Making Labor Easier
One of the biggest fears that arise when we are about to become a mom is the pain and discomfort that can be experienced during labor.
Being a labor that involves a lot of effort and energy wasting, it’s normal for worry and anxiety to take hold of you at the end of your pregnancy, but don’t worry!
Learn about different techniques that can help make labor easier and manage nerves at the time of delivery.
There are several very effective techniques that can help make labor easier and manage nerves for when your baby’s imminent birth arrives.
It has been shown that controlling nerves and staying calm can be extremely positive in making the labor process a lot easier.
Although it is not possible to eliminate the feeling of pain and discomfort during childbirth, releasing the nerves and feeling safe can make a big difference during the childbirth experience.
To help you build your confidence and control your fears, let’s look at some techniques that will make labor easier.
The feared contractions during labor
The process of giving birth begins with the pains of contractions, which are distributed in different stages according to their frequency and intensity. Through contractions, our body prepares to allow the baby to descend through the birth canal and out.
Until the cervix reaches 10 centimetres, the mother must experience three different phases of contractions:
- Latent phase: During the first phase, the contractions are more followed and gradually stronger. Their duration varies from one woman to another, just as they can last days, it can also be completed in a few hours.
- Active phase: When advancing to the active phase, the cervix begins to dilate faster, to go from about 3 or 4 centimeters of dilation, to eight or nine. In first-time women it can last about 5 hours and in women who have already had children as little as 2 hours.
- Deceleration phase: On reaching the third and final phase, the dilation of the cervix slows its acceleration and follows a slower pace to reach full dilation, the instant in which the baby passes through the birth canal to pass into the pelvis.
Each of these stages of contractions and dilation is a clear sign that the baby is about to be born!
The dilation stage is the longest and most painful process of all labor, so worries and fears may increase as they begin to be experienced.
In order for you to cope in the best possible way, it is important that you remain calm, take a deep breath and adopt some prior techniques that will help you to withstand the symptoms and cope better.
When the contraction begins, take one or two deep breaths.
Techniques and tips to make labor easier
All women are different and therefore each pregnancy has its own particularities. However, there are a number of key techniques that can be applied in any case (as long as they are within normal limits) and are of great help to the mother.
Let’s look at some of the most effective techniques and tips for making labor easier.
- Facing fears
Feeling fear and worry about childbirth is absolutely normal, especially if you’re a new mom and don’t know what you’re going to experience.
However, various studies have shown that excessive worry and nerves can be counterproductive for the mother, in fact can cause the birth process to lengthen and increase the likelihood of having a cesarean delivery.
Various studies have shown that excessive worry and nerves on the part of the mother can hinder the process of childbirth.
In order to face your fears, we recommend you take a breath and visualize the situation from a more open point of view.
This will not only help you identify what your real fears are, but it will also make you feel more secure about other things. We must remember that, many moms have gone through the same thing, and that it is a natural process that our body is prepared for.
Talk to your doctor whenever you need to, and try to inform yourself of everything that intrigues you so that you can dissipate doubts and be calmer.
- Prenatal Yoga
Yoga is one of the most recommended physical activities during pregnancy. Just by attending a few prenatal yoga classes, you’ll learn to take control of your body and mind, breathe properly, and strengthen your muscles.
It is also excellent for relieving some discomforts during pregnancy such as backaches and managing contractions during labor.
Prenatal yoga classes will help you learn the different relaxation techniques.
Submerging your tummy for underwater exercise can become one of the best techniques to make childbirth easier. With every movement you make in the water, you will decrease the pressure that your belly exerts on your extremities and joints.
In addition, your blood circulation will improve, which will help you exercise without much effort.
Childbirth Preparation Classes
The classes of preparation to the childbirth are perhaps the best way to confront the fears and it is that the information that they offer, as well as the knowledge that they contribute can help to solve doubts, to reduce the anxiety and to prepare of the most positive form to the birth of your baby.
Without a doubt, everything you can learn during these classes will help you a lot at the time of delivery.
Warm water baths
Relaxation and all the techniques that provide it is one of the most useful tools to deal with the discomfort of labor. Warm baths are great for relaxing tense muscles, so they can be a big help when contractions start.
Take a long lukewarm bath and you’ll notice how discomfort is relieved and labor is made easier.
Warm water relaxes tense muscles and helps you relax.
- Breathing exercises
Knowing how to breathe correctly and learning techniques to control it during labor is extremely beneficial for concentrating and coping with the contractions of labor, as well as relaxing and relieving stress.
Because the female body needs more oxygen during pregnancy, breathing correctly will help increase the amount of oxygen reaching the muscles and baby.
We recommend that you take a few minutes every day to practice the breathing exercises and relax while you do it. Inhale for 5 seconds and hold your breath for 3 more seconds, then exhale slowly. Repeat the same exercise for 10 minutes every day.
If you are interested here you can read more about how to Prepare for childbirth with proper breathing techniques.
- Stretching Techniques
When doing gentle movements, as practiced in gymnastics, raise your arms and stretch them up as far as you can, then lean from left to right gently and hold the position for a few seconds.
This technique will cause your muscles to be in motion and you can relax by breathing.
Move and walk
Although epidural anesthesia is the first option to relieve pain, you can try to move and walk a little if you wish, in fact it has been proven to be one of the best actions to promote dilation of the cervix, helping it to be faster and the baby can descend through the vaginal canal.
If you don’t want to walk, you can also try sitting on a giant pilates ball and swinging gently. The idea is to remain in constant motion so that in addition to distracting you, you can feel the pain with less intensity.
Keeping the body moving acts positively on the intensity of contractions.
Massage during labor may be more beneficial in relieving pain. It stimulates metabolism and causes the body to release endorphins and chemicals that act as painkillers and provide well-being.
The idea is that the massage is practiced on the lower back in a rhythmic way, so that you can feel the effects just during the contractions.
Ask your partner to run his or her fingers along the entire back, starting from the shoulders to the hips, or try to press the area of the coccyx with the palm of your hands or with a tennis ball in each contraction.
Dancing before the time of delivery
Dancing before giving birth? Obstetrician Fernando Guedes da Cunha has promoted a super-effective method for relieving pain during labor and also causing childbirth. It’s perfect for distracting you, relaxing and thinking about something else.
Plus the baby loves the wobble when mom dances.
Use a combination of smells to relax
In addition to the above-mentioned breathing and relaxation techniques, many specialists claim that it is most beneficial to accompany both exercises with the inhalation of a specific smell that is pleasant for the mother.
Mild smells such as coconut, lavender, vanilla or any other fragrance of your choice can be beneficial.
It is a matter of applying each of these techniques during labor and keeping the odor of that fragrance close by, so that the brain unconsciously associates that odor with the state of relaxation and calmness experienced earlier.
Find your tricks and methods to calm down and relax in stressful situations.
These were some of the most effective and recommended techniques you can use to make labor easier. Some can be started before delivery, and others in changes are perfect to make during the precise time of delivery.
Remember that these are simple techniques that not only help manage anxiety and stress, but also help prepare your whole body for the birth of your beautiful baby.