The last nine months have been leading up to this day. It’s your baby’s birthday, and you’re, well, scared out of your ever-loving mind. The delivery room is a totally new space to you, and you’re not exactly sure what to expect. You’re not alone. Every first-time mom feels the same way. You’re not sure who should be there with you (other than your S.O., of course), if photo opps are actually acceptable, and what all those gizmos and gadgets are doing. Don’t stress. Read on for what you need to know about labor and delivery day!
1. Your Invite List: Childbirth is a special, intimate experience. That means you don’t need a stadium-sized audience. Before the big day, you need to decide who’s invited into the labor and delivery room, and who’s not. There’s no shame in cutting your list and keeping it to a bare minimum. Many mamas are into an intimate experience that only includes a plus one (AKA the S.O.). If you want your mother, MIL, sister, BFF, or someone who isn’t your birthing partner there, ask the doc how many people are allowed in the room. Some hospitals have policies limiting the number. Another thing: Consider who you want (and don’t want) to see you spread-eagle pushing another human being out of your body.
2. How to Give Clear Instructions: No, not to the medical staff. They already know what they’re doing. You need to give instructions to anyone who is joining you in the L + D room. This might include cell phone rules (you don’t need your BFF’s dog bark ringtone interrupting your thoughtful breathing), food or drink issues (you won’t be able to eat and drink, so you might not want your mom noshing on a big fat burger), or how many people are allowed in at one time.
3. The Right Time for a Photo Opp: The doctor’s telling you to push, the nurse is holding your legs up in those cold, cold stirrups, and your S.O. is down there (you know where) with the camera poised and ready to take a pic of your baby making an entrance. NOPE! Delivery room dos often don’t include cameras. Yes, you want to capture this special moment, but you might not want to show all of it. Before your delivery day, you should decide when it’s okay to pick up the camera. Your partner shouldn’t be manning the camera when they’re supposed to be holding your hand or cheering you along.
4. The Gear: Birthing balls, bathtubs, and other gear are often part of the delivery process. Knowing what the gizmos, gadgets, and other types of birthing stuff are can make this day much easier. You’ll know exactly what to ask for and when to ask for it.
5. Who’s Who: Scrub-clad people with hospital name tags hanging from lanyards around their necks are running in and out of your room. Who are these people? Well, there’s your doc or midwife, but you can recognize them. Then there are the nurses, nurse’s assistants, medical assistants, anesthesiologists, medical students, residents, interns, and possibly even a student nurse or two. Yep, you’ve got an entire medical team behind you right now. Even though everyone is there to help you, not knowing who’s who is kind of confusing and a little nerve-wracking. If you’re not entirely sure who someone is or what their job is, just ask!
Who’s coming into the delivery room with you? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)