Childbirth is a wonderful thing, but it's also extremely hard work so be prepared. Saying that some Mothers find it easier than others, and some pregnancy's will have a different finale to others.
When you're pregnant, thinking about the birth is the last thing you want to do (well it was for me anyway!) You may be experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions already. But you know eventually you will reach the time when those niggley little cramps start, and this time it's for real!
So read other peoples stories, look at some pictures, watch a video and take those relaxation and breathing classes. Be prepared! (I can't say that enough!)
Ouch!! - what are these pains you're experiencing? here are some early signs of labor. Or have a more detailed look at labour. Could it be false labor? Either way you will need those bags and at the ready! Here's a few essentials for your stay in hospital.
As for the birth itself, you will have alot of decisions to try and make. Where do you want to have your baby, does the sound of a home birth have you smiling? Or how about a water birth. To see how calm a water birth can be, watch this water birth video. If you fancy a calm and relaxed birth, you should look into the techniques provided by hypnobirthing, and maybe study some online child birth classes.
What if you want or need a cesarean birth, take a look here. (This page contains graphic photos of a caesarean birth, please be careful with young children viewing this content)
Whether it's a hospital or a home birth, lets have a look at the finer (no holding back!) details of childbirth and labor, what to expect in the 3 different stages of labor. Stay focused and calm during this intense time using breathing techniques, and then prepare yourself by having a look at these childbirth videos, here's another where the Mom gives birth to a rather 'large' baby naturally at home!
Then try reading these child birth stories, or after you've had your baby, let us know how it went for you by submitting your own story.
Planning on using some pain relief? (yes please!) Take a look at Pain relief options - Medication. Or Pain management during labor - Natural ways if you're going 'Au Naturale' Maternity Acupressure is said to be one of the best natural pain relief options there is, so that has to be worth a look.
What will happen if you're overdue and labor doesn't start? Or maybe there is some medical reason why you need to have your labor artificially started, lets have a look at how to induce labor.
What happens to your body when its all yours once again?, Lets have a sneaky peek at Post natal health. Baby blues are common after having your baby. If you feel really down it could be postnatal depression. Another big part in post natal health is fitness. The fitter you are, the easier every day tasks will become. Have a look at exercising after pregnancy.
Take your time with your choices, and it's always ok to change your mind about childbirth at a later date if you need to. From beginning to end the whole experience should be rewarding, after all... look at what you get at the end!
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