10 Things I Wish I had known About Childbirth

Mother gazing into her baby's face after giving birth | Utah Birth Photographer

Hey there mama-to-be! So, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed with all the information (or lack thereof) about giving birth. But don’t worry, I’ve got you! My knowledge as a Utah birth photog and doula and a mom myself has given me some insights.

Here are 10 things I wish I knew about childbirth in Utah before I gave birth that will help you feel more prepared and in control.

(And hey, if these pique your interest, bring these up to your provider at the next appointment!)

You don’t have to give birth in the hospital.

Giving birth at home or in a birth center can provide a more relaxed and intimate setting for the birth of your baby. It allows you to have more control over the birthing process and can provide a more personalized experience. This option is safe for low-risk pregnancies and has similar or better outcomes compared to hospital births.

Question for your doctor: Would he/she support you and work with a home birth midwife if you decided to go this route?

Epidurals are not the only form of pain relief available during labor.

Epidurals are a common form of pain relief during labor, but they are not the only option available. Other forms of pain relief include nitrous oxide, spinal blocks, and natural methods such as hypnobirthing, acupuncture and massage. These options can provide a more natural and less invasive form of pain relief.

Question for your doctor: What other pain relief options do they see often that’s effective other than epidural?

Mother receiving counter pressure from her husband while she's in labor | Utah Birth Photographer

You can bring your own music or sounds to the delivery room.

Music can have a powerful impact on our emotions, and it can help create a calm and soothing environment for you during labor. You can bring your own playlist, a sound machine, or even your own voice to help you relax and focus during labor.

For my last baby, I put together a playlist with two kinds of music: one type that was more upbeat – my favorite songs that I like to dance and sing to – and the other were softer, slower songs like lullabies that were comforting to me. I went from having a dance party in my room to swaying to the beat of the softer music during the rise and fall of the contractions. It felt so beautiful and natural to me!

Question for your doctor: Can I bring music to the birthing room?

Click here for my labor playlist!

Birthing pools can help you feel more comfortable and relaxed during labor.

Warm water can help ease the pain and discomfort of contractions, and it also allows you to move around more easily, which can help the baby move down the birth canal. Birthing pools can also provide a sense of privacy and intimacy during labor. As a Utah birth photog rapher, I’ve photographed many births of women using water to help ease their discomfort.

Question for your doctor: Are there birth pools at the hospital or another way I can use water to relax?

You will probably poop during labor (and that’s okay!).

It’s a normal and natural part of the birthing process, and your nurses and doctors are used to it. Don’t let this concern hold you back, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.

Birthing positions – there are many different positions that can help make the birthing process easier.

There are various birthing positions that can help make the birthing process easier, such as standing up, sitting down, on your hands and knees, or even lying down. Experiment with different positions to find what feels most comfortable for you.

Question for your doctor: In what positions are you willing to help me birth my baby?

With my last birth, I moved around a lot during transition as I could not get comfortable. But finally giving in to the urge to push, I stood up on my bed, grabbed my doula’s and husband’s shoulders and squatted. Out came my baby in 1 and a half pushes! It was incredible and I felt so powerful!

Doulas are a great support and aren’t only used for birth.

A doula is a professional trained to provide emotional and physical support to a woman and her partner during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum period. A doula can help you with relaxation techniques, provide emotional support, and advocate for your wishes during birth. I’m a Utah birth photographer and doula! I can be a wonderful addition to your team. Check out my doula packages here.

Question for your doctor: Do you work with doulas often? How do you feel about having doulas in the room? This will tell you if he or she will be supportive of you doing things atypical of what they’re used to in a hospital setting.

You can eat and drink during labor, if you want to.

Having a light snack can help keep your energy levels up. It’s important to listen to your body and your healthcare provider during labor, and to make sure you are well hydrated and nourished.

Question: Under what circumstances will I not be allowed to eat or drink in labor?

The power of the mind – visualization and other relaxation techniques can help during labor.

Visualization and relaxation techniques such as hypnobirthing, yoga, and meditation can help you stay calm and focused during labor. It can also help to lower stress hormones and increase endorphins, which can make labor more manageable.

Question: Is there anything I can do now to learn how to cope with labor?

Cesarean sections are not as scary as they seem.

C-sections are a common form of delivery and can be planned or unplanned. Your doctor and nurses will take great care of you and your baby during the procedure. It’s important to remember that a c-section is a surgical procedure and there are risks associated with it, but it can also save the lives of both mother and baby in certain situations.

Question: In what circumstances do you perform c-sections? What is your c-section rate?

So, there you have it, mama. You’re armed with some new information that will hopefully help you feel more confident and excited about your birth!

Click here to see more images from BeUtahful Birth Utah Birth Photog

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