The Interesting, Surprising Side Of Biting Down During Labour
Ask any mother about childbirth and you'll get so many different stories, tales, warnings, and bits of advice it will likely make your head spin. There are plenty of different aspects of labour, from pain relief to epidurals to C-sections, and learning more about each of them could help you know what to expect, how to plan for your labour, and more. But one side of childbirth that isn't that commonly discussed may actually surprise you – biting down during labour. From the early days of childbirth right up to present day, this is a side of giving birth that is surprisingly interesting and possibly even beneficial.
In the early days of childbirth, relieving pain was fairly difficult to do. Short of knocking a patient out with a good swift blow to the head, anesthesia wasn't really a science that doctors had access to. In most cases, moms would literally bite down on a stick or a rolled up cloth. This was a kind of distraction in some instances, but was also a kind of protective action that helped moms avoid causing damage to their teeth. Sometimes the pain was just so much that they bit down so hard they damaged their teeth.
While it seems barbaric, the fact is that now there is evidence suggesting that biting down during labour may very well help alleviate pain in surprising ways. As a result, biting down during labour is actually encouraged by some medical professionals, especially those that are focused on natural childbirth and natural pain relief methods.
The studies have looked at a few different aspects of biting down during labour, and come to some surprising conclusions.
• Biting down throughout labour has been shown to help women focus their energy elsewhere. Instead of thrashing, cursing, and screaming out in pain, biting down lets women direct their energy elsewhere.
• That level of control over their energy also lets them focus on pushing and helping their labour progress in a natural, controlled manner. Just by shifting their attention to this aspect of childbirth instead of wasting it on crying out in pain, it can help labour tremendously.
• Studies that have examined the use of mouthpieces and biting down during childbirth have found that the overall length of the final 'pushing' stage of labour is reduced by about 40% and that the chances of needing a C-section are reduced by as much as 50%. Those are huge numbers, and it highlights just why this option is worth considering.
• Just like in the old days, biting down with the aid of a mouthpiece or other tool designed for that purpose can help prevent damage to the teeth and jaw.
• Further studies have found a link between cervical and vaginal muscles and the muscles in the jaw. There are two main types of pain during labour – pressure and muscle tension. By relaxing the muscles in the abdomen and pelvic region, the pain of childbirth is reduced. And biting down during childbirth can help relax the jaw muscles, which in turn can help relax those muscles as well.
Of course, there's a right and wrong way to go about anything, and using jaw related muscle control to minimize pain during labour is something that is important to understand fully. For starters, just gritting your teeth isn't going to work. Instead, finding a proper tool that helps facilitate this aspect of labour is a must. This way your teeth and jaw will be protected while still giving you the results that this aspect of childbirth can provide.
Dental support devices have helped thousands of women over the last several years, and the fact that these devices can reduce labour pain as well as the overall time a woman spends in labour help them stand out as incredibly important parts of a safe, natural labour.
And it's worth mention just why so many women are choosing natural labour with techniques like biting down during labour, too. Studies have shown that using epidurals and other drugs can actually prolong labour and cause additional risks to show up. This means that more and more women are turning back to natural childbirth options that let them manage their pain levels without running the risk of harming themselves or their baby.
It's certainly in your best interest to spend some time looking at all the different pain relief options out there including things like Lamaze, meditation, and more. But adding extra steps and tools like dental products that help you bite down during childbirth could help you even further. It's something well worth doing, and the process is easy to understand and easy to master. If you're considering a natural childbirth – or even if you're still planning on using an epidural – this is one way to help reduce pain that you shouldn't ignore. It sounds surprising, but the studies prove that it's effective.
Now that you know the effects of biting down during labour you can now understand why Laboraide is such an amazing product for women that want to reduce pain during labour naturally. To find out more go to the Laboraide Shop.
Photo credit: Walt Stoneburner / Foter / CC BY