1 cm- "One Hot Mamma " By Trace Adkins. At 1 cm, labor may or may not have started. You may still be a couple weeks from labor or you may be starting to feel a few very spaced out contractions. Whatever the case, rock that pregnant body Mama! Go get a massage, a pedicure, or spend some extra sweet time with the father to be. This party will get started soon enough!
2 cm- "Lets get this party started" by Pink. By now, labor may or may not have started. Either way, you are probably ready to get this party started! The very best thing to do in this early labor time is to rest as much as possible. I know, I know, it is so hard to relax and when you are so excited and ready to role. But a little nap and lots of hydration and nourishment is going to do your body so much good over the next couple days.
3 cm- "Let it go" Yep! The Frozen theme song! Now is a great time to establish a relaxation routine for each contraction. When you feel that little cramp and tightening that is an early labor contraction starting to come on, start out with taking a nice deep breath. When you exhale, "let it go". Meaning, let every muscle in your body completely relax. Let your mind surrender to the process of labor. Have your doula or partner be conscious of watching your body for anywhere that you may be holding tension. Maybe you are keeping your shoulders up and tight, time to let your shoulders sink down and completely loosen up. In order for your uterus to do it's job and for your cervix to open up, your whole body needs to be able to just let it go...do this routine during every contraction through labor.
4 cm- "Stand up for your rights" by Bob Marley. By now you may have made your way to the hospital (if you are staying home for a home birth this one may not apply to you). As you get comfy in your hospital room, remember that your body is yours. You have the right to say yes or no to every suggestion made. There may be some interventions that come up or suggestions that are made by medical staff, that may or may not be best for you. This is why it is hugely important that you have done your research ahead of time or have a trained doula who understands interventions and can help you to understand the risks and benefits of everything so that you can make an informed decision that is best for you and your baby.
5 cm- "I can't fight this feeling anymore" by REO Speedwagon. You may find as labor gets rolling that you naturally want to fight against the contractions. Remember that your body was MADE to do this and that you CAN do this. Contractions can not be stronger than you, because they are you. Don't fight it, let your body do its amazing work of opening up and pushing your baby down with each contraction.
6 cm-"Hurt so good" by John Mellencamp . Unlike if you break your leg, have a kidney stone or something else, the pain of labor is incredibly productive and it is important to remember that you are not in any kind of danger. We often associate a painful feeling with our bodies being in danger or some kind of suffering, but in labor, this is not the case. So let those contractions come. They are good. Let them hurt. Know that every one brings you to holding your baby in your arms. Find something to focus on and now may be a good time to start taking some deep breaths and letting out a low moan to help you cope with the discomfort.
7cm- "Breath" by Faith Hill. Labor is not just a long journey for the laboring mama, it is also a long journey for the little one inside of you. During every contraction, your baby is being squeezed by your uterus and pushed down further in your pelvis. The best thing you can do for your baby is to keep taking deep breaths. These deep breathes will allow your baby to continue receive oxygen rich blood via the umbilical cord .
8 cm- "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey. Transition is the part of labor where most laboring moms feel like tapping out. However, you are almost there! Don't loose your focus. Lean on your birth team to help you figure out what you need. Don't stop my dear, labor won't be for much longer and the reward is great!
9cm- "I'm coming out" by Dianna Ross. Now is a good time to keep your mind set on your goal. Your little one will be here so very soon!
10 cm- "Push it" by Salt N Pepa. Once you are complete, you may begin to have a strong urge to bear down during contractions. When you feel a contraction coming on, take a deep breath. With out blowing that deep breath out, use the leverage from that breath to bear down. If you are a first time mom, pushing may take a few contractions to understand how to be efficient in your pushing. But you will get the hang of it! Also, note that another common feeling once you are complete, before you have the urge to bear down, is having a resting time. This may last up to a half hour and is a great time to take advantage of your resting time before contractions come back and it is time to push it!
Delivery- "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash. Right before your babies head emerges, the feeling of stretching may feel a bit like a ring of fire. While this feeling may at first be a little alarming, it is actually very productive to let those tissues stretch. Allow your doctor or midwife to help you with not pushing to baby out to quickly to get past the feeling. The more you are able to stretch, the less chance you have of tearing. Also remember that being in a gravity assisted position while pushing and delivering is also very productive to helping your baby move down and may help you to avoid tearing. Lying on your back is not as productive and is not the way our bodies are designed.
Congratulations! Your little one has arrived and is now lying on your chest-"Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by Aramageddon. Thanks to the hormone Oxytocin, this first hour after birth is a golden hour for bonding with your baby. The smell and feel of your baby will be intensified and you will really connect with your sweet little one. After this first hour or so, you and your baby will get very tired. While you are exhausted, you may find it difficult to sleep during this time. You have waited 9 + months to meet this little one and the feeling of them finally being here seems so surreal. You may not really want to sleep, but I would encourage you to. As Armageddon sings "I don't want to close my eyes, I don't want to fall asleep , Cause I'd miss you baby, and I don't want to miss a thing".
I hope that you got a little chuckle and maybe some helpful info to help you get through the amazing journey of labor. You can do it!