Many women worry a lot about the pain they will feel during labour. It is inevitable that every mother has to face pain during their delivery; the measure of pain could vary from person to person. Being well informed about the entire process and the various steps that can be taken to keep one going confidently can be of great help.
There are many natural ways to help relieve and manage pain during labour. Some of them include:
Though not easy when one is anxious, it is actually proven to help muscles ease out. Focusing on breathing techniques (deep breathing) can help shift the mind from the pain and can help the mother to tackle pain better.
- Warm/cold compress
Applying a warm water bag on the lower abdomen or along the lower back can relieve pain and soothe the body. A cold pack with ice cubes could also work the same way.
Indeed, a gentle massage is enjoyed by any person. Frequent massages along the back do really keep the mother comfortable through her long hours of wait. Massaging the back, warms the skin up and helps the body release its own natural painkillers.
- Birth pool
Though not a very common practice in our country, a birth pool has proven to help relieve contractions. Sitting in warm water tub reduces the pain and keeps the body comfortable. A birth pool can be used once the cervix is about 5 cm dilated and the labour has started.
- Warm shower
Many mothers have testified to the fact that taking a warm water shower soothes the lower back. Standing under the shower and having warm water fall over the lower back provides comfort just as a warm water compress does.
Lying down on the bed can be the worst possible thing to do. It is advisable for the mother to keep herself on the go. Brisk walking keeps the muscles moving and helps the baby descend through the canal easier.
- Shifting positions
Continuing in one position through labour might not be a good idea. To be comfortable, it is advised that the mother keep shifting herself to whatever position she feels comfortable. Squatting, kneeling down, bending forward are just some positions that may be helpful.
- Express yourself
Talking to someone you can trust, telling them how you feel, works in two ways. It can:
- Reduce one’s anxiety and alleviate fears
- Give one advice/suggestions on how to face the situation.
- Being equipped
One cannot measure the amount of information that can be derived from books or the internet. Reading books on childbirth, speaking to the doctor or to trusted friends on their experience etc., gives an insight into what they should expect. Knowing what to expect helps the mother handle herself better.
- A companion
Having a partner alongside (a friend/family member/spouse) at the time of delivery, and holding their hand gives reassurance and confidence. Focusing on the baby can also keep the mother motivated.
Studies prove that acupuncture offers effective pain relief during labour. One can speak to the doctor or see if the hospital can arrange for an acupuncturist.
- Staying positive
Many mothers freak out after reading books on child birth or after watching videos related to it. The more the anxiety levels the harder the labour time will turn out to be. Having a positive mind set and focusing on the joy of having to hold the greatest treasure, have proved to be helpful to both the mother and the medical team as well.
- Conducive environment
Providing a comfortable environment helps relax an anxious mind. Listening to soft music and aromatherapy helps to calm the mind. It is good for the bystander/birth partner to cut unwanted talk and not to ask the mother too many questions.
- Staying hydrated
Eating lightly and drinking fluids during labour reduces the duration of labour, as staying hydrated helps the uterus to function better. Staying hydrated also helps reduce fatigue.
One must also remember that child birth can never be totally free of pain. “It is through pain that a man is born into this world”. The aim of these remedies is to address uneasiness and discomfort that arises during labour and to a certain extent, help the mother cope better through this time.