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Labor - It's A Roller Coaster Ride

Some people love rollers coasters, while others hate them. The ride is the same for everyone, so why do different people have such opposite reactions to the feelings evoked?

You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach just as the ride is about to begin?
Different people will describe the same feeling using different terms -- excitement ... anticipation ... fear ... anxiety!

Your interpretation of the feeling is what will make the biggest difference between an exhilarating, empowering ride and a ride filled with fear and trepidation.

Much like a roller coaster ride, there may be quiet moments just before the next curve or stage of labor, you may feel out of control, but you won't be, and, most importantly, you will definitely want another person to hold onto -- one whom you trust and who knows the ride well. You may trust your partner, but does he or she know about all of the potential twists and turns of labor and how to handle them?

Will he or she know when to use different pain relief measures, when to use the "take-charge routine" or is your partner likely to need some support, too? Remember, even the most attentive, supportive partner will need eat, use the bathroom and possibly even sleep, leaving you with no support if you don't have a back such as as a doula.

Different women face labor with much of the same feelings people have when they are facing a roller coaster. From the moment they find out that they're pregnant, some women are terrified about childbirth while others look forward to it. A big part of why laboring with the second child is usually faster and less painful is that women are generally less afraid of the experience. She knows that she can and will survive the pain and the whole experience of labor and birth.

How do you feel about the birth of your child and what can you do to make it a better experience?

Ask yourself the following questions:
Do I feel safe?
Do I believe I'll survive?
Am I afraid of the pain?
Am I afraid of the experience?
Am I afraid of the unknown?
Am I embarrassed about how I feel?

Be aware that there will be unexpected twists and curves -- will that add to the fun or to your stress level?

With the proper support and preparation, birth can be the best ride of your life!

Tracy Hartley of sponsored this Belly Scoop to help keep LAPregnancy's Big Bellies informed.

Tracy loves being a Belly Scooper and is a member of DASC (Doula Association of Southern California) and has participated in more than 100 births.












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