How to Manage Labor Pains Naturally
It’s time, mommy. It’s time to introduce your little one to the outside world. But before you experience the unique joy of holding your chubby cherub in your arms, you first have to go through the labor of giving birth.
What happens to your body when giving birth?
A pregnant mother giving birth experiences pain during labor when the muscles on the uterus contract and the cervix goes through intense pressure. Pain can feel like strong cramps in the groin, abdomen, and back. Pain can be felt in the sides and thighs, too.
When the baby moves through the birth canal, pain can be caused by the inside pressure on the bowels and the bladder. Stretching of the birth canal and the vagina can cause additional pain.
Women experience pain differently, but all women agree that the hardest to deal with is not the pain itself but the fact that it comes in waves. As the labor progresses, there is less and less time between contractions to relax.
Is painless labor possible?
The thought of labor can scare potential moms-to-be, but studies show that the more you “expect” the pain, the more prepared you become for it. With that said, mental preparation is at the top of the list on how to handle labor like a pro.
Yes, painless labor is possible with the help of drugs. The three medical pain-relieving options for labor are nitrous oxide, pethidine, and epidural anesthesia. Of course, these would have to be administered by a medical professional at the hospital, so it is not an option for home births. If you prefer some natural drug-free alternatives to manage labor pains, read on below.
As long as your doctor is okay with it, exercising can help strengthen the muscles and prepare your body for labor. It will also boost endurance especially when you’re having a long labor. Talk to your doctor to discuss exercise plans that are safe for you and your baby.
You can even continue to exercise while on labor! To help with the pain, some moms found that simple changes in positions worked wonders. Try to move around, sit on a ball, walk, dance, or squat. Move around to deal with the pain and to push labor to progress faster.
2. Try Lamaze
Lamaze is a modern childbirth method used in the US. Lamaze teaches that childbirth is a natural process and that women should approach it with confidence. During a Lamaze class, you will be shown some breathing techniques and relaxation exercises to decrease your perception of pain. It is recommended that you bring along your partner to these classes as he will be coached on how to help you during labor.
Moms agree that blowing out deep breaths helps in getting through contractions. Focus on your breathing instead of the pain, and you will gain control of your body during the entire process of childbirth.
Breathing exercises also help to relax your mind When you panic, you are more likely to feel more intense contractions. You will get through this, mommy!
4. Get a massage!
Yes – the good old massage is an excellent way to provide some pain relief during labor Your partner has to be in the labor room with you to give you a good massage.. In the absence of anyone who can give you a good massage, a rice heating pad, and a handheld massager will be fantastic too!
5. Get in the tub
With the rise of the water birth option in medical facilities, a growing number of moms get to experience some watery relief. And while you are already soaked in the tub, try a visualization technique for deeper results. Simply visualize yourself somewhere beautiful and cozy mentally during contractions and feel more relaxed
6. Listen to music
It doesn’t matter if it’s rock music or classical, as long as it relaxes you, it’ll work for you. . So before you head out to the hospital, or wherever you intend to give birth, pack your MP3 or your phone with your favorite playlist on. You’ll thank us later!
7. Choose your team
Months before your delivery date in pregnancy, you should take the time to get to know your team. Knowledgeable and caring midwives, doulas, doctors, and nurses give you the support you need. When you are treated with patience and respect, inhibitions and stress are significantly reduced allowing you to find your perfect coping mechanisms easily.
8. The Bradley Method
Otherwise called as the Husband-Coached Birth, this requires the active participation of the dad-to-be. The Bradley Method is a series of classes that focuses on proper nutrition and exercise during pregnancy. It also teaches breathing and relaxation techniques to cope with labor.
What if you choose narcotic pain control?
Whether as a first choice, or as directed by the situation, you should feel equally comfortable with yourself if you choose to take the help of medicine to provide you pain relief during labor.
Important note here – All medical options for pain relief of labor should only be exercised under close supervision of your doctor and certified healthcare provider.
If you must use medical pain control methods, then here are some things to think about:
- Medicines can only relieve some of the pain but not all of it.
- There is no one size fits all when it comes to labor. It may be your second or third child, but the labor pain you feel will be much different than the first.
- There are pain medications that may cause the baby to be drowsy or have changes in heart rate.
Regardless of your choice, you must make it a point to talk to your healthcare provider and make your pain management decision known in advance so things go smoothly for your baby and you during the delivery.
Have you ever wondered how dads would react to labor pains? Here’s a video!