1) Annoying People -- Whether it’s your needy sister, your Mom who just can’t stand to see you in pain, or that well-intentioned nurse who is just a little too chatty - remember - this is your special day. No one should get an automatic invite just because you happen to be related or you’ve known them since you were five years old. You are in charge! Even if you had invited people who you were sure would create a peaceful atmosphere, sometimes the need for privacy trumps that. It’s okay to change your mind and ask for some privacy. I tell my clients – if you’re not comfortable pooping, peeing, vomiting, screaming, moaning, or getting upset in front of someone – you probably don’t want them at your birth.
2) Electronics -- It can be hard to relax when you constantly hear a vibrating cell phone in the background. Trust me, that vibration will sound ten times louder when you’re in the middle of an intense contraction. Even if you have fifty requests for an update on your labor please do not feel obligated to answer them if you don’t want. And please, please take the time to bond as a brand new family before feeling obligated to call everyone. This time is precious and only comes around once. Soak in that sweet baby smell and gaze into your precious babies eyes forgetting the outside world. This is your time. Everyone else can wait.
3) Negative Energy -- The day you give birth to your precious The day you give birth to your precious baby is so very special. There are no do-overs. Choose to surround yourself with positive people who support you and your wishes and don’t have any hidden agendas. Consider making a list of positive birth affirmations and refer to those during labor any time you find yourself doubting the process. Dim the lights, diffuse some calming scents, and go to your happy place. Imagine your baby nestled deep inside your uterus working just as hard as you are to meet you. Welcome the power of your contractions, don’t fight them or tense up during them. Remember, each contraction brings you one step closer to your baby.
4) Artificial Hormones -- Your body was made to do this. You are uniquely designed to give birth to a baby all on your own without interference from synthetic oxytocin (Pitocin). Your body knows how to make this “love hormone” if you just give it a chance. Interfering in the body’s natural process completely alters your labor. Please consider waiting for labor to start on its own no matter how miserable you are during those last few weeks of pregnancy. And please don’t go to the hospital at the first sign of contractions. Give your body time to do what it was made to do. Your body will naturally create endorphins (which are its natural pain killers) in response to your progressing labor. But, if you interfere in the process in any way at any time you’ve just chosen a different course – one that will require synthetic alternatives because your body has just been told it no longer needs to make its own. Again, trust your body, trust the process.
5) IV Fluids (just because) -- If you stay hydrated you will not need IV fluids. While this intervention is often “standard” in most hospitals you absolutely do not need this if you simply hydrate yourself. What’s the big deal you ask? Well, I don’t know about you, but I prefer not to have a large needle stuck in my hand and taped there for hours. It can also cause problems breastfeeding, unnecessary swelling, and an abnormal weight loss for baby. And if you’ve been told it can be dangerous to drink and eat in labor, please review the evidence for yourself.