- Request that medical professionals avoid breaking your water. This makes a gigantic difference in the level of pain you experience during natural labor. Think of the amniotic fluid as a pillow or a cushion. It keeps some of the pain from reaching your body. It’s like taking an over-the-counter pain reliever to take the edge off of a migraine. It won’t completely take away the pain, but it will soothe the harshness of the pain.
- Keep moving. Rock, sway, walk. Whatever you do, keep moving as long as the medical team assisting with your birth allows you to. Movement keeps the pain moving, so it’s not completely concentrated in one super tender area.
- Ask for visual inspiration. Before labor kicks into high gear, request that your nurse or midwife bring in any tools or baby gear that’s needed for the birth, maybe an hour before the expected delivery. As the painful transition sets in, you can visually focus on those items to remind yourself that the pain is almost over!
- Pack on the heat. Hot showers, heating pads or warm baths (if permitted) can definitely help numb the pain. Some women find extra relief from coordinating hot and cold packs instead of just focusing on heat.
Some moms find relief from singing. It keeps their spirits up and helps them manage the pain without screaming. If you like music, try it!
- Have several breathing patterns ready to choose from. Short breaths, long relaxing breaths, a mixture of both — there are several breathing patterns recommended for natural labor. You can check out some of the most popular breathing patterns here.
- Ask your spouse or nurse to escort family and friends out. Friends and family are excited about welcoming your new bundle of joy. But there comes a time in natural labour that friends and family may prove to be a stressful nuisance. The constant talking, the lack of privacy and even people discussing whether they think you should opt for pain relief or not can be a little too much to handle while you’re focused on bringing your little one into this world. Don’t hesitate to ask your spouse or nurse to very nicely “shoo” them out until further notice. It’s ok. They’ll get over it.
- Exercise! Routine exercise is an awesome way to get a head start on a successful natural birth. Don’t do anything too strenuous, but get moving for at least 30 minutes per day, five days per week. This will give you extra stamina during those last few centimetres!
- Don’t say these two words. Every single one of my friends that went in with intentions of attempting a natural birth saying these two words asked for the epidural when they were about five or six centimetres dilated. If choosing a natural birth is not their focus that’s fine, but I imagine you’re reading this because it is your focus. Here’s the truth: if you say “I’ll try” in regards to having a natural birth, most likely you will ask for pain relief pretty early in the game. Why? Because you didn’t commit to the challenge of an unmedicated birth. (We’re not talking about dangerously long labours where complications could occur.)Choosing to work, breathe and pray through pain has to be determined before you go into labor. You can’t “try” to turn away medication. Instead, you have to be absolutely committed to refusing pain relief when it gets tough — and it will get painfully tough. It’s during those moments that the “I’ll try” will come back and tempt you to yell, “Bring me the meds!”If you’re truly married to the idea of a successful natural birth, don’t let those two words creep into your vocabulary.
- Don’t be shy. If you’re in intense pain, don’t be afraid to ask your spouse or the nurse for help — massages, hot compresses, dimmer lights…whatever helps you relax.
- Relax. It’s incredibly difficult to relax during intense pain, but if you can find the strength to relax, do it. Let your body work through those contractions. A relaxed mama often helps speed labor along!
Planning for normal delivery? Our gynecologist will assist you further at Astra specialty hospital. To make an appointment, Click here