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How to Prepare For a Vaginal Delivery During Pregnancy in 12 Steps

About 2 in 3 women will deliver the baby vaginally. Our 12 step program will help you prepare for the vaginal delivery.

  1. Choosing the right doctor. Mom will want to know what happens during the vaginal delivery but that does not mean it is the safest choice for mom and baby. When choosing an obstetrician, make sure the views of mom are in the same realm as the views of the obstetrician.
  2. Where to give birth. Not all doctors have the right to practice in every hospital. Just because the perfect doctor is only 30 minutes away does not mean he or she will be able to attend the birth at the local hospital in case of emergency delivery. The doctor will be able to offer a list of hospitals where he or she has practicing rights.
  3. Alternative birth. Does mom want to try giving birth at home? That is usually not the best choice because you are away from good medical care in case there is a complication. Most doctors do not support home births, but there are some midwives who do. You could take a risk, so make sure the midiwife is licensed, in good standing with the state board, and has a good backup hospital.  Mom does need to understand that complications can halt her desire to give birth outside of the hospital.
  4. Write the birth plan. A birthing plan is not for everybody. In fact, most women's birthing plan consists of 3 items: Make sure I am healthy, make sure baby is healthy, and don't do any unneccesary interventions. A birth plan is a list of things to do on the day baby is born. Similar to a living will, the plan will discuss medical aspects including anesthesia and pain medications as well as the specifics for the care of other children, pets and the home. Discuss your birth plan with your doctor well ahead of being admitted so that there are no controversies.
  5. Pack the hospital bag. The hospital bag is one of the highlights of waiting for baby. When packing the hospital bag, mom needs to remember the baby's first outfit, diapers, wipes and any supplies needed to feed baby either by breast or bottle.
  6. Preparing the body. Vaginal delivery is hard; there is no other way to put it. Mom needs to keep her body in top shape to keep up with the stresses and pains of delivery. This includes eating right and getting enough sleep every night.
  7. Preparing the vagina. The vagina also needs to undergo some preparation. Mom can use Kegel exercises to prepare the vagina for the birth. When urinating, mom can practice stopping the stream several times during the urine flow. The muscles used to stop the urine stream are the same ones that need to be strong during a vaginal birth. Once mom feels the muscles, she will be able to do the exercises whenever she wants.
  8. Exercise and vaginal birth. Moms who exercise regularly tend to be more prepared physically for the rigors of vaginal labor. If mom does not regularly exercise, the birth can be similar to trying to run a marathon without any preparation.
  9. To breast feed or bottle feed. Before going into labor, mom needs to decide whether she will be breastfeeding or bottle feeding. If breastfeeding is the choice, the first feeding can occur only moments after birth in some cases.
  10. Circumcision choices. Baby boy has come into the world and mom and dad are thrilled. Will there be a circumcision? Many doctors will perform the circumcision in the hospital, but others choose to do the procedure in the office after birth. This needs to be decided before the day of birth.
  11. Care for other children. Where will the other children be staying on the night of the birth? Who will care for the children if mom goes into labor at 2 AM? These are all parts of the birth plan that are very important. Sometimes parents forget about writing the existing children into the birth plan.
  12. Dad's stay in the hospital. More and more hospitals are allowing the father or partner to stay in the hospital on the night of the birth. Mom and dad can ask the hospital about their practices before going into labor.

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