Nobody can predict what labour has in store for you. Nor is it possible to control labour pain – though every expectant mother hopes for an easy, hassle-free delivery. However preparing early on for labour can itself have a great impact on easing childbirth. Here are a few factors that influence labour.
Rhythmic and concentrated breathing is known to help control labour pain during delivery. Attending a childbirth education class could be very helpful since they cover a range of pain management options that includes breathing techniques. While there are many options in breathing exercises that you could explore, there is no strict pattern you need to follow. What’s comfortable and works quickly to relieve pain, is the best option for you.
Don’t let pregnancy effect your active life. Carry about with your routine work as you do normally. It not only keeps your mind active, but your body too. A fit and healthy body will stimulate circulation and the production of natural hormones leading to positive birth outcome. It also boosts energy levels as also strengthen the muscles that could significantly aid labour.
Relax with Yoga
This is an alternative form of exercise that more and more pregnant women are opting for while preparing for childbirth. Yoga helps to de-stress and relax the mind. It also helps build stamina and ensures hormonal balance. Lower blood pressure, better digestion, stronger pelvic floor muscles and reduced constipation are the other positive benefits of Yoga.
This is a unique form of body conditioning discipline that focuses on building body strength and improving posture through a series of low repletion and mild stretching exercises. It is a complete workout that helps strengthen the pelvic muscles even while toning the stomach and thigh muscles.
Pilates is the best exercise for pregnant women because it strengthens the most important muscles that will be used during labour. It is not advisable to do pilates without the guidance of a specialised trainer.
Try Alternate Therapy
Expectant mothers are exploring various unconventional therapies that are believed to reduce the discomfort and trauma of labour. Reflexology, massages, meditation, aromatherapy, acupressure, acupuncture or shiatsu (the stimulation of pressure points along the body) – are the more popular ones. It is believed that water therapy helps the uterus to contract more effectively, while Jasmine in aromatherapy is noted for preparing the uterine muscles for labour.
If you thought that you would have to suppress your sexual urge during pregnancy, well you are wrong. Intercourse during the final few weeks of pregnancy can help support labour. The prostaglandins in semen, helps soften the connective tissue of the cervix and increase oxytocin production in the muscle cells of the womb in preparation for labour.
Massaging the area of tissue between the anus and the vagina during the last few months of pregnancy, is considered to be helpful in minimising possible tearing or the need for an episotomy. Breast and nipple stimulation have been proven to induce strong uterine contractions. Nipple stimulation has been beneficial in restarting a stalled labour as well as in enhancing milk production.
Tips & Tricks
Prunes and dates are known to strengthen the uterus muscles and ease child delivery. They also reduce chances of bleeding that might occur after delivery.
Methi (Fenugreek) induces and eases the child birth during labor by stimulating uterine contractions and reducing the labor pain. However, excess intake during pregnancy could be counter active as it increases the risk of miscarriage as well as premature childbirth.
One of the ways to tell a false labour from a true one is to time the contractions. False labour contractions are irregular and die down with time, while true labour contractions come at regular intervals and are persistent.
Make a checklist of all things you need to take to the hospital and pack them in your bag so that it’s all ready when you need it. Remember to pack the baby’s stuff too like clothes, nappies, blankets, booties and mittens.
To soothe labour pain, place a hot water compress bag (take care not to fill it with boiling water) on the aching areas and massage your back gently.