Ways to help you in labour
Here are our helpful tips to make labour a little easier
Being pregnant is a minefield - and the thought of labour can be terrifying, especially for the first-time mum. There are so many horror stories out there about 12-pound babies and 48-hour labours. Part of you wants a water birth with whale music, while the other voice in your head is screaming ‘epidural’.
Being prepared is key.
It’s never going to be a walk in the park but there are ways to make things a little easier.
1. Practise your breathing: Again, it may sound obvious but there are exercises you can do while pregnant which may help. Breathing slowly and deeply helps you to relax tensions in your muscles and allows your cervix to dilate.
2. Be prepared: Attend the antenatal classes, even if you don’t think you need to. The more you know, the better you can prepare for baby’s arrival.
3. The right position: From about 34 weeks, you can encourage the baby to get in the right position for birth. Try regularly kneeling on the floor over a birthing ball or chair. You could combine this with gentle yoga.
4. Stay fit, active and healthy during pregnancy. Healthy body, healthy mind, it all helps. There’s no need to sit on your bum for nine months! As long as your GP approves, a gentle exercise regime will only help during childbirth.
5. At around 34 weeks, start gently massaging your perineum (area between opening of your vagina and anus) using sweet almond oil. Ok, maybe TMI, but it’s a great way to prevent tears.
1. Stay calm: It sounds like a soundbite but there’s logic to this. Distractions can help in the early stages when the pain is not too intense.
2. Stay upright: Standing, kneeling or squatting can ease discomfort and move things along.
3. Snacks: You won’t feel like eating during the active labour stage but what you consume in the early stages may help your energy levels.
4. Water works: Having a shower or getting in the bath can help relieve the contractions.
5. Have a massage: Not all women like to be touched but you may find the gentle hands of a partner can help.
6. Listen to the medics - but also to your body. Focus on the end game, it will all be so worth it.