Preparing yourself for childbirth ahead of time gives you the best chance of experiencing a safe, rewarding labor and delivery. If you're expecting a baby, let Dekalb Women's Specialists help you at their locations in Lithonia, Decatur, and Stone Mountain, Georgia. Their team can support you right through your pregnancy, so you can look forward to holding your newborn baby with minimal pain and fuss. Call the office nearest you to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.
Given that childbirth takes a lot of physical effort and can last for many hours, keeping fit is a good idea. Try to get regular exercise during your pregnancy so you can handle the physical demands of childbirth. Your OB/GYN or midwife at Dekalb Women's Specialists can give you advice on how to exercise safely.
Kegel exercises are vital to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. A strong pelvic floor means you're able to push more effectively, shortening labor. It also helps your pelvic floor recover after childbirth.
When you reach the sixth or seventh month of pregnancy, childbirth education classes with your partner or support person are of great benefit. As well as preparing you for labor, classes show you how to relax and give your support person tips on ways they can help you.
You have many decisions to make concerning labor and delivery, and most women find it helpful to create a written childbirth plan.
Before you enter your final weeks of pregnancy, discuss your childbirth plan with your OB/GYN or midwife. Your plan should contain your preferred options -- for example, whether you want a natural birth or wish to have pain relief.
It may not be possible to stick to the plan should anything unexpected happen, but the Dekalb Women's Specialists team always follows your wishes where they can.
There are three stages of labor and childbirth. In stage one, the muscles of your uterus start to tighten and then relax. This is the start of the contractions, which help to dilate (open) your cervix for the baby to pass into the birth canal.
Early contractions are usually brief and might begin a few hours or days before you reach the active phase. When the contractions become regular and strong, lasting about a minute, it's time to go to the hospital or birthing center.
At this stage, the pain might be moderate or become rather intense. To manage the pain, you can try:
If the pain is too severe, the Dekalb Women's Specialists team can help by giving you an epidural anesthetic that numbs your lower body.
By stage two, your cervix has shortened and opened completely, and your baby is born. Stage three of childbirth is a continuation of contractions to deliver the placenta.
You can now hold your baby. Your delivery team is on hand to help with breastfeeding and to answer your questions.
For expert care before, during, and after childbirth, call Dekalb Women's Specialists today or book an appointment online.