We're excited to share this blog post about how to cope with labor pains that was originally featured on Diary of a Fit Mommy Kseniya Gershberg is a birth professional, chiropractor and educator - you can find out more here, https://www.millennialmomee.com/
The image of labor is often filled by many mothers with anxiety, fear, and lots of pain. What if I told you it doesn’t have to be that way? The key to many labor coping techniques is to turn off your mind and let your body do what nature intended. Letting go plays a huge role in coping with labor. It’s easy to say but often hard to relax, thus your body tightens which can slow down labor, leading to unwanted medical interventions. Here are my favorite labor coping techniques
- No matter where you are giving birth make it feel comfortable for you and personalize it for yourself. Whether it is your favorite pillow, a picture, or candles (for hospitals bring the battery operated ones), it can help you relax. Did you know that if you are giving birth in the hospital you can still bring your own clothes to wear during birth as long as nurses have access to you? There are really cute ones that are specifically made for birth so you can feel comfortable and at home during your labor (delivery gowns). Nothing like cute clothes to boost your self-confidence and make you relax.
- VIZUALIZATION and BREATHING TECHNIQUES help calm your mind and push away any doubts that you may have. Breathing through your contractions helps ease the pain. Remember to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Close your eyes and visualize your favorite memory. There are tons of visualization scenarios downloadable online. Prior to your labor download your favorite one read it and practice the concept of “letting go.” Here is one that I created and helped me.
“Close your eyes. Listen to your body. Let go of your mind, relax your jaw, your hands, your fingertips, your feet, and your toes. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Take a deep breath imagine your baby dropping down and breathe out. Smell the lavender in the air and hear the ocean waves. Let go of your fears. Bring peace to your mind, warmth to your body, and calmness to your soul. Relax and let it go.
ESSENTIAL OILS. Bring essential oils and a diffuser with you. My three favorites are lavender, frankincense, and clary sage. Lavender helps with calmness, Frankincense and clary sage help with speeding up labor and getting your contractions going. Lavender can be put into a diffuser and Frankincense and clary sage can be applied to the skin with a carrier oil or lotion.
NECESSARY ITEMS. A birth ball can help with back labor and to open up the hips. Massage rollers for your partner to help massage the areas you feel pain in. Heat pack can help with the stages when you feel the chills.
FAVORITE COPING PLACE. As silly as it may sound the bathroom is a great place to cope with contraction pain. The toilet & shower can really help ease the pains. While sitting on the toilet it can help opens up your hips and a great place to deal with contractions during early labor. The shower can help relax you and help deal with painful contractions (only if your water hasn’t broken yet).
ACUPRESSURE & MASSAGE. Massage techniques & acupressure points help with speeding up labor and dealing with pain. Make sure to either hire a doula who specializes in these techniques or take a workshop class to teach your partner. These are each and every Mama’s favorite way to deal with the pain. Not only do massage techniques help coping with pain, they also help labor progress. My go to techniques are acupressure point KIDNEY 1 (use in conjunction with Clary Sage) to help ease labor pain and the hip squeeze to help with back labor pain. Massaging the lower back also helps open up the pelvis and make more room for baby to descend.
POSITIONS & DISTRACTIONS. Walking, standing, or getting on all fours can help dealing with the pain. I love getting dads involved in the process and highly recommend the lean and sway position. Mom can sit on a birth ball, the dad can sit on a chair or on a bed, and the mom can lean on him while swaying side to side. This can be also done if the two stand up and the mom leans on him and sways. Music & favorite shows can help set the mood and help you relax. I watched “The Nanny” throughout most of my labor. It helped time pass and get some laughs in. Bring your favorite music to listen to or a favorite show to watch. Pandora “Spa” station was my #1 choice during delivery of my little one.
Remember Mamas, every birth is different and unique. You are all birth warriors and will get through the labor. Let go of your fears and focus on meeting your precious bundle of joy.