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Labor: What to Really Expect


You’re nearing the final push and that long-awaited delivery room. Soon, you will have your little one and start a new chapter of motherhood. For some women, especially new moms, labor may feel like a built-up moment and there may be some pre-birth jitters. For others, you may be ready to get it over with already and are looking forward to seeing your toes again. Either way, being armed with necessary information can make you feel empowered and confident when you go into labor. For that, we turned to Dr. Banafsheh Bayati, M.D., a board-certified OB/GYN in Los Angeles, California. “If you have a trusting relationship with your obstetrician,” says Bayati, “then you can relax and enjoy your last few weeks of pregnancy.” Here is what to really expect as you near labor and some tips to make it more enjoyable along the way.

Use your last few weeks of pregnancy to prepare.

“Begin to spend time preparing for your baby's first year of life. You will not have time to read or research when the baby comes. Enjoy your partner. If you have other children, take extra time to bond with them before your newborn arrives.”

Line up your postpartum support.

“You will need it,” says Bayati. “I always tell my patients that I will be there for you in labor. We can get through this together. But you will need to find that additional support at home once your baby arrives. A night nurse or postpartum doula can be invaluable.”

Share your birth plan and any concerns with your doctor.

“Patients often have a birth plan and your obstetrician will go over these plans with you, your partner, and your support team. I always try and reassure my patients and help them understand the variables in labor and the unique aspect of it for each patient.”

Schedule a class.

“It's helpful to have classes to prepare for labor. The more knowledge and tools you have, the better. It’s helpful to understand the challenges of breastfeeding and early child care. Most importantly, it is important to have a basic understanding of infant CPR. I recommend classes to cover these topics to all my patients.”

And when it comes to labor and the delivery?

If you have a solid support team and a trusted caregiver covered. “Simply stated: Trust in your body, have faith, and let it go.”

Let us know if you’ve had your baby! We want to hear about your experience. Join the Perelel community on social or by subscribing to our newsletter to share.

Dr. Banafsheh Bayati is a board-certified Obstetrician/Gynecologist practicing in Santa Monica, California. She serves women from adolescence to menopause with an emphasis on preventative health and holistic care. Her passion is obstetrics. She resides in Santa Monica with her husband and three children.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and we recommend that you always consult with your healthcare provider. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Perelel.