10 Tips To Deal With Labor Pain

I realise after my Delivery Story post, I may have scared a few gals. So I decided to do a short post on how one can manage their labour pains better..I’m not saying these tips will help you have a painless delivery..after all pushing a football sized baby out of a pea sized hole can never be painless but they need not send you into a screaming frenzy the very moment they hit.

Labor can last a long time and if anything, you need to know that the most important thing is to conserve energy for the final showdown which could be hours away. I’ve had a friend who went into a screaming frenzy bang when her pain started such that when it was finally the time to push 6hrs later she had no energy left and needed a forceps delivery. So this s exactly what this post is aimed at..helping you plan your labor better..

Dealing With Labour Pain:-

  • Walk instead of lying down. This helped me immensely. Lying on my back just seemed to make the pain escalate and my body was aching with the pain even though I was no where near labor. The moment I got up and started walking, the pain became less intense. Also, walking helps the baby descend into the pelvis which could even make your labor go faster and shorten the experience (or the horror depending on how one looks at it ;))
  • 2. Doing Squats in your final trimester. This has a 2-fold advantage..if done before  labor (this is the equivalent to doing jhaadu pocha which most Docs and family tell you to do at the fag end of your pregnancy) this helps spread the pelvic area and make you more flexible..Also this helps since the baby is pushed down in the right direction. Most preggies who are overdue are told to do squats because of this. the second advantage is during labor since the stretching of the pelvis actually is like a guide to the baby head.

    3. Using a birthing ball.  This is a large air filled rubber ball on which one has to sit and rock to and fro. It’s said to soften the cervix and shorten the labor by an hour approx. Unfortunately most hospitals don’t have these due to the dangers of having an unsteady preggy woman in labor toppling off a ball!

    4. Positive Imagery. This I can attest to. During my labor I kept thinking happy thought…I kept imagining being my kids best friend and him/her giving a speech at graduation praising me for the oh-so-amazing job I did raising him/her. Ahem! yes, as funny as it dounds, it helped me a wee bit and will prob help you too..

    5. Kneeling down. When the pain was getting worse and I wasn’t allowed to walk, I kneeled on the bed….yes..I did that. You can’t sit on a chair and support your head on the bed or go on all fours on the bed like i did. It lessens the intensity of the contractions and also increased blood flow to your baby which reduces when on your back. Kneeling also widens the vaginal passage which may help ultimately and pushing.

    6. Breathing exercises. This helped me till the very end. For those of you who haven’t read about my breathing stylr during labor, I did do the ‘3 sharp inhales and 1 long exhale’thing….but with my husbands name. You can try it with any word. If nothing else, in the throes of pain, you can use the word ‘Dammit’ which I’m sure practically every woman thinks or screams out.. This made handling the pain very manageable from the minute I was in labor to the moment I actually popped.

    7. Take a childbirth class/ Lamaze. Now I never did this because I didn’t stay close enough to any place that held them but Lamaze lasses are supposed to be really good in preparing you for the labor and what comes next. Some of the tension we feel is also due to the uncertainty that we don’t know what’s coming next. These classes help fill in those blanks so that one is more self-assured when it’s time to bring our baby into this world.

    8. Keep yourself hydrated. Unless a surgical procedure has been predecided where you’re usually told not to eat or drink for a few hours before, do go ahead and sip some H2O. It will make you feel cooler, more composed (note I didn’t say fully composed since that just ain’t happening during labor) and honestly, keep your throat hydrated and ready for the final screaming.

    9. Read or talk to friends. I did both of these. I read a Mills & Boons (picked it since I could leave my brain behind) and was very active on WhatsApp and on my cell. My husband swears that I should be the Brand ambassador for Whatsapp! I was that devoted!! Honestly keeping in touch with friends helped me take my mind off the pain for tiny bit. Plus in the inner room where my husband wasn’t allowed, this helped me keep in touch with him.

    10.Have a calm birth partner. Alot of hospitals do allow the husband or a female family member into the room for delivery. It’s a good idea for them to be your coach and to guide you through the experience. My hubby was my coach in my room and in the maternity ward I had my mom. Honestly my mom was horrified seeing me in so much pain so it wasn’t much use..I felt like I had to reassure her instead of the other way round.

    Hope this post helps all to-be mommies! Pls do let us know if there are any additional pointers/ideas you have..

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