Best Tips for Labor & Delivery in 2023 — Episode 172

Best tips for labor and delivery for 2023

What are the BEST tips that women give each other on social media about having a baby? Let’s find out!

Big thanks to our sponsor The Online Prenatal Class for Couples — it’s my best tip to have the confident birth you’re hoping for!

Producer: Drew Erickson

Check out my other pregnancy podcasts:

I love to answer questions, it's like candy for me.
[00:00:00.160] – Hilary Erickson

Hey, guys. Welcome back to the Pulling Curls Podcast. Today on episode 172, we are talking about our best tips for labor and delivery. I collected them on social media from some of my favorite pregnant people, so let’s untangle it.

[00:00:22.690] – Hilary Erickson

Hi, I’m Hilary Erickson, the curly head behind a Pulling Curls Podcast: pregnancy and parenting untangled. There’s no right answer for every family, but on this show, we hope to give you some ideas to make life simpler at your house. Life’s tangled just like my hair.

[00:00:44.660] – Hilary Erickson

Okay, so these are the tips that I collected on my social media channels and also from people who had taken the online prenatal class for couples. So I’m super excited to share them with you today. You’ll find that it varies from, like, first person to third person, and I was trying not to be bothered by that, so I’m just going to read it as they wrote it. Also, I just wanted to mention how many heart emojis people had put on these tips. I think we don’t realize how much people want us to succeed in the labor room. And people were just like, you can do it, you can do it, which I think is an awesome tip. Everybody wants to see you have such a great birth.

[00:01:20.360] – Hilary Erickson

Do you feel prepared for your delivery? In just three short hours, you can be prepared for the competent, collaborative delivery you want. You’ll know what to expect and how to talk with your healthcare team. And there are no boring lessons in this class. I’ll use humor, stories from my 20 years in the delivery room to engage both of you. I love how Alyssa told me that she found herself laughing at things that used to sound scary. Most of all, you guys are going to be on the same page from bump to bassinet. Join the online prenatal class for couples today. You can save 15% with coupon code UNTANGLED. You can find the link in the show notes.

[00:01:55.540] – Hilary Erickson

So first one: be flexible with your birth plan. It’s okay to have an idea of how you want your labor to go, but it might not work out that way. And that’s okay. So true in so many facets of our life. I think having a plan for things when you go in, I just was working in my garden and I had a plan for things when I started it, but then like a cucumber shot up.

[00:02:15.960] – Hilary Erickson

Probably from a cucumber that rotted into the garden, and I just let it grow. And it’s creating beautiful cucumbers for us, right? Instead of like, well, I only want a cucumbers here, that’s where I planted them. So just like gardening labor is a lot the same that things may not go according to a plan, but having a plan is pretty cool, too. So great tip.

[00:02:34.980] – Hilary Erickson

Next one. Personally, I had no birth plan. I went in, told the nurses, I’m in your hands. Just do what you need to do. And I’ll go with a flow.

[00:02:41.130] – Hilary Erickson

Only thing I want is that epidural ended up getting pitocin. She was still relaxed until pain was intense. Then I got the epidural and it was all sweet from there. Good experience. Best thing ever is to just go with the flow.

[00:02:52.150] – Hilary Erickson

Oh, two tips that says just kind of go with the flow. Wonder if that’s important. Wonder if that’s one of my best tips that I share in the only brand of glass for couples.

[00:03:00.000] – Hilary Erickson

Next tip. If you are considering an epidural, get it while labor is still manageable, probably early labor, you are more likely to be able to sit still long enough during that time.

[00:03:08.370] – Hilary Erickson

And I agree with this. A lot of times I’ll have patients who don’t want to get it till they’re like eight or nine and then they’re just kind of writhing in pain and sitting still for the Epidural is really difficult for them. Now there is the opposite that I don’t really recommend getting the Epidural until you’re like three ish centimeters. Studies have shown that if you get it when you’re like one to two, you’re more likely to have a C section. Now, of course, would those people have gotten a C section anyway because their baby just wasn’t coming at their cervix or the right way or all those different kinds of things.

[00:03:35.740] – Hilary Erickson

But I do recommend waiting till you’re like three to four. So talk with your provider. Make sure they feel your cervix is ready. But once they’re ready and you’re feeling enough pain, I think getting an Epidural then can be helpful. So I would agree with that tip. Good one.

[00:03:48.070] – Hilary Erickson

Okay, next one. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. That was in caps. Ask questions as in caps, which I agree. Your labor team is there for you and your baby, so they are happy to answer any questions you have to make things easier for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for another pillow or blanket and the anesthesiologist natural or C section about what they’re giving you and how it’s going to make you feel. Tell them if you have anxiety. Communicate with your team. Such a big fan of this one.

[00:04:12.540] – Hilary Erickson

First off, asking questions. I don’t think you realize how much of my labor nurse is taken up with boring clicking boxes. There’s a lot of like paperwork and stuff like that. We may give you a finger and be like, let me answer that in just 1 second. You know what, we have to concentrate on something.

[00:04:26.550] – Hilary Erickson

But a lot of it is just I can chitty chat with you while I’m tidying up your room, taking out your trash. I love to answer questions. It’s like candy for me as a nurse. So be sure to ask questions. And I also love how she mentioned, tell them if you have anxiety because if you’re nervous about something, it really does help us to know because we can ask you, would you like me to explain it to you or would you like me to keep my mouth shut and just get stuff done?

[00:04:48.880] – Hilary Erickson

Because there are two different types of people. Some people want to know every little thing that I’m doing and some people want to know absolutely nothing about what I’m doing and for me to just get it done. So it’s important to communicate. I love that.

