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While it can certainly be said that labour is one of the more painful experiences in a person’s life, not every woman experiences labour in the same way. Some women experience intense pain that resembles diarrheal cramps, others feel a severe pressure, and others experience menstrual-like cramps.
How to Ease Labour Pains
More than the actual contractions, it is the frequency and periodicity of the contractions that make it one of the hardest parts of labour. The closer you get to labour, the less time you have to rest between the painful waves. Here are ways how you can manage labour pain:
1. Consider a Doula:
A doula is someone who is a professional in assisting women in labour. The main aim of a doula is to provide emotional and physical support to a woman without being involved in the medical aspect, which will lie in the hands of your doctor and their team. Your partner may not be capable of providing you with the comfort and help you need at this time. As a doula is trained in birth support, she will be able to guide you through all your labour pain relief techniques as well as provide you with emotional support.
2. Warm or Cool Compress:
Placing a cold pack on the painful parts or a hot compress on the abdomen, groin, or lower back during labour can help bring some relief to the body.
3. Get a Massage:
A gentle touch can be very soothing and bring a lot of comfort. Indulge in a relaxing massage, and you will find that the pain will not be as bad.
4. Water Therapy:
A warm bath is very helpful, especially if you sit on a stool and direct the warm water directly onto your lower back or abdomen with a showerhead or a mug. Make sure the pressure of the showerhead is not too forceful.
During labour, try opting for a birth pool as it can be incredibly soothing and the water will help you cope with the contractions. If your partner or doula pours warm water on your shoulders, it will help you relax even further.
5. Rhythmic Breathing:
For this one, you are going to need the help of your partner or someone you are comfortable being with at this time. During contractions, breathe in a slow and rhythmic manner. Try moaning as you exhale to help release the tension. If you lose the rhythm, the person accompanying you should help you to get it back with some rhythmic hand or head movements and by making eye contact.
6. Move Your Body:
Walking, stretching, swaying, and squatting are part of the list of good tips for labour pain. Do whatever you can to keep your body moving. Some positions may be more comfortable for you than others. A birthing ball is a great way to help encourage the baby down the pelvic canal by using gravity and rotation.
7. Have No Fear:
Your circulatory, nervous, and hormonal systems all work together to help you cope with labour pain. If you begin to show fear, your entire system will get thrown out of whack and will then cause your body to start to produce more stress hormones that counteract the hormones that are helpful in relieving the labour pains and help to enhance labour. There are physiological reactions caused by the fear that reduce the flow of blood to the uterus, thereby causing the muscles within to tire out faster. This results in more pain.
8. Learn About Labour:
“Knowledge is power,” and the more you learn about what to expect during labour, the better prepared you will be. You can always seek the advice of your doctor, doula, or friends and members of your family who have been through childbirth.
9. Pain Medication:
The epidural was once taken as a shot that would numb your lower half completely. But now, most hospitals use the drip technique that is controlled by the patient. The setting is usually kept on low, but the patient is allowed to press a button that releases more if needed.
10. Comfortable Environment:
During birth, your environment can play a huge part in deciding if you are able to relax and be more comfortable during labour. It is best to have the lights turned down and your favourite calming music playing. Bringing objects from home that make your room smell and feel more familiar will instantly help you become more relaxed.
The miracle of birth is not easy, but it is worth it. At the end of the most painful event in your life, will be the most precious thing that you have been waiting for. While some women do opt not to use any medication during labour and go the more natural route, not every woman can handle the pain. Many who try avoiding pain medications change their minds at the last minute. Be sure to do your research well and make all your preferences clear to your doctor in advance. Also, incorporate the tips given above to help you deal with most of your pain in a natural way.
Also Read: List of Labour Complications