What do you think of when you hear labor and delivery? I always think of those movies where the woman is screaming, pushing, and sweating profusely (haha!). Movies show an unrealistic view of labor and delivery and childbirth but it does get the point across- labor and delivery are strenuous.
If you are a first-time soon to be mom then you may be getting ready for all of the physical events that your body will be experiencing. It’s not news that labor and delivery is a very active and physically demanding task, but what a lot of new moms underestimate is the toll that it makes on your mind as emotions as well.
All pregnancies, childbirth’s, labor and deliveries are different. Just like no 2 women are the same- no 2 childbirths are the same. No matter what kind of birth you have, medicated, unmedicated, hospital birth, home birth, vaginal birth, or cesarean birth- you will be giving birth to a brand new life. With that great responsibility, comes a lot of emotional work.
Because labor and delivery can affect your emotions in such a very real way, you want to make sure that you are preparing for your birth emotionally as well physically by understanding what emotions you will be experiencing and how you can help prepare yourself for them!
What Emotions You Will Be Experiencing During Labor and Delivery
I remember feeling such a rush of excitement in the middle of childbirth. I was so excited to finally meet my little baby. I grew her in my womb and bonded with her over late nights when her kicking would keep me up. I would talk to her when I was having a bad day and sing to her every night after we set up her nursery.
Now, this little baby in my belly was going to be a real life in my arms that I could cuddle and hold. The surge of excitement overcame me in between all of the other emotions I was having! Above all that I was feeling, I just wanted to meet her. And I was so excited to do so!
During labor and delivery, you may be feeling a million and one things, but one of those emotions will be excitement. Choose to hold on to that excitement and let it fuel your childbirth. Instead of being overcome by pain or fear, let excitement and anticipation of meeting your beautiful little baby be what drives you!
After about 20 minutes of labor and delivery, I was already exhausted and so tired! I just wanted to close my eyes and go to sleep for about 3 days. During childbirth, or even after you feel your first contractions, you feel tired. Your body is working so hard to deliver your baby and it’s perfectly normal to feel tired.
You may FEEL tired but you obviously cannot stop to take a nap in the middle of labor and delivery so you will have to push through that exhaustion. It sounds harder than it is because at that moment you will also be feeling the excitement of meeting your baby!
Sickness (Nausea, lightheaded, etc.)
It’s kind of obvious that you may feel some sort of sickness. I was so nauseous during labor and delivery that I couldn’t even fathom putting ice chips in my mouth. But even though I was nauseous I was extremely thirsty! Your body will be feeling a bunch of different feelings: hungry, thirsty, nausea. It’s completely normal.
It is also completely and totally normal to feel some kind of fear. Especially if this is your first baby, it’s normal to be afraid of the unknown. I remember feeling so afraid of what was going to happen to me. I was afraid of needles, I was afraid of feeling pain, I was afraid of what my body was about to do. It may be easy to let that fear overcome you but don’t let the fear of what you are experiencing keep you from being positive and excited about having your baby.
But also, don’t feel like you have to shove fear deep down because you are afraid of what people will say if you say that you’re scared. Everyone expects you to have some level of fear- whether it’s a level of 1 or a level of 10, it doesn’t really matter!
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It’s no surprise that you will be experiencing pain in labor and delivery. Even if you are choosing a medicated birth (which I semi did), you will definitely still be feeling pain. Pain and fear were hand in hand for me. When I was in pain I was afraid that it would never end and then when I didn’t feel the pain, I was afraid that it was going to start again.
If you are afraid of pain, don’t let that stop you from being able to enjoy the birth of your baby. It takes so much strength, physical and mental, to be able to have a baby and take pride and joy in yourself that you have made it this far and that you will be an amazing mom!
Also, keep in mind that everyone’s labor and delivery is different so don’t get too hung up on what you will be experiencing. Don’t fear these emotions. Instead, embrace them and know that they are a part of the process!
How to Prepare for the Emotional Part of Labor and Delivery:
Just as you are preparing your body, it’s so important to prepare your mind for labor and delivery. Remember, your body may be able but if your mind is not willing then not much can happen. You want to be able to have your body as well as your mind and emotions ready for the experience of labor and delivery and childbirth. Don’t worry- it’s super easy to do too!
Here are 3 very easy ways to prepare for the emotional part of labor and delivery. And the best part is, that when you prepare mentally and emotionally, you’re really also preparing physically because your mind will become in sync with your body and you are giving yourself the best chances there are to have a smooth and successful labor and delivery.
1. Surround Yourself with Support
It’s so important to surround yourself with people who love you, support you and will encourage you. Choose people that you want around when you are in labor and delivery. Ask those people to come to the hospital (or place that you are delivering) to support you. The most important decision I made during labor and delivery support wise, was who was going to be in the in the delivery room with me.
My hospital had a policy that when I was laboring, I could have 4 people in the room with me. Then when I was in actual delivery, I could have 2 people in the room with me. I chose to have my husband and family around me during my labor and delivery because I know that they support me and can encourage me when I’m feeling my worst.
Make sure to contact the people that you trust and are close to you to be there for you. You have no idea how much a difference it can be to have a great support system around you at one of the hardest days of your life. Having that support was not just great physically but emotionally as well!
2. Have a Plan
Because you know that labor and delivery can be super emotional, it’s always best to have a plan of action. Just like you would make a birth plan, you can make a plan for things that would help you emotionally. One part of the plan is what we did with surrounding yourself with support. Having that plan for people who you love to come when you go into labor is something that will greatly help you physically and emotionally.
You can also get a playlist ready of your favorite songs and music. I’ve also seen mothers who bring essentials oils in their hospital bag to help with uplifting their mood. Another part of my plan was to use positive affirmation and verbal encouragement. That’s number 3 below!
4. Cocoon yourself with positive affirmations/encouragement
My husband, family, and friends were such a great support to me and brought me so much encouragement. Another way that they were able to encourage me was through the affirmation cards that I created. I printed out little cards with encouraging words and put them in my hospital bag and every time that I would be feeling really low or exhausted or in pain my husband would bring them out and start reading them to me or give them to me to read.
It helped me so much because at that moment I couldn’t always remember to be positive or even had time to think. The cards in addition to the support of my husband and family helped me so much!
Birth Affirmation Cards
To help you prepare for the emotional part of labor and delivery I re-created my birth affirmation cards and made them in a format for you to print! These affirmation cards were so encouraging to me because when I couldn’t think and I was consumed with pain or emotions, telling myself that I was going to be ok and that I couldn’t wait to see my baby really put things back into perspective for me.
I wanted to share these cards with you so you can feel the encouragement and the support during your labor and delivery. Don’t just be stressed about what you are going to be experiencing in labor and delivery, instead prepare for that time by staying positive! Feel free to print them out or download them to your phone or tablet so you can have them handy! (It’s always better to have them and maybe not use them, instead of not having them and wishing you did!)
Get Your Free Birth Affirmation Cards Now!
Having a baby is such a miracle and labor and delivery is what is going to ultimately connect you and your baby. Being able to birth your child, no matter how your delivery goes, is an amazing gift. It’s a physical feat as well an as emotional roller coaster but man is it worth it! Don’t get hung up on the negative side of childbirth, but choose to see the amazing side of childbirth and hold on to the excitement of finally meeting your baby. Everything will be okay- you can do this!
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