Your Labor is Wild. Don’t Spook It.

  
LABOR IS A WILD THING. IT IS MYSTERIOUS AND SOMETIMES SHY. IT WORKS BEST WHEN YOU DO WHAT FEELS NATURAL, IN A QUIET PLACE, WHERE YOU CAN FEEL SAFE AND FREE. Here’s how to take care of your labor like the wild animal that it is.

Don’t Spook Your Labor.

1. Avoid Bright Lights and Loud Noises.

Remember, when it comes to labor, you are a mammal.

Q. But Kate, you might be thinking. I like caramel soy lattes and gold nail polish. (Or ________ and _________.) I’m not an animal.

A. The part of you that knows how to push a baby out of your vagina doesn’t care about nail polish colors. IT DOESN’T THINK. IT FEELS, AND RESPONDS. IT IS WILD. 

When animals get ready to give birth, they find the quietest, darkest spot, where no predators can reach them, and where they won’t be bothered.

If your hospital room is more like a bus terminal than a zen cave, then your wild labor animal is gonna go into hiding. Which means it won’t be doing what it’s supposed to do ~~ dilating and progressing. If people are coming and going, opening and closing the door, turning on bright lights and introducing themselves, “Hi, I’m Doctor Smith. Hi, I’m Doctor Carter. Hi, this is the medical student you’ve never met before, who you will never see again and whose name you won’t remember …” your labor is gonna be M.I.A.

mia

(Not this kind of M.I.A.)

DO.

  • Hang a do-not disturb sign on your door.
  • Turn the lights down.
  • Turn up the George Strait.

2. DON’T… Lay Flat On Your Back.

Lying politely in bed with your hospital gown tied neatly in the back makes you seem very lady-like and well-mannered. Guess what, your wild labor animal isn’t lady-like. It releases all sorts of bodily fluids and makes guttural noises and demonstrates unpredictable wild animal behavior. Its strongest sensations feel most like taking a s*** and if you’re doing that, you’re doing it right!

 

3. DON’T … Have Someone Ask Your Pain Score Eight Million Times

Some say that labor pain isn’t pain … It’s just “an interesting sensation that requires all of your attention.” (Ina May Gaskin). After witnessing thousands of women do it, I’m gonna describe it in a different way. If you want pain medication, you will know. If you want an epidural, you will know. And if you want to go without medication, then it’s too serious for numbers. 

Instead of drawing your thinking mind into some bizarre argument of quantifying these sensations, instead take them seriously. Because this is f$&@ing serious.

4. DON’T Have Someone Check Your Cervix Every Two Hours 

What for? A Random cervical exam for labor progress is like trying to entice a wild animal into your living room by shooting at it. Damn! It hurts! It’s intrusive! It’s the opposite of calm, quiet and private. Your wild labor animal doesn’t appreciate being told it’s inadequate by the way. Performance anxiety is the biggest labor spook of all.

5. DON’T … Uncles.

I’m sorry love. I’m gonna be the bearer of bad news. Your uncle doesn’t belong in your labor room. Nor does your brother (unless he moonlights as a doula). Nor does anyone else that you wouldn’t want to watch you do the tootsie roll. They shouldn’t even be out in the waiting room, ready to accidentally burst into your room in the middle of some invasive procedure that mostly involves your vagina. (Side note: your wild labor animal loves to tootsie roll.)

6. DON’T … Let Everyone Tell You How Huge and Stubborn Your Baby Is.

Labor is scary enough. Your mind will never be able to let go and let labor happen if it’s constantly worrying about how that huge baby is gonna fit or if that stubborn baby is going to be stubborn for the rest of his life. Try thinking this instead … your baby is perfect. Your body is strong. You were meant to do this. 

If someone is trying to freak out your labor animal, then remind them to keep it positive. If they can’t keep it positive, then they need to get the f$&@ out.

 How To Entice Your Labor ~

  • Hang a do not disturb sign.
  • Turn the lights down.
  • Get naked.
  • Turn up the George Strait.
  • Tootsie Roll.
  • Remember how you got yourself into this situation in the first place.

You are amazing. You can do this. You animal.

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