If you are planning on taking a birthing class or have taken one already a very common question that is asked is “How to manage labor pains at home.” This is a very good question for those who don’t want to rush to the hospital right away.
Finding ways to help you cope with the early stages of labor is a great way to help you be prepared and laboring at home may even make labor go by quicker!
Now if you are planning on getting an epidural or going natural you can apply these methods to help you through the early stages of labor.
“A WOMEN IN BIRTH IS AT ONCE HER MOST POWERFUL, AND HER MOST VULNERABLE. BUT ANY WOMEN WHO HAS BIRTHED UNHINDERED UNDERSTANDS THAT WE ARE STRONGER THAN WE KNOW. -MARCI MACARI”
No matter if you have a C-section, an epidural or go naturally any birth experience is a beautiful one. If you are not planning on going naturally that is okay! you can still use these tips to help you prepare!
Below are some times to help you when you are in labor!
Labor Produce and Encourages Oxytocin
Oxytocin is a hormone that helps to move labor along which is a great thing! without it, labor would be very challenging. Sometimes when labor is just beginning and you rush to the hospital labor can stop and then you are sent home which is very frustrating.
If you are taking the natural route staying home as long as possible before heading to the hospital will make it so the hospital staff will not try to intervene.
I went to the hospital and back home TWICE before they would admit me. Why? well because I was progressing very slowly. The hospital I was delivering at wouldn’t admit me until I was 5cm and it took about 15 hours before I got there.
Now don’t panic. I know 15 hours to get to 5cm sounds like an eternity. But not all labor is the same! They sent me home simply because they knew I wanted to do it natural and they didn’t want to intervene.
But being in intense labor and driving in the car from the hospital to home and then from our home to the hospital was defiantly not an enjoyable ride.
Depending on your body and how you are progressing in labor. It is okay to hang out at home for awhile. Which can make things more comfortable for you. If you stay longer at home at means the less time you are spending laboring at the hospital.
And remember women’s bodies are designed to go through labor and letting the body do what it was made to do will help move things along quicker and smoother.
Being able to move around your own home, hop in the shower and lay on your own bed can help make labor pains more manageable. Hospital beds are not super comfy and sitting in them for hours before you are far enough to push can put added stress on your body which it doesn’t need.
There are studies that have been done that show women who walked around during labor, sat on a birthing ball and stayed home longer before heading to the hospital their labor went by much quicker.
Thanks to the advanced technology we have nowadays you can download a timer specifically meant for timing your contractions.
This is a wonderful app to have on your phone since when you call the hospital they will ask how far apart your contractions are and how long they are lasting.
I loved using a contraction timer because I could see how often my contractions were coming and how long they were lasting. This is important because when you call your doula or midwife they want to know those numbers!
The contraction timer I got was called Full Term-Contraction Timer. It was a great app and it was FREE!
Dim The Lights
Dimming the lights or having them completely off can help you to calm down and focus on what your body is doing.
Having bright lights on is distracting you want to create a very peaceful environment while you are in labor.
The midwives at the hospital I delivered made the labor room very peaceful. I had on my birth plan to have the lights dimmed and they had all the lights off and had dimmed the main light where the tub was.
It was so soothing and relaxing. Having bright lights shining on my face would make me feel very stressed.
If you are getting an epidural you cannot eat while in labor if you are doing a natural birth that’s a different story.
Eating small bites of food is a huge help to your body. During labor, your body needs energy because labor is not an easy thing. If your body does not have the energy it may slow down the process of labor.
My mother and husband were both in the room with me and my husband was there for support (so was my mom) but she made sure we were both drinking lots of water and snacking on some energy food.
If you are getting an epidural make sure you eat before heading to the hospital so your body will have some energy.
Take A Birthing Class
Birthing classes are not just for those who are doing natural but also for those who are having a medicated birth.
In birthing classes, you learn great breathing techniques that will help you breathe during labor and when you are having contractions. As well as what your partner can do to help you as your body goes through the stages of labor.
I took an online birth course and it was phenomenal! An Australian lady named Melissa made this course called Hypnobubs. My husband and I were very impressed and happy we took her course.
And now since it was online I have had that course forever! If you are looking into a good natural birthing course I defiantly recommend checking out Hypnobubs.
Once you are in labor it is very exciting you have been waiting 9 months to see and hold your little one!. The first stage of labor is a good time to just relax and slow down and save your energy for later because you’re going to need it.
Listen to your body and when you feel it is time to head to the hospital then, by all means, get to the hospital. Labor is an amazing experience, trust in yourself and your body because it knows what it is doing.
Again no matter what labor and delivery experience you have they are all amazing. Being in labor for 36 hours was hard and very tiring. But what kept me going was that I was so close to seeing my baby and I was about to hold her for the first time.
I kept that thought running through my head because that is what kept me going. And when I held her for the first time all of the pain and hardship were worth it. Because I had my angle in my arms.
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