"Parents are like shuttles on a loom. They join the threads of the past with threads of the future and leave their own bright patterns as they go."
-Fred Rogers

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Labor and Delivery Day Made Easy: Nine Months Worth of Preparation

I'm welcoming another guest post today here at Gentle Beginning. One of my main goals with GB is to help moms and families know all their options when they are expecting a baby so they can engage in truly informed choice. With that in mind, I'd like to thank Katie Moore for sharing this information and I hope this piece is helpful for you or someone you love!
The one addition I'd like to make to the following post is, if you're pregnant, please also research pulse oximetry screening of a newborn as a way to catch a Congenital Heart Defect in your baby. You can learn more at Cora's Story.
Labor and Delivery Day Made Easy: Nine Months Worth of Preparation
A smooth labor and birthing day relies on many decisions made during pregnancy. Educating yourself about prenatal care and birthing options and health care for the child is the best preparation for the momentous experience of having a baby.


Choice of a health care provider often reflects the type of birth experience a woman would like to have. An obstetrician/gynecologist is the best option for someone who prefers a medical doctor trained to take care of pregnant women and to deliver babies, or for a woman who is high risk.  An obstetrician will be able to perform a cesarean section in case of an emergency. Delivering baby in a hospital can add an extra peace of mind for anyone with a high-risk pregnancy. Hospitals, however, may be less flexible when it comes to altering their standard policies for women in labor who are low risk and who want to have a more natural birth. A midwife would be a better option for a mother looking to have an at home birth. A midwife can also deliver a baby at a hospital or clinic depending on local laws. A doula, which is not a licensed health care provider, will provide the most emotional support for a mother. Doulas are full of knowledge and will guide a mother through her prenatal and postnatal experience. Also, a woman can choose to have a pediatrician, a family doctor, or another type of practitioner (like a chiropractor or a more natural doctor) care for her baby after pregnancy. Make sure you research all of your birthing center options and medical professionals before your labor begins and baby arrives.


When you find out that you’re expecting a child make sure to meet with your health care provider, (whether it is a family doctor, OBGYN, or midwife) or consult with your doula first, to begin tracking your pregnancy progress and your health. Speak to your doctor about continuing or starting any exercise routine. Exercise during pregnancy used to be linked to miscarriages, however, exercise is now shown to be very beneficial for an expecting mother’s and baby’s health.


An equally important task is to think through the care options for the baby post-delivery, namely, choosing a health care provider for baby, formula feeding vs. breastfeeding, and cord blood banking. It’s also important to know your baby needs to have tests and screenings done before he or she leaves the hospital. Your baby will also have many doctor visits during the beginning of his or her life so having a health care provider you are comfortable working with is important. When it comes to feeding your child, the choice between breastfeeding or formula feeding is a very important decision. A woman should be educated on the benefits and importance of breastfeeding, as the nutritional value from breastfeeding may not be achieved through formula feeding. Some women may not have the option of breastfeeding due to medical issues, but if she does have the choice, she should be informed about her decision. Cord blood banking is an optional post-delivery procedure where the umbilical cord blood is collected and stored for potential use in a future medical treatment for the baby or maybe a sibling.


On the day of delivery, the most important thing is to stay calm and remember that birthing is a natural process. Listening to one’s body and trusting the guidance of the care providers will help getting through the labor and delivery with the least amount of stress. Once the baby is born, the mother and the child need to rest and bond.  Nothing can replace this initial contact between the two.


Lastly, it is equally important to prepare for unplanned procedures and changes to the intended course of events. Regardless of whether the labor and delivery goes as planned or not, nothing is going to diminish the joy of welcoming you new bundle of joy into the world.


This article was written by Katie Moore. Katie is an active writer within the blogging community who discusses maternity, motherhood, prenatal health, childbirth and other topics within this niche.  If you have any questions or would like to connect with Katie please contact by visiting her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter @moorekm26.

What more would you add to the information above? What would you like to tell women and partners about preparing for pregnancy and birth?


  1. there are many labor options. But I personally prefer the natural way. I don't know I just have a thing when it comes to needles and injecting chemicals in my body. Although I almost caved ;)

  2. Pregnancy is the most important part in any women’s life. Pregnant women where they feel elated of crossing to most privileged tag as mother. Take good care of during pregnancy.