If someone mentions labour at any point, the first thing that comes to mind is pain, pain and more pain. I blame the movies for the perception I have on labour although they're not wrong. I know.
There are different assumptions about labour that you might have heard about and you’d be surprised to find that your experience isn’t exactly how you thought it would be.
Some are good surprises and some are less enjoyable. Here we go.
It might take longer or shorter than expected
Labour has different phases. Depending on your body, some phases might last longer than others, which means you’ll spend more time waiting for your bundle of joy to come into the world. Rapid labour might kick in and you’ll be ready to deliver within a few hours. Being caught unaware can be a little scary but it saves you the agony of an extended labour. Sometimes this rapid labour come with a few complications that is why it is always a good idea to be in a hospital should an emergency arise.
It might not be super painful
I’m not saying that you are guaranteed of a painless labour but there might be a chance it won’t be as excruciating as you imagine. Many women assume that if their mum or sister had a painful labour, they’ll definitely have the same experience. It’s possible to have a moderately painful labour. Sometimes great relaxation techniques and a high pain tolerance can help you cope better with the pain. A strong support system could help you relax, making the contractions more bearable.
Labour will trigger your inner strength
Let’s be honest, women are the closest thing to superheroes. When you go through the process of childbirth, there are times you’ll question if you’re actually able to go through with it or not. Don’t feel like you’re being a horrible mum if you ask yourself why you got pregnant. It happens! When it’s all said and done, you’ll fall in love with yourself all over again because you realize you possess strength you never knew you had.
Your baby won’t want your birth plan
Many mothers make a birth plan where they state the type of birth they would like to have be it in a hospital or at home. They might also include whether or not they want medication to manage the pain. Labour can be so painful that you might not be able to communicate effectively so coming up with a list beforehand will allow the doctors to know what you want. Nevertheless, labour is unpredictable and no matter how much you plan, you might be forced to abandon your birth plan. For example, you might have specifically said that you don't want an epidural but depending on how things go, you might scream for one.
You’ll come up with all sorts of techniques to distract yourself
You’ll think of games, songs and dances to help you relax. If you’ve never sung a day in your life, you might just turn into the hottest artist in town. Well, maybe not the hottest artist but you’ll be up there regardless of how you sound. During that painful experience your mind can take you on a wild journey to help you cope. You’ll be amazed at how many activities you conjure up which is pretty cool if you actually think about it.
Before you go into labour, the best thing you can do is prepare yourself mentally, have a strong support system and focus on relaxation techniques to help you get through the labour and delivery.