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For all first time moms, the thought of giving birth can feel intimidating. It doesn’t help when you hear stories about births that were long and difficult.
From my experience, the scariest part of childbirth was the unknown. But now that I’ve gone through it, I feel much less anxious about giving birth again.
I believe your mindset plays a major role in how your experience goes. I know it sounds cliche and easier said than done. But if I didn’t have a positive mindset, I don’t think I would have had a positive birth experience, even though my labor and delivery was easy to begin with.
Every woman’s experience is unique to them, so don’t get wrapped up in the stories you may have heard before.
Here are some tips that helped me have a positive birth experience as a first time mom.
1. Keep an Open Mind
The day I went into labor, I had this attitude of “let’s do this!” I think the reason I was able to feel laid back was because I kept an open mind throughout my pregnancy leading up to birth.
I didn’t go into labor and delivery with any high expectations. As a result, my experience ended up going smoothly.
There is nothing wrong with having a birth plan, but I would recommend keeping it simple. Anything can happen and it’s possible you may end up disappointed if things don’t go according to your plan.
Keep an open mind and your birth experience won’t disappoint you.
2. Don’t Compare Your Journey to Others
Every woman’s pregnancy is different. For some, it’s smooth sailing and for others there are more obstacles.
Throughout your pregnancy, you should focus on what you CAN control. The same goes for labor and delivery.
Just because you know someone who had a difficult labor doesn’t mean that’ll be the case for you. Sometimes it helps to hear other stories so that you an get an idea of what to expect.
But it can also leave you wondering “what if that happens to me?” Instead, put your focus on your own journey and how you can make it as positive an experience as you possibly can.
3. Remember That It’s All Temporary
As I was having contractions, I reminded myself that each hour that went by was bringing me closer to meeting my baby boy. Each hour passing meant we were one hour closer to the pain being over.
No matter how uncomfortable you’re feeling, remind yourself of the end game. Remember that any pain or discomfort you feel is only temporary.
4. Take Everything One Step at a Time
As someone who is a planner, this was hard for me. I wanted to prepare myself for any scenario. But what ended up being the best thing for me was taking things one step at a time.
Since making lists helps me feel less anxious, I had a mental checklist throughout the day.
For example, I knew that I had to get through contractions at home before heading to the hospital. Once we were on our way to the hospital, I felt comfort knowing that laboring at home was finished and we were now moving on to the next phase.
Focus on what is happening in the moment before thinking about what is happening next. By the time I was ready to push, I didn’t feel as anxious because I knew I had just checked off other items from my mental checklist.
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5. Utilize Tools That Work For You
Everyone handles stress differently and has different ways of working through challenges. One of the best ways to have a positive birth experience is to use tools that work for you when it comes to easing anxiety and stress.
Try breathing techniques, journaling, mediation, affirmations, etc. Anything that helps you feel at ease, give it a shot.
If you’re currently pregnant looking for some positivity, try out these 20 Pregnancy Affirmations!
6. Make Yourself Comfortable
Something that may be shocking to hear, but I actually ended up not using 95% of what I packed in my hospital bag, and I only packed the basics.
In my case, we were actually able to leave the hopsital a day early so I didn’t end up digging into my toiletries or changing into my regular clothes. I was personally okay staying in my hospital gown for a day and decided to just take a shower when I got home.
But as I mentioned, everyone’s experience will be different. Your stay may be longer than mine and even if it’s not, you might want to shower ASAP or wear your own comfortable clothes.
Make sure to pack whatever is going to make you feel the most comfortable after giving birth. Anything that can make you feel at home can contribute to a positive birth experience.
7. Don’t be Afraid to Speak Up
I’m definitely the type of person who doesn’t like to inconvenience anyone else and I sometimes hate having to ask for assistance.
But at the hospital, it was so important to me that I made my needs known so that I could be as comfortable as possible.
It’s hard to have a positive birth experience if you’re feeling discomfort or don’t have what you need.
Final Thoughts on How to Have a Positive Birth Experience as a First Time Mom
No matter what, you will feel a little bit of anxiety when it comes to giving birth. But having a solid support system and using these tips will help you have the most positive birth experience you possibly can.
Having a positive birth experience starts with having a positive pregnancy as well. Check out my eBook Positively Pregnant to learn how to have the most positive pregnancy ever!
Did you have a positive birth experience? Did you use any of these tips? Share in the comments!