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Labor: How Does Giving Birth Actually Feel?

Labor: How Does Giving Birth Actually Feel?

Being pregnant is a wonderful experience, and you are overwhelmed with joy while waiting to hold your baby for the first time. All the people say that you look beautiful and are glowing, but women who have never been pregnant, and men who haven’t had a pregnant partner, don’t know how everything will go throughout the process. You sweat most of the time, your feet are swollen, and if you have entered the ninth month, you can’t wait to give birth. If this is your first child, get ready to learn how it feels to actually give birth.

1. Types of pains during contractions

The type and intensity of pain is completely individual. It may be similar, but never the same, as everyone experiences pain differently. From cramping to stabbing, the pain of contractions can be categorized in three points, but the intensity and areas of pain are always different.

  • Cramps

“My contractions were like menstrual cramps on steroids”

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Many mothers say that the pain they were feeling during contractions were like cramps during menstruation, gas, or a stomach flu. Except, it wasn’t the types of pain we are used to normally, but an extreme version of them. If you thought your menstruation cramps are the worst pain you’ve ever experienced, you were definitely wrong.

  • Punching

“Each contraction felt like getting punched in the stomach – the type of punch that knocks all the air out of you.”

Another type of pain, usually described by mothers, is punching. They all described feeling like they are punched in the stomach or back.

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  • Stabbing

“It was like someone took a serrated knife and stabbed me in the top of my stomach, slowly, slowly sawed downward to my pubic bone, and then stopped for a few minutes and started all over again.”

This is probably the worst pain you can experience during contractions. The experience is extremely painful, uncomfortable and unpleasant.

2. Pressure and pushing

“You feel like you want to poop really bad, and there’s some pressure pushing down.”

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During labor, almost all women feel pressure in the vagina and stomach. This pressure is felt before the pushing stage and the best way to describe this rather unpleasant feeling is by comparing it to pooping. Lots of women felt like they were pooping.

“I had deep waves of intense pain up until I was able to push. Then the pain became part of the background noise, as though I was in an altered state.” 

When it comes to pushing, there are two types of answers. While some women felt a huge pain, and like they are about to poop, other women felt it like a relief, as all the pain was alleviated when the pushing started.

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3. Pushing leads to total exhaustion

“It was a lot of physical work, kind of like doing weight training at the gym with heavy weights”

When contractions start you cannot think of anything else, except for focusing on bearing the pain. Then you feel a lot of pressure, and you come to the pushing stage, where you start to use all of your energy. As some labors can even last beyond 24 hours, you start to feel exhausted and you just cannot think or do anything, but fall asleep.

4. Giving birth is actually a magical experience

“Emotionally, it was amazing. Many people say the pain disappears once your child is in your arms, and they’re right!”

Labor times average 8 hours but in some cases it can last shorter or even longer. During contractions you feel immense pain, and when your cervix has dilated to 10 cm, you need to keep pushing for about one or two hours. Giving birth is a magnificent experience and cannot be compared to anything else. Also, this unique experience differs from person to person, and can never be the same.

However, one thing is the same, and that is the feeling when you hold your baby for the first time. That moment, you stop thinking about everything, and the pain you felt is already forgotten. Every woman says that it is the worst pain imaginable, and the whole pregnancy is far from magical, but that they would go through the same ordeal all over again, because nothing compares to the feeling you get when you look at your newborn baby. The best description of that feeling would be ultimate happiness.

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Katarina Milovanovic

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Published on November 7, 2018

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

In 2016, it was estimated that 1.7 million children were being homeschooled in the U.S, roughly 3.3% of all school-aged children.[1] Although this may not sound like a big portion of the population, the growth rate of homeschooling has been 7 to15% per year for the last two decades.

The burgeoning numbers are not a coincidence. There are tremendous benefits to homeschooling, including one-on-one teaching, adaptability to individual needs and learning styles, a safe learning environment, encouraging learning for knowledge rather than grades, and tailoring a curriculum to the child’s interests.

Is homeschooling something that you have been considering for your family? With all of the tools and resources available for homeschoolers in the 21st century, it may be easier than you think.

How to Homeschool (Getting Started)

After thinking it through, you’ve decided that homeschooling is the right step for you and your family. Now what? Here are the first things you should do to get your homeschooling journey started on the right track.

Figure Out the Laws

Homeschooling is regulated by the state, not the federal government. The first step is to find the current and accurate legal requirements mandated by your state in order to educate your child legally.[2]

The regulations can vary widely, from strict guidelines to no guidelines at all. However, don’t be overwhelmed by the legal jargon. There are many resources and local communities for homeschooling families that can help you figure out the logistics.

Decide on an Approach

Every child’s needs are different. This is your chance to choose the homeschooling style or combination of styles that best fits your child’s learning style and interests. A brief description of seven different homeschooling methods are listed below.

Supplies/Resources

Often times, purchasing a homeschooling curriculum is done too early in the planning process, resulting in buyer’s remorse.

