Stand Your Ground: 5 Things You Don’t Have to Do During Labor

during labor, pregnancy
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Giving birth is a monumental moment in a woman’s life. In the months leading up to the big day, many women spend a lot of time thinking about what they want their birth to be like. While you may not end up with the exact birth experience you want (babies and circumstances sometimes have their own ideas), there are some things you can control no matter what. Check out the list below of things you don’t have to do during labor.

  1. You don’t have to tell anyone that you’re in labor that you don’t want to know

When you’re in labor, the only people who need to know are your medical care provider and whoever is getting you to the hospital or the birth center. If there are people in your life who bring more stress than joy and you’re worried that having them present won’t help you focus on yourself and your coming baby, you don’t have to tell them you’re in labor. Getting induced and know when your baby is going to be arriving? You still don’t have to tell anyone when your baby’s birthday will be!

  1. You don’t have to tell anyone about your pregnancy complications

Gestational diabetes? High blood pressure? A small or large baby? While there’s no reason to be ashamed of any medical issue that may arise during pregnancy, you also don’t have to tell anyone about them. If you’d prefer the focus of your pregnancy be on the joy that a baby brings and not the worry you’re experiencing you simply don’t have to tell anyone about your issues.

  1. You don’t have to let anyone in the hospital room that you don’t want to be there

When you’re in labor, you’re going to want to focus on breathing through contractions and getting excited to finally meet your baby. When you’re giving birth you have the right to decide exactly who is with you. Are you worried about pushy friends or relatives trying to push their way into the room? Simply let your nurses know you don’t want any extra visitors and they’ll make sure you get the peace you want!

  1. You don’t have to tell anyone ANY details of your birth

After you give birth to your baby, you may find yourself dying to share the details with friends or family members. You might also feel intensely private about how your baby made their way into this world. While others may ask prying questions (as a mom, you’re going to get a lot of nosy questions) you don’t have to answer. I’ve found the response, “I prefer not to share private, medical information,” very helpful when inquiring minds asked very personal questions after the births of my two sons.

  1. You don’t have to share photos

Whether you don’t want to share birth images or would prefer not to share any pictures of your baby on social media at all, don’t let external pressure make you feel bad. Sure, your distant cousins and high school acquaintances would love to see your newest addition. But you have a right to keep their image private for as long as you’d like.  

{ MORE: 3 Tips That Made Giving Birth Easier }

How was your experience during labor? Did anyone try to make you do something you didn't want to do?

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Stand Your Ground: 5 Things You Don’t Have to Do During Labor

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. She is writing a memoir on pregnancy, motherhood, and sisterhood and lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. ... More

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