And how's mom doing? We’re sure you’ve noted that the contractions are picking up and despite the obvious appeal of getting the pregnancy over with at this point, try not to jump the gun too soon by declaring actual labor. Of course, if it’s getting to the point where you’re having contractions continuously— you’re in The pain experienced depends on several things including your own natural pain threshold, medication, birthing position, fetal position, previous births, your general health and the actual birthing environment labor and yes, it’s time for the "grab your bags we’re gonna have a baby" rush. For the rest of you not yet in labor, your watermelon-betwixt-my-legs waddle is as charming as ever, not to mention the glorious ongoing back pain and fatigue. Hang in there! Once you’ve got your miracle baby on the outside, this will all be a dim memory. So, catch the cat naps whenever possible and keep yourself hydrated with water and try to imagine how all of this will (hopefully) be much funnier in hindsight.
Your doctor or midwife should soon start monitoring cervical effacement (thinning of the cervix) and dilation in order to predict labor. If your cervix is already dilated labor is probably not far away—although there are some moms who walk around with a dilated cervix for a couple of days prior to labor. And if you haven’t heard about the joys of discharging the mucus plug (which protects the uterus from infection) along with some spotting, commonly called “bloody show”—both are signs that labor is around the corner. Should you discharge anything unusual in consistency and/or coloration, don’t hesitate to call you health care providor, it’s probably nothing, but you certainly don’t need the extra stress right now.
Let’s talk about pain. Reports on the intensity of pain experienced during labor and childbirth are widely varied from woman to woman. The pain experienced depends on several things including your own natural pain threshold, medication, birthing position, fetal position, previous births, your general health and the actual birthing environment. Of course, there are natural births, cesarean deliveries, spinals, IV’s and other pain medications, all of which also play into how you experience pain during child birth.
Ideally, you should attempt to be as relaxed as possible and willing to accept the pain as part of the birthing process. In reality, your experience of the birthing process is unique to your body and how you choose to respond to it. Pain is a two part process: the first part is the physical experience of the pain and the second is your emotional reaction to your experience—and that is the part you have the most control over. Choosing to accept and endure the pain of child-birth (with or without medication) can be an empowering experience for any woman, as well as making the birthing process notably easier for those assisting you.