So, here you are. (Or here is your friend / sister / boyfriend's sister). In early labor. Giddy and nervous. Contractions are not too strong. You're texting everyone in a celebratory flurry.
You didn't hire a doula, and the windy road of labor is unfolding before you. What to do!? Three last minute tips for labor, previously sent in many text messages and reproduced here:
- Trust in all your preparation! Oh wait, did you forget to prepare for labor? Did you sleep through your entire pregnancy? Have you done zero kegels in the last nine months? NO. WORRIES. Even if you didn't take childbirth ed. or hire a doula, your body has been preparing while your mind has been elsewhere. You are prepared. You've got this.**
- Find your love and look at their face. Find your partner, your kiddo, your puppy and take some deep slow breaths looking at them and holding them. Remember what and who makes you feel loved, safe, warm and supported. Do this whenever you feel lost during your labor.
- Snack. Drink. Move. Repeat. For as long as you can (before hospital rules or your own body get in the way), let this be your game plan. Don't forget to eat energy-packed food, take a drink after every contraction, and stay active. It helps.
**Disclaimer: this is not to say that I don't believe in actively preparing for birth, doing your kegels, or hiring professional birth support, but sometimes you meet yourself where you're at, ya know? :)