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Wednesday, 26 October 2011

How to Prepare a Woman to Go Into Labour

Labour is the last and final stage of that magical journey called pregnancy. It is the final stage in a ride into a new life. Because once your baby is born, life as you have known it will change completely, Priorities, plans, people, everything will change to accommodate that one tiny person who is about to walk into your life. Preparing for labour must begin months in advance, preferably when you first find out you’re pregnant.

Labour partners should be as prepared as the mother, because it is going to be a trying and emotional time for you as well. It is therefore important for the labour partner to have access to the all-important hospital bag that you should have packed about a month before your due date, because when it finally begins, labour has a way of pushing out things like checklists from the top of your mind. Mothers must be ready to call their labour partners at short quick notice, and labour partners must be prepared to drop everything and run immediately.

Pack your hospital bag in consultation with your labour partner so that both of you know where what is, and go through the checklist of things you might need carefully and well in time. Pack sensibly and prepare for emergencies. Consult your doctor together and be prepared for the grand day.

The first and most important rule that all labour partners must remember and follow is, as the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy very kindly teaches us, Don’t Panic. Mommies in labour will panic, be scared stiff, and behave in an irrational manner, but you must be prepared to handle all those eventualities, because she is going through probably the most trying and painful time her body has ever experiences before. Hospitals may not recognise your urgency, make you fill forms, wait for a room, and behave in ways that can drive you up the proverbial wall. So, come prepared to deal with it.

Make sure the mother is comfortably seated (preferably in a wheel chair so that she doesn’t have to walk around), and take charge of the situation. Be polite to the staff (you’re going to need their help!) but convey your urgency, and help the mother stay calm. Remember that this is the most important day of her life!

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