The uterine muscles contracting during childbirth and the pressure on the cervix can produce a lot of pain. This discomfort may be experienced as a sharp cramping in the back, groin, and abdomen. Some women also experience soreness in their thighs or sides. The baby’s head pressing against the bladder and bowels and the stretching of the birth canal and vagina are other sources of discomfort during labour. But don’t worry. Firstly, these are all part of a normal delivery and welcoming your beautiful baby into this world. Secondly, there are some things that you can do to make labour less painful. Let’s look at a few of them.
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1. The Lamaze Technique
According to the Lamaze concept, giving birth is a natural, healthy procedure that should be approached by women with confidence. Lamaze sessions teach women how to reduce their perception of pain, including the use of distraction, breathing exercises, relaxation methods, and massage from a supportive coach. Lamaze encourages women to decide for themselves whether pain medication is best, while maintaining a neutral stance about it.
2. The Bradley Concept (Husband-Coaching Method)
This concept promotes a natural approach to birth and the active involvement of the baby’s father in the birthing process as a birth coach. Avoiding the use of medications, unless absolutely necessary, is one of its main goals. The Bradley method also emphasises deep breathing exercises, healthy eating habits, and exercise during pregnancy as well as relaxation and coping mechanisms for a painless delivery.
3. Practice Rhythmic Breathing
You can control contractions by using breathing methods. During contractions, take deep breaths in a steady pattern. Try letting out a groan to let the stress go. Attempt to breathe quickly as well, roughly every two to three seconds (20 to 30 per minute). If you lose your rhythm, your partner can assist you by making eye contact, making rhythmic hand or head motions, or coaching you through contractions.
Depending on the circumstances, several painkillers such as analgesics, regional anaesthesia and epidurals, can be administered during labour and normal delivery. Many pregnant women rely on these drugs. When pain is immediately relieved, energy can be directed to getting through the contractions. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each type of medication with your gynaecologist.
5. Moving Around
You can use the power of gravity to your advantage, to assist the baby’s migration and rotation through the pelvic canal. For this, you can try walking, swaying, shifting postures, and rolling on a birthing ball. This can also reduce discomfort and speed up the labour process. You may still attempt postures like going on your hands and knees or standing, squatting, and sitting by the side of the bed.
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While most doctors advise a normal delivery. Remember that a lot of women are nervous about the pain and focus on a painless delivery. If you are concerned about the pain, know that it is normal. It’s a good idea to make pain management decisions after speaking to your gynaecologist.