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  Labour - Easing labour
 
I can’t stop thinking about labour. Will there be anything I can do to make labour easier once it starts?

It can be very nerve wracking as your due date approaches. However it is important to be as calm as possible about the impending event – and to ignore all the disaster stories that people love to tell pregnant women! Rest assured that there is plenty you can do to help the labour progress more easily.

- Warm water is fantastic for easing pain, and during birth is no exception. Even if you are not planning a water birth, having a warm bath when you are struggling to cope with the contractions can be very helpful. If the labour is progressing too quickly it may not be possible, but it worth discussing with the midwife who is present.

- If you spend the first part of your labour standing this can really help reduce pain and encourage labour to speed up. Leaning against a surface or your birth companion is useful, as is rotating or swaying your hips. If you are able, walking between contractions is helpful.

- Transition is the period before you start pushing, when you are fully dilated. Kneeling down with your bottom in the air can really relieve the pressure during this stage.

- Squatting is a really good position for opening up the pelvis and encouraging labour. It can be tiring for your legs so you should practice squatting in the time leading up to your due date. Squatting against a bed or companion will stop you from getting too tired.

- The large exercise balls that are so popular for exercise classes are also helpful during labour. Again you need to practice before the birth, and you may find that rocking on the ball will help your backache, both before and during labour.

- One of the most important things about labour is not to go in with preconceived ideas about what a ‘successful’ birth entails. A successful birth is one in which you emerge with a healthy baby. The route to that outcome is less important. You must be prepared to do what it takes to produce that healthy infant, be it natural birth, assisted birth or caesarean. Unnecessary stress about how you wish the birth to be may be detrimental to the labour process, so prepare your mind!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
   
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