Labour can be a very painful experiences. Knowing some of the ways to ease the pain, may contribute to having a better labour experience. If you are an expecting mother planning on having a natural birth, and would like to see labour as a rewarding and less painful experience, here are 10 secrets you should know!
1. Stay Fit
Expecting mothers who stay fit usually have shorter labours compared to those who are either overweight or underweight. Fitness improves the endurance of a pregnant woman, making her more able to tolerate the pain. You can keep fit by swimming, walking, or taking a prenatal exercise class.
2. Take a Childbirth Class
To help you feel less anxious, familiarise yourself with the stages of childbirth and practice comfort measures before the big day. Take childbirth classes in small groups, with a certified instructor, and goals that coincide with yours.
3. Find a Good Support
Although your partner will most likely be by your side throughout the labour, you may want to add more people in your support group. According to studies, women with continuous care, provided by a person trained to support labouring women, experience better child births. This lessens the need for caesarean birth and pain medication. Women with such support also experience shorter labour. Discuss this option with your health care provider.
4. Entertain Yourself
First-time mothers experience active labour for 12 to 14 hours. When contractions begin, try to stay calm. Entertain yourself with other activities such as walking, taking a shower, and baking cookies.
5. Eat Some Snacks
To help maintain your energy level, take some light snacks. However, you should avoid fatty foods and hard-to-digest foods to avoid nausea and vomiting. Muscle contractions and rapid breathing may lead to dehydration as well. So, drink enough clear liquids at home and once you arrive at the hospital. Let you healthcare providers know when you feel thirsty.
6. Take a Shower
Pain causes tension in your muscles, adding more discomfort. A warm shower can relieve the pain, especially by aiming the showerhead at the area where the contractions are most intense. Just ask if you can use the shower during labour in hospital.
7. Immerse in the Tub
Immersing yourself in the tub can provide pain relief. You can change positions easily in the tub by sliding around in the warm bath. Aim your lower back at the jets to ease your intense contractions. Most hospitals provide a birth pool, but you may need to ask in advance.
8. Get a Massage
Labouring women who receive massages from their partner feel less pain and anxiety during childbirth. Inform your partner what feels best – a shoulder or a neck rub, or even a simple hand or foot rub.
9. Do Not Lie Down
Stay upright all throughout the labour. It will help your cervix dilate. Also, you can try standing, squatting, or kneeling to lessen the discomfort and hasten delivery.
10. Entonox (gas and air)
Entonox (also known as laughing gas) won’t remove all the pain but it can help to reduce it and make it more bearable. Many women like it because it’s easy to use and they control it themselves. It’s safe for your baby and the extra oxygen you breathe in may even be good for you and your baby. Although Gas and Air doesn’t take away the pain entirely, they do take the edge off contractions. This method isn’t available everywhere, so you may want to check with your birth location ahead of time.
Written by Team Health & Parenting
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.