When you're trying to figure out how to reduce labour pain, it's easy to get confused by the wide array of options out there. It seems like every mother you know probably has their own stories about what works and what doesn't, plus plenty of books and videos exist that promise to teach you how to get rid of the pain.
Of course, choosing the right methods of pain reduction will be a big part of making sure your labour and delivery goes smoothly. Luckily, you can combine several different methods and use them all. This makes it much easier to find the right pain relieving options since you aren't restricted to a single option.
With that in mind, learning how to reduce labour pain is a little easier. It's also something you should start early in your pregnancy. The sooner you get started, the better off you'll be since you'll have more time to learn the different methods, practice them, and make sure your partner understands them as well.
The first thing you need to remember when learning how to reduce labour pain is that there are two main types of pain you'll feel during labour and delivery
. The first is pressure related pain. This is caused by the large amount of pressure the baby can place on your body as it passes through it. It's a little bit harder to manage this kind of pain.
The second type of labour pain is a bit easier to reduce. Muscle contractions are the primary method your body uses to push out the baby
. As the muscles flex, tighten, and then loosen, they work to expel the baby. Of course, these contractions hurt a good bit and most mothers compare them to monthly cramps on overdrive.
Now that you know the two types of labour pain, you can take a quick look at just how to reduce labour pain.
• Water Birth
– This is one option that is well worth considering since it can actually have a positive impact on both types of labour pain. Floating in a tub provides buoyancy and helps relieve some of the pressure caused by birth, while the warmth of the water helps relax tense muscles. Moms often soak in a tub during the early stages of labour, but you can also stay in the tub and actually deliver your baby this way. If no tub is available, letting a warm shower caress your back can help relax muscles and at least provide some relief from contractions.
• Changing Positions – It's a common misconception that you have to be lying on your back during your delivery, a misconception brought on by movies and TV and reinforced by some medical professionals who prefer mom to be on her back. But kneeling, squatting, lying on your side, or even getting on all fours are all potentially more comfortable for a mother during labour. This can reduce the pressure that you feel during childbirth and is one of the best options for doing so.
• Massage – You can let your partner or someone else who is with you in the delivery room provide some gentle massage to your back during labour, too. Since a large part of contraction pain is felt in the back, this can help tremendously with reducing contraction related pain. It's especially useful for long labours.
• Acupressure – Studies have found that the proper use of acupressure can reduce the duration and severity of contractions. It's important that whoever is providing the acupressure knows what they're doing in order for it to be effective, not to mention safe.
• Muscle Relaxation Techniques – There are several different tools and techniques women can use that actively relax their pelvic and abdominal muscles. Learning the different options can help to reduce labour pain and improve the overall birthing experience.
• Lamaze – It surprises a lot of people to learn that Lamaze works by distracting the mother, but it really is true. Lamaze provides several different techniques that help mom focus on things other than the pain, which in turn can reduce the pain she feels.
• Hypnosis – Using hypnosis is gaining in popularity, and even Kate Middleton is said to have used some tips from a hypno-birth expert. The idea is to use hypnotic techniques to help the mind move to a more relaxed state and help it block out the pain, and most women who have used it agree that it's effective.
These are only a few of the different options you can use when you're trying to reduce labour pain. Spend some time learning more about each of them as well as about any other possible steps you want to take, and the chances are good that you'll have a much better birth experience. Reducing pain is possible, and it's something that you can't ignore if you're pregnant.
There is another way to reduce labour pain naturally and it is called Laboraide. If you are thinking of a natural labour then you must check out the Laboraide Shop.
Photo credit: Aaron-H / Foter / CC BY