[00:04:59.730] – Hilary Erickson

Next one. Bring a dang fan, a comfy small blanket. I was burning up during active labor and that fan saved me. Then of course, with the epidural I was very sensitive and my blood pressure would drop, giving me the shakes. Having the fan blow in my face and then comfy blanket to snuggle with helped a lot during that time. Also, ask questions or something feels wrong, say something.

[00:05:17.640] – Hilary Erickson

Don’t hope they will guess because sometimes they can’t tell. I could feel my blood pressure dropping and as soon as I said something, the nurse anesthetist would put something with a red cap in my abuse saving the day. Then my epidural didn’t work the first two times. I finally had to ask for a different anesthesiologist to put it in and boom, no problems. Okay, this one has so many good tips.

[00:05:34.770] – Hilary Erickson

Let’s break it down. First off, the fan. So most labor units have a couple of fans available, but I’ve seen these clip ones that are USB chargeable. I took one to girls camp with me this summer. It wasn’t that expensive and I think they’re handy to have period around your house.

[00:05:50.260] – Hilary Erickson

So they clip on to your side rails and you can just have them blow on your face and I think that could be a great addition to your labor bag. A lot of people really like bringing a comfortable blanket from home. Two tips for that. First off, don’t bring the blanket that your grandma knitted you when you were two because you never know if that blanket is going to make it out of that room cleanable or not. And second tip is to try and keep it waist up because you’re going to feel more comfy when it’s like by your face or on your arms.

[00:06:15.760] – Hilary Erickson

It may not be covering your feet. You know, if you’re in early labor, then that’s fine. But I would try and keep it in a safe zone. You know, when you go to SeaWorld and there’s a splash-zone, waist down is more the splash-zone. So something to keep in mind.

[00:06:26.980] – Hilary Erickson

And then finally, I love how she advocated her for herself that her epidural wasn’t working. She would like a new anesthesiologist and it’s pretty difficult for a nurse to try and get you a new anesthesiologist sometimes depends on the hospital. But I think if a patient was like, you are not working, I want a different one, it would be hard for that anesthesiologist not to try and call somebody else if that was an option. So I really liked that advocating for yourself and also oh, she mentioned like she could tell, she could tell when her blood pressure was dropping before the nurse could tell. And a lot of times there’s things you feel like ringing in your ears.

[00:06:58.060] – Hilary Erickson

My mouth and my ears actually feel funny when my blood pressure stopping and I can tell that two or three minutes before my actual blood pressure on the machine would show it. So letting her provider know what she was feeling in advance totally helps us help you quicker. So great tips there. Okay, I got two more. This next one, the nurses are heroes and your support in labor.

[00:07:19.290] – Hilary Erickson

Obviously doctors are great for the final inning, but the real ladies who see you through the hard parts is your nurses learn breathing for extra high painful moments. I had a ghost zone during my second birth. Even though I had an epidural, it still caught me by surprise. Have a plan but know the real plan may be the unexpected. Be willing to go with all the ebbs and flows and know your baby and you are safe hands even when it goes crazy and your plan A is out the window.

[00:07:42.300] – Hilary Erickson

So many good things. First off, so many people think they don’t need to learn any breathing techniques if they’re planning to get an epidural. And you would be wrong if you were thinking that. You know, like I said before, it’s important to delay that epidural till you’re three to 4 actually feeling pain. So you’re going to want to breathe through that pain so that you’re not all tense up because your cervix isn’t going to open if you’re all tensed up.

[00:08:04.050] – Hilary Erickson

So learning breathing is super important. I have a whole bonus video on natural pain management. We go through breathing and exercises for you guys to practice on your own to breathe and then I love what she said to plan for the unexpected, right? I feel like we’ve heard that before. It’s such a good tip.

[00:08:20.060] – Hilary Erickson

Okay, last one. Walk your partner through your labor wants, needs wishes so that they know how to support you going in. My husband was amazing and even though hated seeing me in pain, he held my hands through the initial labor without epidural. So awesome. A lot of times they just kind of ignore talking to their partner about it.

[00:08:37.050] – Hilary Erickson

A lot of times the pregnant person will look through a lot of information online and they just figure they’ll drag their partner through it. But talking to them in advance, your wishes, how you’re hoping things will go, what helps when they do, whatever can totally help you have like a game plan in advance. And of course I would recommend taking a prenatal class together. Did you guys know that the online prenatal class for couples comes at three different price points and can be done in just 3 hours time? It could be even less if you’re willing to speed up my videos.

[00:09:05.500] – Hilary Erickson

Although I am a pretty fast talker, so that might be rough, but it is really there to get you both prepared for your confident birth. And I’m really there to involve the partner. I made it fun enough to keep both of you engaged. I’m always loving when somebody mentions that my prenatal class was fun or funny, because I know that if you are enjoying it, you’re more likely to remember the things that you’re learning. So big fan of that.

[00:09:27.930] – Hilary Erickson

You can find the Online Prenatal Class at or at Pulling Curls or the Pregnancy Nurse. It’s basically available anywhere or you just Google “online prenatal class for couples” will come up. So definitely take a prenatal class. I go through a lot of these best tips on my own and I’ll remind you of them during the class and how to implement them during your labor. So come join me, guys. It’s the best. So hopefully this gets your 2023 started off right.

[00:09:53.250] – Hilary Erickson

Stay tuned for my next episodes. Next week, we are talking about the best mom hacks to get 2023 going. And then the week after that, we’re going to talk about what to do if you’re afraid about getting the epidural, so stay tuned for those.

[00:10:05.100] – Hilary Erickson

Thanks so much for joining us on today’s episode. The Pulling Curls podcast grows when you share us on social media or leave a review. If you do, please tag us so that we can share and send you a virtual hug, which frankly, is my favorite kind of hugging. Until next time, we hope you have a tangle free day.

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