Before Giving Birth

by | June 23, 2020

Before it’s time for childbirth, it’s good to think about your choices and decide what you want.

How do you want the birth to go?

It is a good idea to make a wish list about how you want to give birth and how you would like everything to go. If you make a list together, you have time to think through all the possibilities and become more aware of your choices. You are also not easily surprised by the situation. It can also be a good help to you during childbirth itself, as some women go through a period when they feel that they are not fully present or feel a bit indifferent. The list can also help your partner or other close relatives to stick to your choices, so that childbirth becomes what you wanted.

However, keep in mind that the wish list is just a wish list and that it is only followed as long as the birth progresses normally. The staff will do everything they can to follow the list and fulfill your wishes, but if a situation arises where their knowledge and judgment tells them that it is no longer justifiable, or if the birth progresses abnormally, they will take over.

Below you will find suggestions for topics that you can include on such a wish list.

Before Giving Birth

Where do you want to give birth?

It is important that you consider where you want to give birth. If you have the opportunity to choose which hospital you want to give birth to, then you should. Please visit the maternity ward and BB to see if it is as you intended. Investigate the rules that apply to each hospital and ward: which may come to visit BB, there are patient hotels for relatives who do not live nearby, there are family BB and so on.

What methods of delivery are available?

To give birth in a childbirth bed: Here you can lie or sit in a bed that can be adjusted in several ways, depending on your needs. This way was previously badly liked, since the woman was always placed flat on her back with her legs placed in support. This meant that muscle work became very difficult and that the woman could not use gravity. Today, however, the delivery bed has many possibilities. You can decide how you want it set so that it is most comfortable for you. Some common postures are: semi-seated, in supine position, kneeling, lying on the side, and flat on the back.

Feeding in a saccose: This was common 10 years ago. Here you can sit or lie in a sack chair on the floor. The advantage of the bag chair is that it with its many small balls supports and forms completely according to the body. If you are well satisfied with the bag chair and would like to give birth in it, it can be placed on top of the maternity bed, so that the midwife also gets a suitable posture.

Caesarean sections are not described here.

These are the methods most commonly used in Sweden today. If you have special wishes, contact your maternity ward or talk to your midwife.

What birth positions are right for you?

The old position of lying flat on the back is no longer so common, since the woman must use relatively much force to lift the body under the aches, and can also not use gravity. Some women may also find it uncomfortable to lie flat on their back, as the uterus can put so much pressure on the woman’s large blood vessels that she becomes uncomfortable.

The position of half sitting / half lying has many advantages. The woman can rest and does not need to rise so much under the pain. Gravity helps. It can be difficult for the midwife to follow the course of childbirth, so from time to time the woman has to take a half-sitting position.

Squatting also occurs. It is a very good position under the painters. Many women, however, get tired in their knees and in the back if they are to sit for so long, therefore, in some maternity wards, they have acquired small pallets that can be used as a relief.

Standing or walking around is another option. Some women find it painful to walk around, move or stand leaning against their partner. Gravity helps, but the woman can get tired both in the back and in the legs.

Of course, you can also consider a combination of different positions. Many women have enjoyed this. Being able to switch from time to time also facilitates birth. You should choose the one that suits you in every situation and time. Often the woman is most active at the beginning of childbirth and has more need to rest at the end.

Only the physical limitations and your imagination set the limits for what you can do.

What can you do yourself that is painful during labor?

If you enjoy listening to music, bring your favorite music to the delivery room. Studies have shown that it seems both relaxing, calming and pain-relieving.

You can also move during childbirth. It is relieving the pain of walking around.

Massage is also a pain reliever. You and your partner can discuss if it is something for you. If so, you can practice low back and back massage.

Many women enjoy hot showers. The water and the heat make the muscles relax and the aches become softer. If there is a possibility to bathe in a bath or whirlpool in the ward you are about to give birth to, this has a beneficial, pain-relieving effect on most women. The water and heat take the head off the pain, and you can relax better and work with the painters.

There are many possibilities. Think through it, talk about it and make your decisions.

When the baby is born, do you want it on your stomach?

It has become common today that the baby is placed on the mother’s stomach immediately after birth. This is done to maintain the close contact that has been between the mother and the child. It creates security for the child, as it can continue to hear the mother’s heartbeat. The child can also hold the heat better.

Can the father take photos or video of the birth?

Many people like to have memories of childbirth in the form of photos or videos. The birth is a big event. However, you should consider whether you want to be photographed at all times, and how much time your partner should use to be a photographer. First and foremost, he is here to help and support you.

Do you want your father to cut off the umbilical cord after childbirth?

Some parents want this. It is a symbolic act to separate the umbilical cord between mother and child and can indicate a desire to participate actively in childbirth.

Can there be students in place?

At the maternity ward there may be both medical students, midwives, and nursing students. Think through if you want to have them present at birth if it becomes relevant. It is an important part of students’ education to see and participate in childbirth, and if all mothers refuse, they cannot receive their education. However, if it is uncomfortable for you to be present, you always have the right to say no. Prepare to talk to staff about it.