The moment a woman gets to know that she’s pregnant, her joy knows no bounds but at the same time, the fear of childbirth and delivery creeps up. The way childbirth is portrayed in popular culture, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking that it’s going to be a terrible ordeal. Truthfully, some women do labor for 48 hours and it can be extremely tiring for them while for some it gets over in a couple of hours and you can try these ways to ease labour pain.
Each pregnancy is unique, and it is difficult, even for your doctor as well to predict which way labor will go. However, you can overcome your fears and prepare yourself for a natural delivery using the following methods.
Relaxation techniques can go a long way in making the process of childbirth smooth.
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Mind and body skills
We can relax both our mind and body. There are two main ways to do this:
Guided imagery is a method by which you close your eyes and imagine yourself in a positive and happy place. Another person can guide you or you can also listen to music to help you transport you to your happy place.
Also read: Are You Going Into Labor? Find Out!
Breathing techniques include lying down on your back and breathing deeply. Becoming conscious of your breathing and practicing it will help you during labor. Following are some breathing techniques.
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Alternate deep and shallow breathing
Sit in a comfortable position and relax your body as much as possible. Start to take one deep breath and exhale slowly. Taking the same amount of time to do both. For shallow breathing open your mouth wide and inhale air from your mouth while counting to five. Do this at least 10 to 15 times.
Breathing from your stomach
Sit with your legs folded and breathe deeply drawing from your lower abdomen. This should fill your belly with air. Slowly breathe out the CO2 with the same pace. Do this when lying on the bed and it may help you to fall asleep as well.
Breathing from the chest
Standing straight keep your feet parallel to each other. Take a deep breath while counting till 10 in your mind. Place your hands on your chest, but don’t press too hard. When you breathe in, feel your hand moving up as your lungs expand. Hold your breath, while you count 10 and then exhale.
One of the best ways to ease labour pain is by practicing yoga. Yoga can help relax your mind while at the same time, prepare your body for easy labor. There are many exercises of yoga which you can safely do during pregnancy. Some of the most commonly recommended yoga poses for pregnant women are:
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Watch this video to know more about prenatal Yoga
This might also interest you: 11 Food Items to avoid during Pregnancy
One of the most interesting ways to ease labour pain is by taking Lamaze classes. Antenatal classes such as a Lamaze class can help you to learn about various birthing positions in the company of other expecting mothers. These classes help to make your body more flexible and prepare you for the process of labor. Here’s an introductory video to a Lamaze class. If you like it then you can sign up for one in your city.
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Knowledge is power and understanding the entire process about what happens a day before birth will make you calmer. If you can break it down, you can deal with each section better and labor will not be the huge deal, it might seem at the moment.
Research the facts and learn about normal labor and delivery. Work on the actual and imaginary risk involved. You can also watch videos on YouTube and see what it feels like. The most important thing to see here is that women all over the world, aim to have a normal delivery and they do deliver successfully.
Image Source: What to Expect When You’re Expecting
Do not be afraid to ask questions from your doctor which are bothering you. Talk to your doctor about all the feelings you have, no matter how insignificant they might be. Expressing your thoughts will reduce your tension and your doctor can clear all your doubts.
You can also talk to your friends who have recently delivered and take pointers from them. You can also reach out to elder family members and take comfort in their wisdom.
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A Doula is similar to a midwife. Doula in Greek means female birth supporter or a birth companion, who helps during childbirth. She will comfort you and tell you all that you need to know about childbirth. During labor, she will be in your room with you and help you by providing the much-needed emotional support and physical assistance.
While Doula is not a concept in vogue in India, we do have japa walis who are like 24*7 maids who help out with the baby. They usually take up residence in your house, in the last week of your expected due date and stay for the 40 days confinement period or japa period. They are well experienced in looking after pregnant women and newborn babies, so you can go into labour with this peace of mind.
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Some birth positions might work really well for some and not so much for others. Start training your brain to think of contractions as sensations that will help you deliver your baby. This will also help you breathe and relax at the same time. You can practice this beforehand when you do the breathing exercises mentioned above.
Some of the most common birthing positions are:
Discuss with your doctor or caregiver which birthing position will be ideal for you as labor approaches.
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Perineal massages in the third trimester will prepare your body for a strenuous labour and childbirth. Massages help you to increase elasticity and reduce the risk of tearing off your perineum during labor. Many massage parlours refuse to massage pregnant ladies as they don’t have the expertise. It is always advisable to clarify if they have an expert on perineal massages before booking an appointment. Alternatively, you can get your ‘malishwali’ or ‘japawali’ to do a massage every day.
Try to connect with your baby, talking to your bump and reassuring both yourself and the baby that everything is going to be alright. Tell your baby about how you are waiting to hold her in your hands. Remember that for most women labor is not a very long or unpleasant ordeal – so try to develop a positive attitude towards it.
After the labor, you’re going to be rewarded with the most precious gift – your baby, who will make you forget all the pain! So stay positive and be ready to welcome the new love of your life into the world!
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