I am a rule-breaker by nature and there was no time I wanted to break more rules than when I was in labor.
Obviously, hospitals vary and some are more lax than others, but in my years as a mom and in talking to a variety of other moms, I have come across some odd "rules" (some official and some non-official) that are just begging to be stomped.
No cell phones
This one is just crazy talk. How else is one supposed to spread the joyous news? I was texting while I was in labor the first time and my husband answered a call just as I reached 10 centimeters. We are particularly wired people, but really, how could we avoid it? One company has even recently started a phone "chat room" where a mom can text one message -- "it's a girl!" -- and reach a variety of her friends who can then all text/chat together. See? Phones are good!
I cannot imagine going 15 hours, doing some of the hardest working of my life, without food. No way. This was never a rule my midwife paid attention to and I ate and drank plenty during my births and I was fine. Of course, you may not have an appetite, but it should be your choice to abstain, not your doctor's.
This one is dependent on the kind of labor you have. But many recent studies have shown that the traditional "pushing" position (on the back, feet in stirrups) is actually not as conducive to healthy labor as other positions like squatting or even on the hands and knees. Obviously, if you are hooked up to a IV, moving is difficult, but you can also ask if you can walk around. Movement does help with the discomfort even though it feels like you might not want to.
You may not want full-blown intercourse (after all, that was what got you here), but kissing, rubbing, massage, and general intimacy can really help ease the stress and pain of a long labor. I have heard of women doing nipple stimulation with their partners to get contractions moving and that helped them avoid Pitocin and other more artificial measures. So lean into your partner and don't be afraid to ask to be alone. It is a very intimate time. Of course, you may not feel like it. In which case, don't do it.
This one has come up before. Either way, you will want the camera there. You may not want to use it, but you may. And if you do, just make sure it's packed. No matter what the hospital says.
Did you break any rules in labor?
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