it. I know it
looks all tasty, but that shit is HORRIBLE a few hours later,
when the labor hits and your insides come back up. Say ‘no’
to the Salmon chowder.”

—Tamara Falkenberg, Facebook

ID: 8697413

6. Push
with your abs.

“Work your way through the pain, feel empowered by it and use
your abs when you push, as if you were doing a crunch. Don’t
push from your butt; your hemorrhoid-free butt will thank you


ID: 8697294

9. Know
where your bread is buttered.

“MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE NURSES! Your doctor is usually only
there for the last ten minutes or so when your baby is born.
The nurses will be the ones monitoring you and the baby,
getting you water and guiding you through labor. Treat them
with respect; they’ve been doing this for years and can make
your delivery a great experience.”

—Emmay Friedenson, Facebook

ID: 8697354

11. Plans

“Honestly, the best advice I was given that I will pass on is
this: Ditch the birth plan. You can have an idea of how you’d
like things to go down (mood lighting, med-free, etc.) but be
ready and willing to let the shit go. Labor is a mysterious
beast and things can go south real quick. If you are too
stuck on a plan it can mess up your mind, leaving you
vulnerable to postpartum mental illness. If you really need a
plan, make it this: I am going to have a baby and I am going
to let the nurses and doctors help me to do that in the best
way possible for both me and my baby.”


ID: 8697255

Consider hypnosis.

“Don’t let anyone scare you — labor and birth is an amazing
experience! Learn a self hypnosis method like Hypnobabies to work
through the discomfort. That got me through four days of
unmedicated labor. Seriously — four days.”


ID: 8697190

14. Don’t
rush the epidural.

“Get an epidural, but wait until you’re like 5-6 cm dilated
to do it, when labor is well progressed.”

—Kristen Burton, Facebook

ID: 8697720

15. Don’t
forget the camera.

Don't forget the camera.

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Cameron Whitman / Getty Images

“Have someone take pictures of your first meeting with your
little one. You might think that you won’t want pictures of
how bad you look after labor, but it’s a moment you’ll most
likely want to remember. I didn’t let my husband take the a
picture of my baby and me when they first gave him to me and
I regret it. I only got to hold him for a couple minutes
before he had to be taken to NICU and I don’t remember them
well thanks to exhaustion. Don’t worry about how you look;
you don’t have to show it to anyone if you don’t want to, and
you might enjoy looking back at that raw moment and
remembering it for how it really was.”

—Heather Benner, Facebook

ID: 8697339

16. …or the
video camera.

“Even if you think you won’t want it, record the birth. It’s
my biggest regret that I didn’t. Everything goes by so fast
once the baby is out, and you get so wrapped up in it all. I
don’t remember my daughter coming out or me holding her the
first time or her cord being cut. Just save it to a memory
card. If down the road you decide you don’t want it, you can
delete it, but there’s no going back and getting it if you
never recorded it.”

—Kate Miller, Facebook

ID: 8697330

18. Ride
that emotion-coaster.

“Don’t be afraid to show emotion. I am the daughter of a
labor and delivery nurse. I knew all the possible outcomes
and scenarios going in. However, what I didn’t expect were my
emotions. I was so tired and my adrenaline was pumping so
much that I cried, a lot. I thought it was me being weak, but
really it was my body’s response to pain and trauma. I had a
long labor and ended up with a C-section. It was very
traumatic, but my husband was great. In the end I have a
beautiful healthy baby, and it was worth every minute.”

—Kristen Blazek, Facebook

ID: 8697345

20. Be

“Be prepared for anything mentally. My son came two months
early via emergency C-section and nothing went as planned,
clearly. We had a healthy baby in the end and that was all
that mattered.”

—Amy Geise, Facebook

ID: 8697365

21. Pack
your bags early.

Pack your bags early.

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Kati Molin / Getty Images

“Have your bag packed and ready starting at 35 weeks.
Hopefully you won’t need it that early, but my daughter came
at 37 weeks and my son came at 36. Also, if your baby needs a
NICU stay, settle into the hospital room until insurance says
you have to leave. Don’t feel pressured to leave the hospital
until you have to, because it’s absolute hell to leave your
baby at the hospital. Oh, and arrange to have someone bring
you your favorite takeout at least once if your hospital
allows it; my husband brought me sashimi and a rare steak
after my son was born.”

—Andrea Byrd Plate, Facebook

ID: 8697422

22. Don’t
sweat the small stuff.

“Don’t sweat the small stuff. Most of it is small stuff.
People will see you naked. A lot of people. You will poop
yourself. Anyone who says they didn’t just had an awesome
nurse who cleaned it faster than it took for you to notice,
or had a C-section. Nurses are your best friend. Be kind to
them, and they will be kind back. The pain really does become
a distant memory as soon as you see your baby.”

—Victoria Roth, Facebook

ID: 8697407

23. Have a
water baby.

Have a water baby.

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Ximagination / Getty Images

“Warm water, like a shower or a bath, is great for pain
management if you’re going med-free. It helped me relax so
much that I actually started dozing off in the tub between
contractions! Also, the contractions during the pushing stage
are extremely powerful — they kind of override everything
else in your body. It really freaked me out at first, but it
was a lot easier once I learned to work with them and push
harder instead of resisting.”

—Elizabeth Ana Jennys, Facebook

ID: 8697426

24. Be

“Talk to your doctor in the hospital about signs of
postpartum depression, anxiety, OCD and psychosis, and what
to look for in case you need to take steps for mental care
after you are home.”


ID: 8697445

26. Know
what you’re in for.

“Throw away the ‘Hollywood’ notions of how glamorous and
romantic child birth is. It’s true that birthing a child is
nothing short of a freakin’ miracle, but it comes with an
entourage of nudity, puking, pooping, and pain, and all of
this happens in front of an audience. Prepare yourself for
being exposed to strangers, but take comfort in the fact that
everyone is there for you and your baby’s well being.”

—Carolyn Barta Attard, Facebook

ID: 8697457

27. No
shame in the game.

No shame in the game.

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Tongro Image Stock / Getty Images

“Don’t be ashamed. C-section or vaginal or drug free or doped
the f*ck up. Whatever. It’s not a contest. Do your best and
let go of the guilt or disappointment. I know it’s not as
easy as just forgetting about painful, upsetting experiences
but remind yourself you are allowed different experiences
than others and it doesn’t make you less than.”

— Amber Jones, Facebook

ID: 8697401

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