THREE SIMPLE TECHNIQUES TO HELP YOU HAVE A BETTER LABOUR
Being touched is a fundamental need in all humans and it can be especially important during pregnancy and labour. Ideally your partner will enjoy rubbing your blossoming belly as you relax into the warmth of this special intimacy. It will certainly help maintain your skin tone too. You may be like some other women who do not want to be touched during the actual labour and that is perfectly fine. As a doula though I can say that most women experience relief from having their hips squeezed, particularly during contractions. Another part of their body where relief is enjoyed is from having the sacral area pushed on or rubbed as they give birth.
Let your partner doing the massaging know that it is important to ask for feedback as they start to touch, stroke and massage during labour. It’s also a good idea to use an appropriate oil, you could even introduce some essential oils (such as Clary Sage) into the oil to aid in labour.
Music and Sound
During labour many women will become focused on something. It might be a picture on the wall, or it could be your partners eyes; and for many, music is a beneficial accompaniment to these visual cues. Ideally this is music that you enjoy and that helps you to relax. Some mums take advantage of today’s technology to choose and download special sound tracks specifically to help with relaxation during pregnancy. This then conditions them so that the relaxation response is triggered when the same tracks are played during labour.
Many women instinctively choose water as a comfort measure in labour. Some choose to be in the warmth of a shower, usually with the stream of water directed over their backs. Most labour rooms have two shower heads so that mum can have one aimed at her back and the other running over her front. If the option is available, some women choose to languish comfortably in a birthing pool. Whatever you choose, these options are ideal for cuddling with your partner, which of course is a great way to be comforted and feel safe during labour. When we feel safe and unobserved our innate birthing hormones are released, providing the best comfort measure of all.
Hire a Doula
Ok so I said three proven techniques… here’s one for free 🙂 … Having a Doula with you can help improve your birth satisfaction. Other studies have shown that having a Doula as a member of your birth team decreases the overall cesarean rate by 50%, the length of labour by 25%, the use of artificial oxytocics by 40% and requests for an epidural by 60% *
* Hodnett ED. Gates S Hofmeyr GJ. Sakala C. Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. CD003766, (2003).