Birth Pictures From Labor and Delivery

Newborn After Water Birth

Newborn Baby After Water Birth
Photo (c) Robin Elise Weiss

Looking at birth pictures is one way that you might prepare for your upcoming labor and delivery. What will it look like when you give birth to your baby? Who will be there? What will the room look like? These are all things that you have at least a bit of control over.

You can alter the environment with your birth plan. You can think about it in terms of how to create the ideal birth space. Do you need to have certain things with you like a favorite photo, a pillow, or your clothes? These are all familiar items to help you feel more at home, particularly if you are giving birth in a hospital.

Some hospitals have requirements for what you can and cannot bring. For example, you probably can't bring candles with flames, but you could make substitutions. One such substitution would be the electronic flickering, flameless candles.

Until then, you can look through these images from various labors and see what other moms chose to have to surround them for comfort in childbirth.

Resting in Early Labor

Man helping a woman in childbirth
Photo © Holly Hildreth/Getty Images

Resting in early labor can give you the energy that you need to go on when things pick up. You won't know how long you will be in labor, even if it's not your first. It could be several hours, so you need to rest while you can. Relaxing, particularly between contractions, can help you save up enough energy to get through labor.

Standing While in Labor and Being Supported

Tears in Labor
Crying in Labor. Photo (c) K. Weiss

Upright labor positions allow gravity to help the baby be born. You might try to assume a slow dancing position with your partner, listening to music and swaying for pain relief. You won't be able to do this in every case, such as if you are attached to electronic fetal monitoring or an IV. Discuss your options for being upright and mobile during labor with your hospital or birth center. Learn different labor positions you can use.

Having someone to hug and hold on to can help to relieve pain and fear in labor. Sometimes they just need to know what to say to a laboring woman. There are also some things that you should not say in labor. However, it's your labor, and you can cry if you want to. Sometimes crying can help release your fear and other emotions in labor.

Using a Birth Ball

Birth Ball for Ocho's Labor
Birth Ball for Labor. Photo (c) K. Weiss

Using a birth ball for labor can be very relaxing and help alleviate labor pain. You can use the same exercise ball you may use for workouts. There are several ways you can use it during labor to help you change positions. Another option is a peanut ball, which can come in handy when you are lying down during labor.

Pushing With Twins

Giving birth to twins - pushing.
Photo (c) RE Weiss

Pushing is really hard work. This mom is pushing during labor with twins. There are many variations of pushing during the second stage of labor once you have dilated to 10 centimeters. You can push from various positions. You may have varying degrees of the urge to push. You may use spontaneous bearing down, directed bearing down, or let the uterus and baby do the work with laboring down.

A Baby Halfway Through Birth

birth picture at 37 weeks
37 weeks gestation, 6 lbs 5 oz. Photo (c) R. Desantiago

This baby is only half born. Notice the slight amount of blood near the baby's shoulders. There is not always a lot of blood like you might assume. Some births have no blood before the placenta is born.

A Baby Immediately After Birth

This is a baby just born!
Photo (c) J. Yoder

This is a baby just born. Normally, the baby will go directly to the mother's chest to stay warm and begin the skin-to-skin bonding time that is so good for mom and baby. In times past, hospitals would immediately bathe, weigh, and measure the baby. Now, it is more likely that they will give you immediate skin-to-skin bonding time with the baby on your chest.

Newborn Baby

Newborn Baby!
Photo (c) K. Harrell

A healthy newborn, seconds after birth can be in full cry as he takes his first breaths. Everyone in the delivery room is likely to breathe easier or start crying themselves. The baby is being handed to the mother for some long awaited snuggling. Unlike in past times, it is more likely you will be handed your baby immediately to place skin-to-skin on your chest.

Umbilical Cord with Newborn

This baby is just seconds old. This is right after birth, you can see the umbilical cord is still at
Photo (c) Mike, Sylinda, and Meagan Asher

This baby is just seconds old. This is right after birth, you can see the umbilical cord is still attached. She was born at 38 weeks gestation and weighed 6 pounds 15 ounces. Delayed cord clamping is now becoming the norm because of the benefits to the baby. Rather than immediately clamping the cord, they will wait a few minutes until the cord is no longer pulsing. Your baby will have then received all of the blood possible from the placenta before the placenta is born. This gives you more options on who can cut the cord, which you can determine in your birth plan.

Newborn After Water Birth

Newborn and Mom After Water Birth
Getty Images

You may want to have a water birth. Some hospital and birth center policies will prohibit water births, but allow you to labor in water tubs, or they are restricted based on the length of your pregnancy and potentially other complications. If you are thinking about a water birth, you need to check the policies and discuss your options with the staff.

Vacuum Birth Pictures

Baby's head molded after vacuum extraction.
Baby's head molded after vacuum extraction. Photo (c) Victoria

This baby's head is molded after vacuum extraction. This labor intervention is a cup-like device that is placed on the back of the baby's head and the suction is applied manually or from a pump so that the practitioner pulls with the mother's pushes. It can be used higher than forceps. While it causes less trauma than forceps to the mother's tissues, it can cause more trauma to the baby. Alternatives can be changing labor position, using forceps, or performing a cesarean section.

Newborn Baby Twin Girls

Brand New Twin Girls
Photo (c) K. Weiss

If you are having twins, your labor may take a different path. Some hospitals require that you deliver in a surgical suite so they can be ready to perform a cesarean if needed. More than half of twins are born vaginally. You will have a pushing stage for each twin, although it is usually easier with the second twin. There is an average time of 17 minutes between the birth of the first baby and the second baby, but that will vary.

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