Are you thinking about having a natural birth? Are you wondering how on earth are you going to cope with pain in labor? Having a positive natural birth is no walk in the park. It requires excellent preparation and support. Now, I know that there are women out there who’ve not prepared and have still ended up with a natural birth by pure luck.
However, that’s not the case for most. If you’re planning to birth naturally, then preparation is key to increasing your chances of having a positive birthing experience. So let’s just be honest and say that having a natural birth is not pain-free by any means.
But what matters is how you prepare to cope with the pain. If you’re not able to cope with the pain, then you’re on a one-way street to Epidural town to put it bluntly. So here are seven techniques you can use to help make your labor easier.
When women think of having a natural birth, they think of the pain and what measures they can take to cope. Please remember that everyone is unique, so what may work for one mom may not be the almighty best thing for another.
Also, do remember that everyone has their own perception of what’s painful. So figure out what floats your labor boat.
Use Water for Pain in Labor
Laboring in water is one of the best ways to help cope with labor pains and make your labor easier. You may take a shower, relax in the bath, or soak in your inflatable pool in your living room. Do whatever works for you! But sitting in the warm water will help your body to “relax, soften and open”.
On the whole, water reduces the heaviness of not only the muscles, but ligaments, and weight of the uterus. Thus helping you have complete relaxation and allowing for your body to do the work of birthing your baby.
If you’re going to be birthing in a hospital setting, you may get lucky enough to have the one room on the floor with a tub!
Otherwise, settling for a shower will work just fine. Just do your tube sitting before you arrive at the hospital. If you’re going to a birth center, then you may have an increased chance of having an available tub right in your room.
Massage it out
Another great way to help make labor easier is to have a massage. I’ve tried this during my labors, and it was super useful in helping me cope with labor pains. Notably, there are lots of ways to use massage during labor. It’s really up to you and what you like as a form of comfort.
- Are you interested in having your back rubbed?
- Do you want counter pressure on your lower back?
- Do you like your feet massaged?
As the baby moves into the pelvis and the uterus begins to pull forward. Mom may start feeling that dreaded backache or back labor. You may even notice you have the backache when a contraction starts and increases as the contraction increases. It also ends as the contraction ends.
An effective way of combatting back labor is by having your support person offer counter-pressure in the form of a back rub.
Using various positions is an effective way to cope with pain in labor. Also making labor easier for birthing moms. This is why having a natural birth is so awesome. As a natural mom, you aren’t tied down to a bed.
You can be up and moving around to find positions that bring you comfort during your labor and increase labor progression.
Once you receive an epidural, you can no longer move, walk, or reposition on your own. This can slow your labor progress. It may also lead to Pitocin, as you aren’t able to remain upright, active, or connect as well with what your body wants.
Birth Balls and Peanuts used to Make your Labor Easier
Birth Balls are commonly used to reduce pain in labor making you feel more comfortable. They usually have an anti-slip finish, which allows moms to sit before and during labor safely.
With a birthing ball, you can sit, rock, bounce, or stretch to increase dilation.
Markedly, using a birthing ball can help reduce back pain in labor, anxiety, and stress as well (Leung et al.,2013). Additionally, the birth ball can be used for resting in between contractions. Do labor have you tired? Just kneel down and relax over your birth ball. It’s a great support friend.
However, keep in mind, if you’re birthing at the hospital during the COVID 19 pandemic, your use of a birthing ball may be limited. Check with your provider and hospital on this, as they may be limiting things that they offer or things that you can bring in due to infection prevention.
Peanut balls, are made of the same type of material, but they are shaped like a peanut. Ding, Ding!! You guessed it! Whatever gave it away?
Peanut balls are used while lying down to help open the cervix or increase dilation and help with baby’s positioning. Women who have complications or who’ve received an epidural can use a peanut ball, as they can’t sit up to use the birthing ball.
Also, if you’ve been laboring on the birthing ball and need a rest. You can use the peanut ball in between your legs to keep your labor progressing.
Now, peanut balls and birthing balls aren’t for everyone. You don’t have to use them if they aren’t comfortable for you. You can use this article from Healthline to help you find the right size.
Affirmations for Powering through Pain in Labor
Affirmations are one of my most favorite ways to help make labor easier. Birthing Affirmations are small formatted statements that reflect positive self-talk and birthing empowerment. It helps to reduce the negativity and self-doubt a laboring mom might be feeling.
An excellent way to use affirmations is to start working through the affirmations before your labor. Spend some time printing out these birthing affirmations and post them around your home. The more you take the time to reflect and to focus now, the better off your mindset will be during labor.
Continuous Labor Support
Having continuous labor support is a game-changer in having a natural birth and reducing pain in labor. I highly recommended it! Now I recommended a Doula as they have specially trained for this. But if you can’t afford a Doula, you can have a healthy support person in the form of your husband or friend, etc.
Doulas can provide physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional support during labor. Studies have indicated that women who have continuous labor support have an increased chance of spontaneous vaginal birth.
They also have lower chances of having a c-section, an instrumental vaginal delivery, the use of an epidural, and negative feelings about their birth ( Bohren et al., 2017).
Be sure to check with your hospital policies to make sure you are allowed to have a support person with you during your birth. If not, and you strongly desire one, look for ways to work around this.
For example, maybe think about laboring at home longer, find a midwife for a home birth, consider a birthing center, look for another hospital, or get a virtual Doula.
Breathing is another crucial to help cope with the pain in labor and make your labor easier. Now, this does depend on what stage of labor you are in. For the most part, you want to breathe deep and evenly. However, many women don’t need much preparation in this, as they tend to figure this out during labor.
But if you want to make labor easier and have a more practical approach to coping with the pain in labor, then work on breathing. Instead of getting tense and letting your fear take over your mind, concentrate on your breaths.
Many women are choosing to have a natural birth with minimal interventions. But to have the birth you want, you must learn how to cope with the pain in labor. If you’re not able to do this then your dream of having a natural birth is just a dream. So start now, focusing on how you will cope with pain in labor to create easier labor.
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