Labor Positions To Ease Your Pain
When thinking about labor, the first question that comes to every mother-to-be’s mind is, “How much pain will there be?” You’ll be hoping for a relaxed and happy experience, but expecting a completely pain-free labor is probably unrealistic. However, if you view pain for what it is – normal, productive and ending with the joy of your baby’s birth – you will deal with it better.
You will be able to manage your pain if you understand what is happening and are confident that you can actively participate in labor and delivery. Connections are involuntary and thus out of control. However, your state of mind, which is under your control, can significantly influence your perceptions of pain. Fear of the unknown and lack of information can actually cause or increase pain. Educating yourself about labor is the best way to overcome this fear.
Here’s an overview of the different labor positions and breathing techniques that can help lessen the pain:
Throughout labor, find positions that help to ease the discomfort, change positions as often as you want, unless your doctor has told you not to. You can move around between contractions, but you will usually stay still during contractions in whichever labor position feels most comfortable at the time. Settle into deep relaxation during the contraction and focus on letting your body go. Some women prefer to rock their pelvis (which helps relieve backache) or shift their weight from side to side during contradictions rather than remaining completely still.
Try a variety of positions because changing labor positions can encourage cervix to dilate (or widen) evenly, aid the baby’s head in descending and help get enough oxygen to the baby and uterus. One position many women find comfortable is to sit straddling a chair, leaning slightly forward with your back straight (position 1). Or, you may prefer to stand. Staying upright can actually encourage contractions, speeding up labor, and you can always lean on your birth assistant if you feel the need to (position 2). If your back is aching, try kneeling down on all fours and rocking gently, while avoiding arching your back (position 3).
If you prefer to rest in bed, you can also try different positions. Lie on your side with cushions under your head and upper thigh, keeping your legs wide apart (position 4). Or try a semi-sitting position, using pillows to support your knees and elbows so that your joints are relaxed. Lying on your back can be more painful than other positions, so it is usually not your best option.
During the last stage of labor, if your cervix has not fully dilated, it may help to kneel down on your elbow and knees and raise your behind (position 5). This will aid dilation and take the pressure off your lower back. Another useful position to help dilation is squatting, with support from your birth assistant if necessary.
During delivery, you will probably be lying down, although an upright position like kneeling or squatting uses gravity to help you during pushing. If you want to try an upright position, consult with your doctor in advance, because these positions are not common in Egypt.
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