To all the men reading this (hahaha I know there are no men reading this) I want to say, “Going through labor and giving birth was the hardest thing I have ever done! The pain is like nothing you will ever understand. I am a beast.” To the women.. To you, I want to be honest. Yes that is all quite accurate. Labor isn’t a walk in the park although walking is encouraged while in labor- it is not something I laughed through, I did raise my voice at my husband once and tell him not to massage my back because it hurt.
But it is also amazing. It’s amazing because God made our bodies to go through labor and endure it. It’s amazing because in the moment you may think “I can’t do this!” And then shortly after definitely doing it you forget all about it, and for me, want to do it again. Labor pains are hard. Giving birth is hard. But you are capable of doing hard things and these are hard things you will never regret.
4 Tips for Making Labor Pains Bearable
Here are 4 tips to make your labor and delivery experience enjoyable, more peaceful, or at least bearable. These are just a few things that I found helpful for my first and second birthing experiences.
1. A great support system.
Not just good. You need someone (or multiple people) who believe in you and how strong you are, who encourage you and don’t let you give up, but also know you well enough to know when you have gone as far as you can. For me, I had my husband, my family, and my midwife. My husband was by my side for every appointment, check, and event for both of our children’s births. He never questioned my desires or plans, but he was also the strong voice to reassure me what needed to be done when I was questioning myself.
During the hbac of my second son, I only wanted people around me who were completely supportive of my birthing decision and who wouldn’t question me or put fear in me at such a big and important moment. I had my mom in the room because she’s had 6 natural births of her own and was there for most of her grandchildren births. I also had my two sister-in-laws in the room because they had never been anything other than supportive of my birth plans and I wanted them to experience how great the outcome could be. And then I had my midwife, who was on board with my decision to have an HBAC since the moment I had my first c-section.
2. A comfortable atmosphere.
When I’m not feeling good or have had a long day I want nothing more than to be home with my family and relax. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else during my day of labor. I was able to go and lie in my sons bedroom with him, sit in the recliner while he played on the living room floor, eat and drink from my own fridge, use my own bathroom and shower..
If being at home isn’t an option or desire for you than use your pinteresty diy skills and make a comfortable atmosphere wherever you plan on laboring. I have friends who have gone all out and decorated their hospital room to make it feel more like “home”. Bring your own pillows and blankets if that helps.
3. Wearing your own clothes.
For my first son as soon as I got to the hospital they handed me a gown and told me to put it on. It was uncomfortable and embarrassing to wear. I had brought other clothes but was too scared to speak up and tell them I was wearing them.
For my second birth, I took hours to plan out the perfect outfit I would wear. Knowing that I could wear my own clothes was almost as enjoyable as actually wearing them. Don’t be afraid to bring your own outfit to wear to the hospital during your labor and birth. If you want to wear a hospital gown that’s fine too, but if you want to wear something else it is your choice. I chose a flowy knee length skirt, black tank top, and black sports bra.
Some people want it and some don’t. I personally loved having the soft noise in the background to distract me when necessary.
For those of you reading this who may have never experienced the pains of labor and/or birth but instead are feeling the pain of “failing” know this.. You are not a failure. Your body is not broken. And, if you do plan on having more children in the future there are options! Read my HBAC (home birth after cesarean) birth story.