When you’re pregnant, one question that will never stop popping up is: Am going to be able to handle the pain of giving birth? If you opt not to receive drugs for labor pain, here are some tried and tested tips for coping with labor pain.
1. Feel loved, safe, and secure
Have your partner or family member present to help you in your birthing journey. It helps that they also understand what’s going on in your body, so they know how best to support you.
2. Take time and slow down
During your pregnancy, check what relaxes you, what helps you to get in touch with yourself. It could be walking, journaling, or a cup of coffee. Don’t be afraid to have alone-time.
During pregnancy, bond with the baby in your womb. Talk to him, play with him, let him hear your voice or play him songs.
3. Be conscious of your breathing.Take time to breathe and concentrate on breathing properly. Always try to breath slowly from the abdomen and not from the chest. When we inhale, the belly should rise because you’re filling it with air. Here are the types of breathing you can do, depending on the stage of labor.
- Early labor – In the early stage, when you can still ignore the contractions, inhale and exhale through the nose. Breathing sends oxygen to the different parts your body and most importantly to your baby.
- Active labor – When the contractions become a little bit more intense, inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. If there’s a candle in front of you, blow lightly. Inhale for four counts and exhale for about six to eight counts. Take your time to exhale, do it slowly.
- Transition phase – When you’re already eight to ten centimeters dilated, your breath becomes shallower naturally. It’s not technically a new breathing technique.
When you’re starting to push your baby, feather breathing is most helpful. Feather breathing sounds like you’re panting, wherein you exhale as slow as you can while letting out one-syllable sounds. There is no need to accelerate your breathing because the adrenaline hormone has the fetal injection reflex which will help you push the baby out.
- Hydrotherapy – While not all pregnant women can deliver via water birth you can use a mug to pour water over yourself during contractions, if you’re doing a home birth. You can also take a warm shower, or sit in your bathtub for some time or even do warm or cold compress for pain.
- Prayer and meditation – Some women get strength in prayer during labor. Meditation also helps for some women. It can help to set one’s mind frame to the task at hand.
- Use labor positions – It helps when you rock from side to side or do your belly circle. A belly circle is when you draw a circle using your tummy. You can also use an exercise ball during labor.