When it comes to what to expect on or near your labor and delivery day . . . my best advice is to have no expectations whatsoever. I will explain why.
I totally respect birth plans, natural births, home births and the amazing array in which moms want to give birth. That in itself makes mothers incredibly strong. But what I also know is that not everything goes according to plan.
Childbirth is also one of those things that is hard to explain to any mom-to-be. There is no way of really knowing how contractions will feel, how your body will react, how long your labor will be or how you and your baby will handle it all.
While you may plan to have a vaginal birth you might end up with a C-section. Or you might assume your water will break and you will just know you’re in labor but your labor may actually start with contractions first. You might also be wondering if it’s the real thing or false labor.
Having been induced with my first and third, I didn’t have to wonder “what if” I am in labor. Being induced was also not part of my birth plan, as I was hoping to spontaneously go into labor on my own. Induction took the guessing out of the equation which was actually quite nice.
On the other hand, I went into labor naturally with my second, making each birth experience different. When it comes to expectations for labor and delivery day, there are only a few things that I would recommend over and over again for any mom or mom-to-be.
Padsicles are postpartum healing pads that help heal and soothe your perineum after child birth. I made a bunch to prepare myself for delivery and had them ready in my freezer for when we got home from the hospital. Make your own padsicles because they are seriously amazing!
The mesh underwear you get by the pack at the hospital are by far my favorite thing about delivery. These are my must-haves for recovering from childbirth and I always expect to see them when delivering. Not only are they comfortable and disposable but they hold everything in place pretty well, including those maxi pads. Be sure to stock pile those packs of mesh undies to bring home with you. I hope you love them as much as I did.
If mesh underwear isn’t your thing, then buy a few packs of those Hanes underwear from Target because you do not want to ruin your beautiful panties.
In preparation for labor day leading up to my due date, I made a bunch of casserole dishes and froze them. These came in handy when we got home from the hospital and were too busy to cook with a new baby around. Trying to figure out the whole parenting thing while also caring for a newborn and your healing body is a whirlwind the first few weeks.
Meal trains are also great if you have friends and family who would like to pitch in and help take the pressure off of meal preparation.
Eating out can become expensive and get old fast, so these meals come in handy at the perfect time. I also love having freezable garlic bread handy as a quick and easy side dish.
What do you expect on your labor and delivery day? Do you believe in birth plans? Please share your thoughts!