|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
- 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!