Are you about to squeeze out a bundle of joy and perhaps a little bit nervous about the birthing process? That’s completely natural. Going into Labor can be a long, painful experience and the idea of it can be very daunting to expecting mothers.
There are a couple of different ways to give birth, and there is such a wealth of advice out there on what you should and shouldn’t be doing that it can all be a bit overwhelming.
Well, this article will make things so much easier for you, listing all the top tips you could possibly need to help make Labor go as smoothly as possible. Using these tips may even help you to give birth without the need for an epidural!
#1 There is More to Just Pushing
When people think of giving birth, they usually just think of a lot of pushing and screaming.
Whilst this is going to be a major part of it, there is actually a lot more involved in pushing, and there are things you can do to make the process easier.
You need to relax your pelvic floor muscles and push using your core. So, you really need to tighten your abdominal muscles when pushing during Labor.
Contrary to popular belief, it is nothing like going to the toilet, and a whole different set of muscles are used.
A good thing to do is to try and build your abdominal muscles during pregnancy by doing some light core exercises throughout. Ask your midwife for some suggestions and check that it is safe for you do such exercises.
There are some pregnancy classes that actually get you to practice pushing, and this can really help to prepare you for Labor and make the whole process run a lot more smoothly.
#2 Keep Your Hands Relaxed
A common thing that women can do when going into Labor is to tense all parts of their body, particular their hands.
A good tip is to try and make sure your hands are relaxed and loose during your contractions as this can help isolate the tension and the energy you’re expending into the right places. This will help make the whole process of pushing the baby out a lot easier.
Whilst it sounds counter-productive, being relaxed is the quickest way to give a birth.
#3 Do Prenatal Classes
Prenatal classes are helpful not just to the Labor process, but also to help bring support during pregnancy.
They are great for making giving birth easier because the classes inform you of exactly what you will be going through when the time comes. They are going to make you aware of what you should do from the moment your water breaks all the way through to cutting the umbilical cord, which can really help to rest the minds of expecting mothers and make giving birth a lot less stressful.
People who take prenatal classes explain how empowered they felt after, and how much more confidence it gave them. Don’t be mistaken, the classes don’t sugar coat anything, but they tell you the truth and make sure that you know exactly what to expect.
Fathers-to-be can also go to the classes and learn a lot from them. Having your partner in the loop and knowing what to expect can really help make giving birth a lot easier.
#4 Rethink Position and Perineal Massage
Perineal massages are a very popular thing for expecting mothers to do. It is a type of treatment whereby pregnant women have their perineum (the opening around the vagina) massaged, in order to widen the birth canal. It is usually carried out in a number of sessions throughout pregnancy, and the aim is to make the birthing process easier and reduce the likelihood of tearing.
However, you shouldn’t feel pressure to follow the trend of other mothers and feel ‘forced’ into doing such treatments. You should only do what makes you feel the most comfortable. It is also very important that you check with your midwife and doctor before undergoing any type of treatment such as perineal massage, as there are some people for whom it is not considered a good option for.
Following on from this, you also shouldn’t feel pressured into choosing a birthing position based on what other people choose to do, or what you are told is the normal thing to do.
Researching into the different positions, talking to your midwife and even testing out some of the positions is what you need to do so you can decide for yourself which position will be the best and most comfortable for you. Remember, no one else is having to push out your baby except for you!
#5 Make Deep, Low Sounds
It’s already been mentioned in this article how important it is not to tense up your body during Labor. Well, whilst this might sound like a strange thing, high pitched noises have actually been proven to make you more tense. Deep, low pitched sounds, however, can help make you better able to relax and make you more comfortable during Labor.
Making sounds in general is something that many mothers have said really helps, as it can help to take your mind off the pain and make you better able to focus on pushing. Furthermore, there have actually been studies that show a sort of connection between our vocal cords and cervix, which explains why controlling the noises you make can really make a difference to the birthing process.
So, make sure you keep breathing deeply, in a controlled manner and make low-pitched sounds throughout Labor.
#6 Keep Your Energy High
Giving birth can cause you to use up a lot of energy, so one way to help make Labor that little bit easier is to make sure you are eating healthy snacks and drinking lots of water throughout the birthing process. This helps keep your energy levels up so you can keep being able to push to the extent you need to be.
There you have the top 6 tips on how to make Labor that bit easier. Yes, it is going to be a painful process and there is a reason why people say that giving birth is one of the hardest things to go through, but with these tips it won’t need to be quite as hard or painful as people say. Also, the whole thing will be so worth it once you meet your new-born baby after it!