The human body is capable of wondrous things and child labor has to be one of the most amazing and intense, not to mention stressful. However, there are steps you can take to increase your comfort level during during labor; here are a few:
Manage your expectations
Take the time to learn everything you can about labor, whether it be from asking your doctor a million questions, reading books & magazines, attending classes, or going on a hospital tour. There is power and comfort in knowledge. The more you know, the more prepared you will feel.
Who’s on your team?
There will be a ton of friends and relatives that will wish to be on your birthing team and that’s great! But you need to choose who will be with you during labor and delivery carefully. Do your best to choose those who will have a calming effect on you, have no issue catering to your needs, and will most importantly treat you with kindness, patience, and respect.
Get a soothing massage
A massage isn’t usually the first thing women think about when it comes to labor, but a gentle massage can be surprisingly comforting. The human touch works wonders, especially during stressful times. Try using calming massage oils or a warming lotion.
A warm bath
A warm bath is a normal go-to after a stressful or long day. This can also help with labor pains and in many cases can speed up the delivery.
You can also try placing a warm compress on your lower back or shoulders, groin, or lower abdomen during labor; and use a. Cold compress or cloth to find relief for a sweaty neck, face or chest.
The natural instinct of many women during labor is to hold their breath. That is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. Be sure to breathe slowly and completely during labor contractions. You should also try to breath quickly (one breath every 2 to 3 seconds). Your birthing partner will be extremely helpful in helping you remember to breath and keep your rhythm.