Birthing a child is hard work but one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. It is the culmination of the pregnancy. It is the climax of the story. I know that, like pregnancy, it is different each time. There are many things that are good to know and I will leave some links soon on some different topics related to birthing and things I found helpful.
Most important at the “beginning” is to have had great prenatal (fancy for during pregnancy) support and have your provider (i.e. your obgyn or midwife) situated so that things will go with the least amount of bumps along the way. It would be most ideal to stay with the same health care provider all the way through prenatal care and into the birth. My advice on health care providers in general is that if you are not comfortable with your doctor or midwife and can’t seem to resolve your feelings by communicating with your doctor or midwife about those feelings, try to move your prenatal care as soon as you can. The more time you have with a new doctor or midwife the better. There is more time to deal with issues, complications, or just getting to know someone new who will be joining you in a very intimate journey of bringing your child into the world.
My husband and I were very blessed to go to birth education classes that our birthing home provided for all the families birthing their children there. It wasn’t required but it was amazing! We went during every pregnancy and ALWAYS learned something new each time. My next piece of advice is to try to seek out the best birth education your can before baby is coming. Our particular set of classes were about 6 to 8 weeks, one night a week. We covered each stage of labor, variations about what could happen and how to deal with specific situations (like what to do if baby comes so quick there is no one but you and hubby right in the room), breastfeeding and postnatal care. Any time we met someone who would be having a baby we would urge them to seek the classes out and participate because of how much we learned and how we were empowered to know what our options were along with what to expect during any given moment of the birth process.