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A curriculum is not always needed for homeschooling, and other types of free or less structured resources are readily available.

Find a Community

Getting connected with a community of homeschoolers is one of the most important parts of building a successful and thriving homeschool environment for your kids.

Look for communities online for virtual support or a local group that you and your kids can interact with. Partnering with others fosters better socialization skills for the students and provides opportunities for field trips, classes, and outings that wouldn’t have otherwise been a part of the homeschooling experience.

7 Different Homeschooling Methods

1. School-At-Home

Also known as Traditional homeschool, School-At-Home uses essentially the same curriculum as the local private or public school but at home.

The lessons can be completed independently, but more commonly, they are administered by a parent or a teacher-facilitated online school.

  • Benefits: formal standards, wide selection of curricula, same pace as peers, short-term friendly
  • Drawbacks: expensive, inflexible, time consuming, parent can get easily burnt out
  • Resources: K12, Time4Learning, Abeka

2. Classical

One of the most popular homeschooling methods used, it borrows educational practices from Ancient Greece and Rome. Subject areas are studied chronologically so that students can understand the consequence of ideas over time.

Socratic dialogue fosters effective discussions and debate to achieve beyond mere comprehension. There is often a strong emphasis on Great Books[3] as well as Greek and Latin.

3. Unit Studies

Rather than breaking up education into subjects, unit studies approach each topic as a whole, studying it from the perspective of each subject area.

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For example, a unit study about animals could include reading books about animals, learning about the classification of animals, figuring out which animals live on which continents, etc. This method is often used as a technique in other more comprehensive educational methodologies.

  • Benefits: promotes thinking about concepts as a whole, not monotonous or redundant, student-directed, bolsters weaker subject areas, beneficial for teaching multi-age students
  • Drawbacks: incomplete, knowledge gaps, curriculum-dependent
  • Resources: Unit Study, Unit Studies, Unit Studies Made Easy, Konos

4. Charlotte Mason

This Christian homeschooling style utilizes shorts periods of study (15-20 minute max for elementary, 45 minute max for high school), along with nature walks and history portfolios.

Students are encouraged to practice observation, memorization, and narration often. With a focus on “living books” (stories with heroes, life lessons, socio-ethical implications), reading plays a big role in this student-paced teaching style.

5. Montessori

Maria Montessori developed this method through working with special needs children in the early 20th century.

With a primary focus on the student setting the pace and indirect instruction from the teacher, this approach includes free movement, large unstructured time blocks (up to 3 hours), multi-grade classes, and individualized learning plans based on interests.

6. Unschooling

Unschooling is a learning model largely based on the work of John Holt.[4] The teaching style focuses mainly on the students’ interests, putting priority on experiential, activity-based, and learn as you go approaches.

For basic skills such as reading, writing, and math, a systematic technique is employed, but testing and evaluations are typically not utilized. Teachers, in general, play more of a facilitator role.

7. Eclectic/Relaxed

As the most popular method of homeschool, eclectic homeschooling is child-directed, resourceful, and non-curriculum based.

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Parents can sample any combination of homeschooling methods and styles or resources. One growing sector of eclectic homeschooling combines part homeschooling with part traditional schooling.

How to Facilitate Homeschooling with Technology

One of the reasons homeschooling is more feasible than ever before is due to the accessibility of tools and resources to enhance the learning process.

Email

Email is a tool that has really stood the test of time. Invented in 1972, it is still used today as a primary means of communicating on the Internet.

It is a great way to share assignments, links, and videos between parent and student.

Google Drive/Calendar

Google Drive offers a multitude of essential programs that can come in handy for homeschoolers, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more.

With its sharing capabilities, easy accessibility, and auto-save ability, it’s easier than ever to organize and complete assignments. It will improve students’ writing and typing skills, as well as eliminate the need for paper.

Google Calendar is an excellent tool for tracking assignment due dates, planning field trips and activities, and developing time management skills.

Ebooks

Rather than invest in physical copies of books, ebooks are a wonderful option for saving money and space. There are plenty of places that offer a free or paid subscription to a wide selection of ebooks:

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E-Courses

When a structured curriculum is necessary for teaching a certain topic, an e-course is the way to go.

From watercolors to calculus, there are e-courses available about almost everything. Including different teaching styles that vary from the parents will encourage students to learn in different ways.

The visual and auditory stimulation will also be beneficial in helping students understand and retain the concepts being taught.

Some recommendations:

Youtube

Youtube is not just a platform for music videos and cats doing funny things. There are a number of Youtube channels that produce quality educational videos, free of charge.

Creating a playlist of videos for various topics is a great way to supplement a homeschool education.

Some recommendations:

Final Thoughts

Homeschooling in the current age looks much different than it did ten years ago. There are more options and more flexibility when it comes to educating kids at home.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling your children if it could make a positive impact on your family.

Featured photo credit: Hal Gatewood via unsplash.com

Reference

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