Crystal Mansell, labor doula and attendant of more than 10 births shares a few specific strategies for a smooth birthing experience:
• Bring snacks. You never know when you’ll get your next meal, and you’re going to need the energy.
• If possible, use water therapy, such as a shower, bath, hot tub, sponge or foot bath.
• Consider wearing your own clothes during labor—it may make you feel more comfortable and confident.
• Don’t forget to have something to keep your hair out of your face. And remember your lip balm!
• Change positions often. Sway, rock and dance to keep your pelvis mobile, and empty your bladder frequently.
• Rely on your support system. Figure out what your needs are and communicate them.
For advice from more professionals in the field, check out our article “Words of wisdom,”where we ask an obstetrician, an RN, a midwife and a certified labor doula to share their best tips for preparing for delivery day.
Also, looking for a checklist of what to bring to the hospital? Our article “Pack your bag” has you covered.