Labour is a physical activity. Just like running, if you do it stiffly it will be much harder.
When your uterus contracts strongly, other muscles tend to join in, but if you relax it works more effectively and your body’s natural painkillers (endorphins) flow.
During labour you should keep checking so that you release tension regularly (your birthing partner can keep an eye on you for this).
Using hypnobirthing visualisation and relaxation techniques can help with this, as well as positive affirmations.
Controlling your breathing will help you to relax
- Sit or stand comfortably with loose shoulders, relaxed face and jaw
- Breathe in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth
- Relax and imagine your muscles loosening as you breathe out
- Focuson something as you breathe (something you can see, or picture something with your mind’s eye).