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5 New Ways Childbirth is Changing

Expecting, trying to become pregnant, or just love all things pregnancy? Check out these 5 new trends that women and their partners can experience during labor and delivery.

By
Cheryl Butler,
Episode #478

3. Being Camera Ready

Today’s babies are not only being born with cutting-edge medical technology, they are also coming into this world being streamed on social media venues. My eight babies were born between 1993 to 2005—we actually had a Polaroid Instant camera for the first birth and had a video camera the size of a small TV. After our first few kids were born, my husband had to rush out to the local pharmacy to get prints made that we’d taken with our Kodak camera.

Today—wow, has that all changed! Now we have live photos, videos, announcements, and play-by-play details of every event happening in our lives thanks to our smartphones and the ability to connect to our favorite social media channels.

And because we have instant access to capture all these milestone moments, including the ability to take dozens of selfies, more and more moms-to-be are wanting to primp for the camera, despite what kind of pain she is in, so that when she and that beautiful new baby meet the rest of the world, she looks great.

I’ll sheepishly admit that I totally relate to this scenario. Since our first baby was born to us through adoption, I was able to arrive (though overwhelmed with emotion) at the hospital to meet our daughter wearing a super cute outfit and not a hair out of place. I rocked those first few new mommy photos, and to this day when I look at them, I get teary eyed but still pat myself on the back for having a great hair day. Now, one year later, the story all changed when I delivered our first son, after 28 hours of labor and nearly three hours of pushing. I walked into the hospital wearing yet another super cute outfit (that I specifically bought to wear when I went into labor—sigh!), and had actually spent 45 minutes, during contractions, blow-drying my hair and applying my make-up so I could look fresh and perky at the hospital. (I know—ridiculous!)

I won’t lie—even when I was in hard labor, I managed to reapply my lipstick. Yet, when pushing began—everything changed. My blonde bob of a cut was now soaking wet and plastered to my head and my sergeant of a delivery room nurse looked me in the eyes and said “Honey—lose that hair bow—this isn’t a beauty pageant!” 

Those new mommy photos with my son look nothing like me, but I accepted there was no way to look anything other than exhausted and elated that I had finally given birth.

Trending now, however, is a way to help new moms look their best right after delivery. The New York Times is now reporting that women pre-book a team of stylists—specifically hair and makeup pros—to come to their hospital rooms for the purpose of getting the new moms camera-ready for their first photos with their babies.

The more the merrier is the new concept in “crowd birthing,” where the parents-to-be invite a small army, perhaps eight to ten of their closest family and friends to witness their baby’s arrival.

In a New York Times Fashion & Style article, John Barrett, founder of Bergdorf Goodman, was quoted as saying, “For some new mothers, the treatments offer an emotional boost as well as an aesthetic one. “It’s really important that you feel good, that you don’t look in the mirror and say, ‘Oh, my God,’ because having a baby is like running a marathon. Just feeling ‘I look normal’ afterward is such a nice thing. It’s good for the psyche.”

So if you feel the need to look glamorous and put together after delivery, keep this fab trend in mind!

4. Crowd Birthing

To some people, the adage “two’s company, three’s a crowd” rings true for many occasions. Not so in some delivery rooms.

For many couples, gone are the days when an intimate birth experience was shared between themselves and their new baby. The more the merrier is the new concept in “crowd birthing,” where the parents-to-be invite a small army, perhaps eight to ten of their closest family and friends to witness their baby’s arrival.

This is such a personal choice for couples to weigh in on. Personally, I couldn’t imagine having one of my brothers or my father-in-law watching me give birth, but for many woman they feel there is strength in numbers. Having a support system of several people to lean on can help to relieve stress and keep the laboring mom more focused and relaxed. If you think a few more warm and familiar faces surrounding you when the big day comes is for you, be sure and check with your health care team and hospital to see if delivery room parties are good to go.

5. Birthing Apps and Podcasts

Today, we have a fantastic selection of apps and podcasts for everything from saving money, educational topics, to handling life's challenges, so why not have birthing apps and podcasts at our disposal to help us with all things pregnancy and delivery?

Technology in the 21st century has made it very easy to be pro-active in your pregnancy and birth. One of the greatest features of using these tools is that you can access the information almost immediately on your smartphone, laptop, or iPad.

I have several friends and colleagues that are expecting babies this summer. Here are a few of the apps and podcasts they can’t live without.

The Bump: This pregnancy and baby editorial app includes articles that cover all your symptoms and developments.

What to Expect: This app is from the popular “What to Expect” series and covers everything from taking your pregnancy test to taking your baby home from the hospital or birthing center.

Pregnancy +:  This app shows interactive images of every stage of your pregnancy.

The Birthful Podcast: The host of this podcast, Adriana Lozada, talks with other birth professionals to share everything from breastfeeding to bed-sharing to vaginal birth after C-sections.

The Cord Podcast: This podcast is hosted by Amy Neuhedel who is very enthusiastic about pregnancy and delivery. The Cord is a collection of helpful tips and interviews with birth professionals, and moms who are pregnant or have delivered.

What type of delivery experience have you had or hope to haveShare your thoughts in the comments section at quickanddirtytips.com/mighty-mommy, post your ideas on the Mighty Mommy Facebook page. or email me at mommy@quickanddirtytips.com. Visit my family-friendly boards at Pinterest.com/MightyMommyQDT

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