Pregnancy All-in-One For Dummies
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Most delivery rooms are sterile-looking places because, in fact, they have to be germ-free. However, that doesn't mean that you can't do something to enhance the atmosphere while you're delivering your baby. You won't be allowed to light candles in a hospital, but you can tape some photos to the wall, bring a boom box to play some background music, and even spray a favorite scent into the air. By placing your mark on your surroundings, both of you feel more in control of the situation. While the delivery room may never be what you would call a romantic setting, you can enhance the romantic aura with a little planning.

Playing it safe

In the attempt to create a greater sense of intimacy during the birthing process, some couples choose to have their babies at home. If something does go wrong during the birthing process — and it can — you want to be as close to an operating room as possible. If you can be quickly wheeled into the operating room, most of the time doctors can right whatever goes wrong. However, if you have to wait for an ambulance and then drive to the hospital, it may be too late.

Because many couples would prefer a more homey setting, some hospitals do have labor rooms that are decorated to look just like a bedroom. Of course, if an emergency develops, the operating room is just around the corner, so they offer the comforts of a home delivery with the safety of a hospital. If you want this type of experience, see whether your doctor is affiliated with a hospital that has such rooms. Be forewarned that even if this is a possibility, you may end up in a normal delivery room if many women give birth on the same day.

Enduring labor day

You can't predict how long labor will last. Some women give birth in a few hours; others take a few days. The longer the process takes, the more uncomfortable you are going to be. In addition, as the hours of discomfort continue to mount up, you're going to become crankier, also. You can't take your frustration and pain out on your doctor or the nurses, so who's likely to bear the brunt? Your husband.

To lessen the impact this stressful time can have on your relationship, you have to talk about what to expect ahead of time. If you're both aware that labor may be long, grueling, and tense, he'll have an easier time shrugging off your bad mood, and you'll be more likely to recognize the cause of your griping and apologize before doing it again.

One of the reasons this can be such a frustrating experience for both partners is that most men are natural fixer-uppers. If you tell a man there's a problem, chances are that he's going to look for a solution. In this case, there's nothing he can do other than to give you some ice chips and tell you to breathe properly. When you scream at him "Make this stop!" he's going to want to do exactly that, even though you are only venting your own frustrations. Moreover, if this behavior has been going on for hours, you're both going to be tired and your tempers will fray.

In the "good old days," men were left to pace in the waiting room, and such interaction between husband and wife didn't occur. Before that, husbands waited outside the house while midwives ministered to their wives. The father-to-be is now the birthing coach, and, right after the delivery you go back to being husband and wife. With those facts of life in mind, you're both wise to forgive and forget any words or acts delivered at the most emotional moments of this wonderful process.

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