A series of unexpected events resulted in me being in the labor ward devoid of family or friends, with only the medical staff for support. This, I believe, added to the difficulty of labor especially since I could hear my fellow expectant mothers, being comforted by their loved ones, while I was surrounded by plain hospital curtains that enclosed my hospital bed.
Nevertheless, I encouraged myself and did the breathing exercises that help manage the pain of contractions. This worked out well for the first few hours, but as the contractions got closer, I could not keep up. Long story short, I eventually had a C-section, which I was not prepared for mentally or financially, after several long anxious hours of labor.
But this got me thinking… How could I have prepared for labor alone? What actions could be taken to make the process better?
Giving Birth Alone
The most important thing is to have a hospital bag ready with all the essentials for you and your baby – you can get an idea of what to pack on this page. Have the bag prepared up to a month to your due date regardless of whether you expect to be alone or not. This will come in handy during and after labor. In addition to this:
Explain your situation to one of the midwives
Nurses and midwives are usually assigned to particular labor wards and they are usually close by. Identify one who is friendly and explain your situation and that you will appreciate their help. This will help to make them pay extra attention to you.
Ask for a tour of the ward
You will need to know the location of the restrooms, delivery rooms, and recovery rooms.
Speak up when something doesn’t feel right
Ask as many questions as possible especially when in doubt. If no one is nearby, feel free to call out.
Cooperate with the medical staff as much as possible
Try to follow instructions and be as polite as you can – labor can make one edgy and impatient. This will create a good rapport between you and the medical staff
Pray and Believe You can do it
Pray for strength and grace. Remember, the months of pregnancy have been leading to the birthing process; your body is prepared and so is your baby. So, encourage yourself and believe you can do it – many mothers have done it before and some even prefer it that way.
Finally, communicate to your support network – family, friends, co-workers or brethren – that you are in labor and the baby will be here soon. Then they can make arrangements to help you once your baby arrives or you get home from the hospital.
These few tips address the hours of labor where you might find yourself unaccompanied. This is just one of the few parts of the process of welcoming a new life into the world. Make sure you prepare in all aspects especially for after the newborn has arrived.