There is a lot to keep in your head as you head into your delivery, but lots of families make pretty drastic mistakes in their preparation for their new baby. Let’s talk about these mistakes and ways to avoid them.
Hi, I’m Hilary — The Pregnancy Nurse 👩⚕️. I have been a nurse since 1997 and I have 20 years of OB nursing experience, I am also the curly head behind Pulling Curls and The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. 🩺 I have helped thousands of moms have their baby and seen LOTS of mistakes families made before that big day. I really am here to help you get prepared for your birth.
And, this can help you get more prepared too!
Mistakes Families Make Before Delivery
#1 Watching Social Media for Info
But guys, I have to tell you I have NO idea who thinks these people are adept enough to share birth information online, but they really aren’t.
Keep in mind that Doulas don’t have to be certified (and, even if they are, there is no guarantee in the substance of that certification) — literally ANYONE can say that they’re a doula. Midwives can be both lay midwives (who only have to have had a few handfuls of deliveries) or certified nurse midwives who have buckets of training and experience.
And then there’s NURSES who give labor advice who aren’t labor nurses, just had their own baby.
I just throw my hands in the air and walk away.
Lies I’ve seen on social media:
- Pitocin is dangerous in all forms
- You should avoid a cesarean section at ALL costs
- NO one needs an episiotomy, they’re always just the doctor being lazy.
- No one needs an IV, it’s a lie the hospital promotes to make money. (?)
and the list goes on….
Oh, come join me in my pregnancy series so I can clear-up a lot of those myths for you:
Some tips on who to follow online:
Look for actual initials — including MD, or DO — and it should say board-certified in OB. Many will say they’re a DOCTOR but sometimes they’re a dentist, or a chiropractor…. not the same (obviously).
Look for the nurses (should say RN). Obviously, I’m biased, but I have yet to follow a labor nurse who’s advice I REALLY questioned. Sure, some people exaggerate it to get clicks — but most often they understand what would help families. Again, make sure they’re a LABOR nurse — with a good bit of experience. I’ve seen a few brand new labor nurses with a little info that aren’t the best.
If you’re following a Doula, look for one who doesn’t make broad strokes of the the truth — words like “everyone” or “not necessary” aren’t OK. Also, keep in mind that doulas are there for support, they are NOT there for medical advice. Coping techniques, ways to help you progress in labor — that’s their thing. Telling you medical plans for your labor is NOT their lane.
And SO many are WAY out of their lane….
#2 Thinking Their Doctor Says What they Will Do
SO many people message me and say “my doctor says I have to have an IV” and I’m like…. how’s he going to force that into you?
Your doctor can’t release you from their care by not following an order like that in the hospital. Just FYI. You can refuse ANYTHING in the hospital (and they are legally obligated to continue to care for you).
If, in the office, they make you feel like that’s a requirement — I’d say something like, “Ok, that’s good advice. I will keep that in mind, but since I plan to go natural I still may consider not having an IV, and I just want you to know.”
Your doctor is there to give you advice.
Like…. a flooring guy. They come in and they tell you the risks and the benefits of tile vs hardwood, vs vinyl. And then you say — well, I have dogs and crazy kids and they might say that tile is a good option because it’s so sturdy, but in the end it’s up to you what you pick.
IT IS THE EXACT SAME. And don’t let them bully you into other things. They’re just their to give you informed consent. I’m sad to say I’ve seen a lot of doctors not give informed consent (instead they did a lot of telling you what to do)… so it is something to keep an eye out for.
That being said, you’re paying them a LOT of money for their experience and expertise. Make sure you’re using it. I personally think it’s smart to have an IV during labor due to the risks of that and the benefits, but that’s a choice I would make for me.
The Online Prenatal Class for Couples has a whole chapter on communication with your team that couples just love! I give you some of the easiest responses when you just need more info (and don’t want to feel weird about it).
#3 Not Taking a Prenatal Class
I know, you’re busy. There is a LOT to get done before baby, and you don’t feel at your best. I totally get that, but by taking a class you just give yourself a huge leg up.
In just a FEW hours you can get prepared with this one.
I always tell people it’s like riding a roller coaster in the dark if you don’t have a class. Yes, labor is ALWAYS going to be a roller coaster — but with a class, you’re in the light. You know where the ups and downs will be and what to expect.
Tips for finding a class:
- Take a look at any free content they have to offer to see if you’re a good fit.
- Look for someone with a lot of experience
- Check out the reviews (keeping in mind that a lot of people cherry-pick a few good ones) but make sure those reviews address what you’re looking for
#4 Only the Birther Is Prepared for Delivery
I know, a lot of partners want to zone out for the prep part — but don’t let them! The hospital is just as foreign for them (if not more so). Make sure your partner is prepared with you for this new phase of your life.
This doesn’t mean that they need to be as interested as you are. That’s why I have lots of extra info for you (in cae you want to research a a topic more) — but you two can learn the basics easily together in here!
Make sure you’re having discussions about what you’re going to do and what things are going to be like after baby. I have couples questions in here too.
#5 Ignoring The Ugly
So many people just skim over the areas they don’t want to think about — and instead focus on the cute baby clothes and shoes (UGH, the shoes). I mean, I don’t blame you. But spending hours shopping for that cute stroller, but ignoring how to install the carseat or addressing your fears about the birthing process is NOT doing you any favors.
I believe every mom needs a small amount of cesarean section information. It is a REAL possibility, and you’ll feel much less scared if you realize how safe it is and how it will happen.
So often we want to focus on the pretty things. It’s our nature. But looking at the ugly, and smoothing it out can be a HUGE help for you.
BONUS: Coping Skills
So often I see moms come in with literally ZERO coping skills, and a partner who is of no help to them. They can’t handle the pain or the stress of the delivery. They’re basically just FREAKING. OUT.
Normally, if this happened on another unit, they would give that person drugs to help them come down. But in labor there isn’t that option as much (because pain meds don’t always fix it).
Learn how to look at the ugly, help create a relationship that gives you hope and trust in your partner. Get prepared and learn some BASIC pain coping techniques (which I have a bonus video on in my course). It will pay off HUGE in the long run!
NOW is the time to jump into an Online Class. Please consider joining me in The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. In just a few hours I can have you prepped for YOUR confident delivery. Save 10% with coupon code PREGNURSE.
And, if you’re not quite sure you’re ready for that whole thing, check out my free prenatal class. It’s your first step toward getting in the driver’s seat of your birth.
- About the Author
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A nurse since 1997, she has worked in various fields including pediatrics, geriatrics & hospice. She has 20 years of labor and delivery experience in the San Jose, CA and Phoenix, AZ areas.
As an evidence-based prenatal educator Hilary has delivered thousands of babies and has educated hundreds of thousands of parents from a diverse patient population to help them have a confident birth.