These 12 non-invasive techniques can help you get through labour with less pain so you can really enjoy the birth of your baby.
Not that you actually hear these positive birth stories too often, but for many women, labour is a breeze. For others, it can be uncomfortable and painful – but it doesn’t have to be. There are lots of ways to make yourself more comfortable during labour. Try these natural pain-relief techniques prior to labour, and you can try others as your labour progresses.
Antenatal teachers, midwives and women who’ve used this approach recommend it more than any other as a non-invasive way to reduce muscle tension and pain in childbirth.
Progressive body relaxation – taking a tension-reducing “walk” through your body – is something you can learn and practice ahead of time so you’ll be comfortable using it in labour.
2. Regular Breathing Patterns
Specific patterns of breathing help keep you relaxed and focus your attention on something other than pain during a contraction. Slow, deep and regular breathing patterns are the most beneficial.
3. Visual Imagery
Practice visualising a beautiful picture or scene in your mind, one that makes you feel safe and relaxed. Focus your mind on this place when you have contractions. Even a simple image of a set of stepping stones where each contraction is a stone taking you closer to meeting your baby.
Get yourself in the positive mindset by focusing on birthing affirmations. You can find lots of Magical Baby Moments affirmations on their Facebook page.
Have your partner massage your arms, legs, or back during labour to help you relax and to decrease tension and pain.
Make sure you have your favourite, relaxing songs on your phone or tablet. Don’t forget your headphones!
7. Changing Positions
Don’t stay in the same position for too long, and don’t lie flat on your back. Instead, try sitting up in your bed or a chair, lying on your side, squatting and rocking on a birthing ball, or leaning forward over the back of a chair or your birthing bed. Use gravity to help you and help your baby.
Spending time in a rocking chair or on a gym ball, gently moving back and forth as you breathe will help you relax.
9. Walking or “Slow Dancing”
Walking, or even just pacing in your room, decreases discomfort while helping your contractions become stronger and more regular. Or you could try “dancing” with your partner, leaning on them and swaying back and forth.
Try sitting in a shower with the spray against your back, or lying in a warm bath. Not all birthing centres or hospitals have a tub or shower in the room, so if you want to use this method of relaxation during labour, check to see if your facility offers it.
Wonderful smells help you relax and feel better, so take fragrant lotion or spray to make your space personal to you.
12. Application of Heat or Cold
A heating pad or ice pack placed against your back can reduce muscle tension, improve circulation, and numb pain.
Some or all of these methods are a great way to help you during labour. They are all non-invasive so will not harm your baby in any way.
Having a calm and relaxed labour often makes it a shorter and more comfortable experience.
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