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How To Go Into Labor “Naturally” Important Considerations For All Pregnant Mamas

Hi. Dr. Allison Feldt here, and I wanted to share a little philosophy that I have. This is simply food for thought and one of many considerations. I help many pregnant women and what really has been the highlight of a lot of conversations lately is talking about going into labor naturally and on your own. Without being induced. One thing that I think is really important to consider when you are planning to have a delivery is your current work schedule and or end date of working For may moms this is your due date. So, like, say you’re due May 23rd. That was the due date with my son. And a lot of women will work up until that exact time.So, you pretty much, you work up until…especially with your first baby, you work up until that delivery date in order to have the maximum time of maternity leave, get as much money as you possibly can before you have the baby, and then you don’t have to waste any of your maternity leave not spending that with your baby. Now, I totally get that. That is exactly to a T what I did with my daughter, Chloe. And the thing about that is when you’re working up until your due date, you don’t actually take the time to…you’re in hyper mode. You’re closing things out. You’re getting ready to leave and be on delivery. You’re probably mentally super checked out, but your body isn’t resting and relaxing. 

You’re still responding to emails. Whatever you do, you’re still in that mode, and when you’re in that mode, we tend to activate more of our sympathetic nervous system. So, that’s where you get, like, the fight or flight nervous system activation. So, like, if you…it’s best described as if a bear was chasing you, your body would be in that active, hyperactive, reactive state. And in that state, you can’t go into labor. There’s no way your body’s going to cascade into labor when a bear is chasing you. And so, it’s really important to think about this. And as silly as it sounds, to me, it’s my personal experience and it’s also what I see women doing. 

So, your body, when you go into labor, has to be in this parasympathetic state in order for your body to feel like it’s safe to even go into labor (same is true for bowel movements FYI). And if you’re working up until your due date, there is just not time for that. Now, some women, yes, it works and it happens and you’re able to maintain that. But for a lot of women, and most of the women I meet and have been associated with, that’s just not the case. While your working you are operating in modes of stress. You haven’t give your body the “okay” to birth the baby. 

So, I want to give a little personal story here. When I was pregnant with my first daughter, Chloe, who’s now three and a half, I was due June 9th…or I was due sometime in June, June 10th or 9th or something. And I was like, “Well, I better work up to my due date so I can have, like, maximum maternity leave with Chloe.” I had, like, secretly always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, but financially we couldn’t afford that. So, I was like, give me all the time I can have with my baby. And so, I worked up until, I think. the day before my due date. I had to go home early, because I wasn’t feeling like I could treat patients still. 

So, I went home and then I didn’t go into labor on my due date and I didn’t go into work either. And then, I had the next day and the next day, and I was nine days overdue. And my water broke nine days overdue. I was Strep B positive so I had to go to the hospital and start IV antibiotics right away. And of course, my body didn’t cascade into the natural rhythm of labor. My contractions weren’t strong enough, so I had to go through the Pitocin route. And that’s, you know, not fun, in my opinion. Pitocin stinks. 

And so, then I ended up having a vaginal delivery with Chloe, and I was, you know, happy I could have that and was able to go through that. But, if you can avoid the Pitocin and avoid that whole situation, then I would highly recommend it. I thought that having my water break first was actually what I wanted, when in all reality, it was definitely not. I mean, I’m fortunate that I got to have a vaginal delivery after having the Pitocin, but my doctor did say at a certain point, she thought I was going to have a C-section. You know, a lot of people just want to go into labor naturally without being as assisted. And truly, that’s probably what’s best for the body and probably what has the best outcome. 

So then, I want to give you a little caveat to that. So, my son, he’s now one and a half, he is…I took about three weeks off prior to his delivery. I, again, was checked out and just was like, “I am going to rest and, like, relax and just let my body try and kick into this naturally.” I still did a ton of things around the house, but I didn’t have the stress of work looming over me. And that was amazing. So, when my due date came, I actually went into labor on my due date and I really…the difference between the two labors was so substantial. And going into labor on my due date was made possible for my body, because of the time I took off before. At least I chose to believe this. i didn’t have the stress of work or emails ect still hanging over my head. I could focus soley on myself, my home, and my kids. 

So, I think my body felt like ..even though I was chasing around a busy toddler, my body was able to cascade into the parasympathetic response required for labor and go into labor without medical intervention. And I was fortunate not to need Pitocin for him. So, that is just my story and I want to share it because I find it…it comes up in every conversation I have with prenatal moms that are having physical therapy, as every pregnant mom should in order to optimize their bodies for delivery. So, I wanted to share that story as I think it’s super important when you start to prepare your calendar and look at what your maternity leave’s going to look like or whether you’re going to stay at home or not, to really consider that decompressing time, that relaxation time. I just think that’s so important in preparing for the optimal delivery that you’re going to have. 

So, thank you for listening. I’m so excited that I could share this information with you and I hope it helps you have a dream delivery. Take care.

AUTHOR

Allison Feldt

Body Motion Physical Therapy

"We Help Women Through Fertility, Pregnancy, Birth, Postpartum and Beyond So They Can Live Active, Confident, Healthy Lives Without The Need For Medication Or Surgery"
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