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Tips For The First-Time Mothers

The joys and challenges you face in your life, none is more extraordinary than having your first child. From the moment you find out you are pregnant, to the day you give birth, you will experience many changes and learn new ways to take care of yourself and your growing baby.



Early Labor

Because you have never experienced labor pain before, you may find it difficult to know if you are in labor pain or not. Before going to the hospital, call your doctor or midwife to discuss your labor symptoms.


More Than One Hospital Trip

It is very common for first-time moms to make more than one trip to the hospital. If you are in early labor and have been sent to home, the following activities may be helpful:

  • Walking.
  • Showering.
  • Resting.
  • Drinking fluids.
  • Listening to music, etc.


Prodromal Labor

First-time mothers experience prolonged periods of early labor with minimal or no change in the dilation of their cervix. This condition is called "prodromal labor". This is especially important if this happens:

  • Alternate rest and activity.
  • Keep hydrated.
  • Maintain your physical energy with light, high-energy food.

Partners and family can be very helpful in keeping the mother distracted from activities and keeping her spirits up. It is also helpful to have periodic contact with your doctor.


Active Labor

We have found, that when a first-time mother is hospitalized when she is in a active labor, then the first-time mother has a better outcome than hospitalization when she is in early labor. Occurs in childbirth. Recruiting a mother for the first time during active labor helps her labor proceed with minimal intervention and makes her more likely to have a vaginal delivery. In active labor, contractions last less than 5 minutes, last 45-60 seconds and the cervix dilates by 3 centimeters or more.


Induction

Although some medical problems or prolonged pregnancies may require induced labor, becoming a first-time mom carries additional risks. Induction of labor (especially with a cervix that is nearly closed) for a first-time mom doubles or triples the length of delivery and the chance of a caesarean birth. However, in later pregnancies, the chances of a cesarean delivery after induction are low. Induction is not performed before 39 weeks of pregnancy unless there is a medical reason.


Comfort And Pain Management

Pain is a natural part of labor and every woman is unique in the level of pain she can tolerate but some of them cant also. Women also have varying success with activities or interventions that can help reduce their labor pain and increase their comfort. Mentioned below are three types of activities and interventions such as comfort measures, medication, and regional anesthesia.



Comfort Measures

There are several good pain relief methods that are very effective throughout labor that everyone should try. Any of the following methods that you are comfortable with can be used during your labour:

  • Walking.
  • Water therapy (shower or tub).
  • Sitting or leaning on a birthing ball or rocking chair.
  • Keeping a restful environment in your labor room (quiet, low lighting, soothing music).
  • Carefully select support people for a calm environment.
  • Using different positions (on all fours, toilet, kneeling, squatting, pelvic rock) and supporting with pillows if necessary.Massage/back rubs by support person.
  • Effleurage (light massage of abdomen).
  • Have your partner or support person rub the tennis ball on your lower back. Applying warm or cold compresses.
  • Using relaxation/breathing techniques.
  • Prayers or religious ceremonies.
  • Guided meditation using calming imagery.
  • Using several relaxation techniques is a great way to involve first-time partners in collaborating and working with you in the process of childbirth.


Medication

For some women, as labor progresses and contractions get stronger or they become too tired to cope, rest measures no longer provide enough relief. At that time pain medications are usually used, and your doctor or midwife will explain the benefits of each type and help you to select the appropriate medication that is safe for you and your baby. You may want to discuss prenatal medications with your doctor or midwife.

Medication may not completely eliminate the labor pain, but it can help to reduce it so that you can rest better and cope with the discomfort. Continue to use relaxation measures that help you to relax as much as possible between contractions. Most commonly used drugs are of low efficacy, except in early labor, which minimizes the effect on the baby. For some of the womens, no other medication is needed to help cope with labor pain.


