Your Pregnancy After 35 : Labor and Delivery (part 6) - Your Partner’s Involvement

- Give Up Coffee For Beautiful Breasts
- Welcome to your First Trimester
- Welcome to your Second Trimester
- Welcome to your Third Trimester

Your Partner’s Involvement

Well before your delivery date, talk with your partner about how you will stay in touch as your due date approaches. With cell phones, staying in touch is fairly easy. Arrange for a backup support person in case your partner cannot be with you or you need someone else to take you to the hospital.

Your partner can be a big help. He can help prepare you for labor and delivery and support you as you labor. He can share the joy of your baby’s delivery. He can support you emotionally, which is important to you both.

Your partner may choose to be your labor coach. A labor coach can do a lot to help you through labor, including:

time your contractions so you are aware of labor’s progress

encourage and reassure you during labor

help create a mood in the labor room

protect your privacy

report symptoms or pain to the nurse or healthcare provider

help you deal with physical discomfort

New Eating Guidelines for Labor and Delivery

In the past, women in labor have only been allowed sips of water or a few ice chips to relieve thirst. ACOG has issued updated guidelines. The reasons for the previous policy were concern about a woman vomiting and swallowing vomit into the lungs (aspiration) during labor and the risk of complications if anesthesia was required for a Cesarean delivery.

Updated recommendations indicate if you have a normal, uncomplicated labor, you may drink modest amounts of clear liquids, such as water, fruit juice without pulp, carbonated beverages, clear tea, black coffee and sports drinks. Avoid fluids that contain solid particles, such as soup.

Be sure to discuss eating and drinking during labor with your healthcare provider before labor begins. Follow his or her advice. The general recommendation is that if you’re scheduled for a Cesarean delivery, you may drink clear liquids up to 2 hours before anesthesia is administered. You should refrain from eating solid food for 6 to 8 hours before surgery. If you have any risk factors, such as morbid obesity or diabetes, or if you may be at risk for a delivery involving forceps or a vacuum extractor, your fluid intake may be restricted.

Back Labor

Some women experience back labor; it occurs in about 30% of all deliveries. Back labor means most of the pain is concentrated in the back. The cause of back labor is a baby facing toward the mother’s front. Each contraction forces the baby’s head against the mother’s lower spine, resulting in strong pain that does not completely disappear between contractions.

With back labor, delivery may take longer. The healthcare provider may have to rotate the baby’s head so it comes out looking down at the ground rather than up at the sky.

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