Strategies for getting through labor
No one will tell you that labor is going to be easy. But through a well-organized childbirth education class, you will learn strategies that will help you during labor and delivery before the final push into parenthood.
Here are a few ideas that may be helpful:
- Create a peaceful and soothing environment by dimming the lights. Bring an extra pillow or cushion. If there is something else special you want to bring, just call the hospital to ask if it is ok.
- Bring magazines, card games, or crossword puzzles to keep your mind occupied.
- Have your labor coach give you lots of massages, especially on your lower back and feet.
- Bring a cassette or CD player with your favorite music.
- Take a warm bath or shower in your birthing room.
- If heat doesn't work, try cool compresses on your lower back and forehead.
- Don't be afraid to make too much noise - moan and groan when a contraction happens.
- Bring pictures of family members and place them on your nightstand. You can look at them as you lay in bed.
- Bring comfortable clothing, including warm socks. But bring ones that you don’t mind throwing out if they get too dirty to clean (delivering a baby can be very messy).
- Try to keep moving by taking long walks up and down the hallways or dancing with your partner.
- Remember the tips you were taught in your childbirth class. Keep breathing, visualizing and looking to your labor coach for constant companionship.
- Try different positions. Try sitting or standing, squatting, lying on your side, or crouching on your hands and knees. Try sitting on the toilet. Move around, change positions, find whatever position is comfortable and helps you get through the contractions.
Zev Williams MD, PhD, FACOG, Reproductive Medicine and Infertility, Weill-Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
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