Welcoming a new life into this world certainly demands a lot of patience and preparation, from the beginning to the end, pregnancy deserves constant care and attention.
In order to make this roller-coaster ride like experience as smooth as possible, a pregnant woman needs to be well aware of the changes occurring in her body during pregnancy, so that she can be well prepared to handle anything that her pregnancy surprises her with.
Pregnancy becomes a tough affair especially in the third trimester when the pregnant woman gets close to the time of delivery.
It is a well-known fact that labour pain is considered as one of the most painful experiences a human being can endure.
So If you are wondering how you can effectively reduce and endure labour pain and handle things better when the time of labour comes, here is what you need to know –
What is Labour Pain?
Labour pain is the recurrent pain felt by a woman during childbirth. It involves strong contraction and relaxation of the uterus along with increased vaginal discharges.
Labour pain occurs due to the frequent contraction and relaxation of the uterus. There is also significant pressure on the bladder and the cervix is dilated due to the baby’s head which is slowly stretching the vagina and birth canal.
What are the signs of Labor?
Look out for these 10 signs that can tell you that your baby’s on its way –
- Increase in vaginal discharge
- Strong contractions
- Frequent contractions
- Increased back pain
- Brownish mucus discharge
- Pain in abdomen
- Pain in lower back
True Labour vs False Labour
Sometimes increased vaginal discharge, pain in the abdomen or irregular contractions can leave an expecting mother confused whether she is in labour or not. In such cases, mothers get distressed due to the uncertainty of the situation. So to avoid unnecessary panic, it’s important for a pregnant woman to learn and differentiate between true and false labour.
Here is what false labour feels like –
- Contractions are generally painless.
- Contractions are not regular.
- Contractions do not increase in frequency.
- Contractions do not increase in severity.
- Pain relieves with change in position.
- Pain may decrease on walking.
- The pain is confined to the lower abdomen, not in the lower back
- Fetal movements increase with the contractions.
On the other hand –
- True labour pain is intense.
- True labour pain increases with activity.
- It doesn’t get better with change in position
- True labour pain can mimic an upset stomach.
- True labour pain begins in the lower back, spreads to the lower abdomen and can radiate to the legs.
- Contractions in true labour are frequent, painful and regular.
- Over time there increase in the level of pain.
- Vaginal discharge increases significantly.
- The sudden trickling of water can be noticed.
- Brown or blood stained discharge known as show can be noticed.
Feel free to call your doctor or midwife immediately and inform them about your symptoms. It is important that your doctor or midwife stays up to date with what you are experiencing even if you are unsure that your labour has started.
Dealing with Labour Pain
You know that labour pain is going to hurt and you also know that you cannot completely avoid it. It’s all a part of a natural process.
Since labour pain going to happen anyway, why not learn 13 techniques to make it better?
Even though you might feel that it’s hard to do so, relax because childbirth is a natural process and you have the natural ability to give birth to a new life. Your body and mind have shaped and trained themselves for this very moment during your entire pregnancy. You aren’t alone in this, you have a tremendous amount of support from your family and doctors.
Take deep breaths. This will help you calm down and lower your stress levels. Breathing can also help in reducing pain and easing the process of labour. Concentrate on your breathing and try to relax. Try to time your breathing with your contractions.
#3. Enjoy some warmth
Take a warm water shower or sit in a lukewarm bath. Warm water can reduce the sensation of pain and help you relax. Taking a lukewarm bath will also relax your muscles and calm your mind.
A good massage can reduce some tension in your muscles and work wonders when it comes to pain management. Ask your partner to massage your back, neck or foot. Massaging your back can help relieve the lower back pain you’re experiencing. You can also try and use aromatherapy lotions during your massage to feel better.
Accept what is happening to your body. Have confidence and believe that you can do this. Try to meditate and channel positive thoughts into your mind. Focus and concentrate on something to divert your mind away from the pain you’ve been feeling. You can also try to meditate along with breathing so that you can manage the pain better.
Listen to some good music. Music can help you relax and feel better. It can also help you divert your mind away from the pain you are feeling. Ask your partner to join you. You can also try to sing, it can divert your mind away from the pain for a while.
#7. Move around
Try walking during the contractions, it will help relieve the pain and distract your mind. You can also sit on an exercise ball with your partner help and slowly rock back and forth. Try to do hip rotations or pelvic tilts, these exercises will allow space for the pelvis to expand.
#8. Lean forward
Bending your body or leaning forward can help relieve your lower back pain. Leaning forward can stretch your back muscles and relieve some pressure. Try changing your position frequently and see what works out for you.
#9. Don’t dehydrate or starve yourself
Managing your body during labour pain can be a tiresome process.
Water is very important. Sip some water throughout the whole process to keep yourself going. Keeping yourself hydrated will also help your uterus contract and relax with ease.
Eat, but don’t have a large and heavy meal. You can have a less amount of light foods like jello or popsicles which are easily digested. You can also chew on some ice chips to feel better.
#10. Involve your partner
You don’t have to deal with this situation alone. Talking to your partner and visualizing positive things together can also help relieve stress and pain during labour. Your partner can help massage your back and legs, give a warm bath and help you change positions.
#11. Don’t delay
If the pain is too much and nothing works, call your doctor and seek help immediately.
Instead of managing the pain yourself and taking the matter in your own hands, take help from your Gynaecologist who has a proper idea about what is happening to you and how things can be made better.
Don’t worry, your Ob/Gyn will assess your situation and help you accordingly. Never think it’s too early or too late to seek help. Keep your doctor up to date with what you are experiencing.
Be vocal to your doctor about what you are experiencing and feeling, don’t be shy. The more you share the better your doctor will understand.
If you are unable to manage the pain on your own, ask your doctor to prescribe some pain relieving medications to you. Your doctor helps you manage the pain better. Always seek professional help, don’t try to self medicate.
#13. Try an epidural
If you are exhausted and cannot take the pain for long, don’t worry, instead of stressing your body out, consider getting an epidural. Epidural will relax your body and numb the pain.
Going into labour is not just a painful experience, an exhausting one too. Labour pain can be hard to deal with, but it sure can be managed. Management of labour pain can be done using non-medical remedies but professional medical help should be called as soon as labour pain starts. Informing your doctor will ensure that you are under proper care and supervision.
Don’t take the matter in your own hands or self medicate yourself. Your Ob/Gyn is well prepared to manage your situation.