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Childbirth is an important milestone in a mother’s life. The mother must be calm and free of stress, for effortless labour and normal delivery of the baby. Here are a few simple tips that can help during the period of pregnancy and labour.
How to Make Labour and Normal Delivery Easier
1. Have Dates
Studies have shown that eating dates is beneficial for having an easier and faster labour experience. Eating around 60 to 80 grams of dates every day around a month before the due date has been proven to be beneficial during labour. This is because dates are supposed to have a chemical compound similar to oxytocin, the hormone that causes contractions. Dates have also been proven to dilate the cervix and thus help in undergoing an effortless and quick childbirth process.
2. Do Squats Daily
Squats is the most beneficial exercise for every woman preparing for a vaginal delivery close to her due date. Due to its role in facilitating smoother deliveries, squats are considered to be the best exercise for easy labour. The best way to do squats is by using a medicine ball, keeping it between the lower back and the wall and rotating the toes and knees as wide apart as possible. It is recommended to do 15 squats daily in this position for expecting mothers to have a great delivery experience.
3. Sleep Adequately and Regularly
Among all the tips on how to make labour easier and faster, this is the easiest one to follow and is the most effective. As discussed earlier, such a stressful and important event like labour requires the pregnant woman to be calm. Only a well and adequately rested person can adapt to such a scenario seamlessly. An expecting mother should sleep at least seven hours or more every day for a faster and smoother labour experience. The sleeping experience can be enhanced with soft, skin-friendly pillows and recliner beds for the comfort of the mother and the child.
4. Consider Water Birth
This can be an effective birthing technique as water can soothe the expecting mother down during labour. Water is also supposed to calm tense muscles and help in the dilation of the cervix; thus, helping with the delivery. This is the reason why most of the major hospitals have birthing pools and tubs for water births. This is also considered to be a good way to help the baby transition to the outside world.
5. Stay Upright During Labour
Rather than lying down and trying to push during labour, it is better to stay upright on the bed and push. This is because gravity can be advantageous to the mother and the baby as it can help the baby get in the right position for the delivery. A variety of positions can also be tried out, like kneeling, squatting, and standing to see what gives the best results during labour. Movement of the body also helps widen the pelvis helping the baby’s head to pass through easily.
6. Healthy Snacking
When you’re in the early stages of labour, you may feel hungry, and you can eat light snacks to curb your hunger pangs. Avoid eating oily or fatty food as it can give you not only heartburn but also hinder the process of childbirth. You can eat fruits like bananas or apples and other snacks like yoghurt, smoothies, etc. to boost your energy during labour. These foods are also beneficial if you have an emergency c-section.
7. Take a Childbirth Class
Pregnancy is a mentally and physically taxing period for expecting parents as they have to learn a lot of new things and understand the responsibilities of parenting. Hence, it is always good to be prepared for the moment of childbirth well in advance to make sure everything goes according to the plan. A childbirth class also relieves the pressure that can be faced by expecting parents and helps the partners or caretakers of pregnant women to be prepared for everything right from the water-breaking to the cutting of the umbilical cord. A childbirth class can also be beneficial in providing easy labour tips to make the whole process simpler and faster.
8. Practice Breathing Techniques
Labour can be an extremely painful experience for any woman. Breathing helps the woman in labour to tolerate the pain and also helps in relaxing her. It can also be useful in setting rhythmic contractions and help the woman to push better and more efficiently. Breathing ensures that the body has enough oxygen and the mother does not pass out due to the tremendous labour pain and cramps that she is experiencing due to her contractions.
9. Have a Good Support Team
In the stressful situation of labour, every mother should be accompanied by her partner to give support and positive reaffirmations for a better result. It has also been noticed that women in labour who have a doula (a woman trained to support women in labour) are less likely to require epidural or C-sections and experience a seamless and smooth delivery. The doulas need to be interviewed so that a woman who is comfortable with the couple is selected to comfort the couple during this intimate and beautiful moment.
10. Discuss the Process of Childbirth
While you may have read a lot of books on labour and delivery, it is a good idea to discuss the process of childbirth with your doctor and come up with a birthing plan. A birthing plan for you would depend on various factors like the position of the baby, your physical condition, whether you want to take pain medication during labour, etc. There is a possibility of your plan changing during labour due to unforeseen reasons, but it can be comforting to have one. It will also help new parents understand the process of childbirth and ask any questions they might have.
11. Distract Yourself
The process of labour of a first-time mother is a time-consuming affair, and it can take anywhere between 12 to 15 hours to give birth. Breathing in and out rhythmically and trying to get contractions throughout this period can wear out the mother. It is better to try out something else that can be distracting and relaxing for the woman, like taking a shower or listening to music. This can dramatically help in speeding things up and provide an easier delivery experience.
12. Ask for a Massage
It would be great for a woman in labour to get a massage, especially in the lower back area. This can help in reducing the pain sensations in the brain and help bring down the pain that the woman is going through during labour. Additionally, a massage from the partner has a psychological effect, too, wherein the woman feels cared for and supported by her partner. This can also help in speeding up the process a lot.
13. Take Walks
Along with squats, walking is a great exercise for a woman in the later stages of pregnancy to help her have an easy delivery. Walking also helps in pushing the baby towards the cervix and can help improve the process of childbirth. Research shows that walking helps in releasing oxytocin, which can help with contractions and labour. This is an activity that should be tried by all mothers who are in their later stages of pregnancy as it isn’t as challenging as squats.
14. Consume Vitamin-Rich Foods
Vitamins like A, B, C, and E are vital to maintaining hormonal balance in the later stages of pregnancy and also to tone the uterus to have a speedy normal delivery with little or no medical interventions. Vitamin K is also essential for expecting mothers because it helps in blood clotting and reduces the chances of haemorrhage after birth, which can be fatal for the mother. Vitamins A, B, C, and E must be consumed naturally through fresh fruits or vitamin supplements on a daily basis, and Vitamin K must be consumed by eating green leafy vegetables like spinach.
15. Stay Fit
Staying fit during your pregnancy is essential for easy and smooth delivery. Expecting mothers need to be mindful of the food they eat and exercise regularly to improve their experience of childbirth. Pregnant women should include some form of physical activity in their daily life, and these exercises could be walking, yoga, swimming, etc.
Following these 15 easy tips can help in making the childbirth experience simpler for expecting parents and bring out their precious ones quicker into this world.