Regional Anesthesia (Epidural, Spinal or Intrathecal Medication)

If you reach a point in active labor that comfort measures and/or medication are no longer giving you enough pain relief, your doctor or midwife may order regional anesthesia to help relieve the pain. The anesthesiologist inserts a needle into your lower back to administer regional anesthesia. The goal of regional anesthesia, especially after your cervix is ​​fully dilated, is to strike a balance between reducing the feeling of pain and feeling a willingness to tolerate while still actively participating in delivering your baby. Talk to your doctor or midwife prior to delivery about regional anesthesia, and visit the hospital to find out what types of regional anesthesia are available.


Episiotomy

There is a national trend to avoid routine episiotomies (cuts in the perineum to enlarge the vaginal opening). Recent studies suggest that routine episiotomy has little or no medical benefit. The national episiotomy rate for first-time moms has dropped from what used to be 60 to 80 percent to less than 13 percent.

The main concern is that episiotomy may increase the risk of extended tears in the rectum, especially for first-time mothers. This can lead to more short- and/or long-term problems with bowel control (loss of gas or stool) later in life. Twenty years ago, it was thought that episiotomy could prevent these problems. We now know that this is not the case and that midline episiotomy actually appears to increase the rate of these problems.

For the first delivery, you will need to discuss the episiotomy with your obstetrician or midwife (and their partner if they are part of a group practice) at one of your last prenatal appointments or while you are in early labor. 

About 70 percent of women will have natural tears as soon as their first child is born. This type of tear usually involves less tissue and trauma than an episiotomy.


Pushing

Also known as the second stage of labour, pushing begins some time after the cervix has fully dilated (10 cm).


The Importance Of Waiting

It is important to wait for the natural urge to subside before starting active pushing. You are often encouraged to push by "holding your breath and pushing as hard as you can." Research has suggested that a woman's spontaneous urge to push occurs three to five times during a contraction, while the woman is exhaling and crouching down.

Pushing with an Epidural

If you use an epidural, you may be encouraged to rest until you feel a pushing sensation. Women receiving epidural anesthesia for labor may have difficulty pushing, especially if the force of the anesthetic makes the sensation too numb to bear. Delayed pushing (passively waiting for the baby to come through the birth canal) is an alternative to regular 10-centimeter pushing in women using epidurals.

There may be situations, such as having a strong regional anaesthetic, or labor arrest, where you don't feel the urge to push. If so, pushing will help you.


Other Information And Tips

  • The upright position (sitting, squatting, standing) helps gravity push you through.
  • Allowing the baby's head to gently stretch the tissue outside the vagina (perineum) will reduce the risk of a significant tear. Lying on your side is associated with low-key tears.
  • During second stage labor, your uterus pushes the baby down the birth canal (passive descent).
  • Perineal massage (gradual stretching of the vaginal and perineal tissues) from 36 weeks has been associated with fewer perineal tears. Ask your doctor or midwife for information about perineal massage.
  • If your obstetrician or midwife is concerned about your or your baby's health, they may choose to shorten the second stage of labor (performed by an obstetrician) using a vacuum or forceps on the baby's head. 
  • The breathing techniques used for pushing vary and depend upon what works best for you.


Recovery

Life outside the womb is a special period of adjustment for your baby. Your body is also adjusting to major physical changes. The first hour after birth is the time for you to make these adjustments and enjoy these magical moments as a new family with your partner.

During the recovery period of about 90 minutes, your temperature, pulse, blood pressure, respiration, the position of your uterus and vaginal discharge (lochis) will be checked frequently. During this period, your baby will become familiar to you through sight, touch and smell. The baby will probably attach itself to the breastmilk, as babies are very alert and ready to feed and bond with their parents at this time. After the recovery period, you and your baby will be taken to the postpartum room.


Breastfeeding

  • It is important to keep your baby's skin tight to the skin in the first hour after birth. This closeness will aid in your first breastfeeding experience.
  • Your baby is most interested in nursing within the first hour of life.
  • Your baby is looking forward to meeting you and needs colostrum (the starting fluid from your breast) for energy and protection from infection.
  • After the first 1 to 2 hours, your baby may become sleepy and less interested in nursing.


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