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What really helped you during labor? - Page 2

post #21 of 25

What really helped you during labor?

 

Extreme counter pressure on my low back & squeezing my hips (together was spectacular).

 

Is there anything you did during pregnancy that helped you prepare for your birth or postpartum?

 

I read a lot. Dh isn't much of a reader but he would listen to stuff I thought he should know. My Mon read what I asked her to. Writing the birth plan was more important to me than giving it to anyone - the process really clarified for me/dh/my mom what was most important. I also asked lots & lots of questions of my ob. By the time the birth was happening I felt confident we were all a team & I could relax.

 

If you had a hospital birth, was there anything you took with you that you were glad you had?

 

My own pillows, an extra blanket, snacks, my own clothes, camera.

 

What were things other people did for you during labor or right after the birth that you liked?

 

I wish someone had told me when I was in transition. I felt very scared & out of control & was literally begging for help - very frantic, in large part 'cause I thought it was going to continue like that for a long time. Having someone recognize & tell me I was in transition would have really calmed me down.

post #22 of 25


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post

I've been working as a doula for just over a year now. I'd love to expand my "bag of tricks" with ideas that have worked for other moms.

 

What really helped you during labor?

 

Is there anything you did during pregnancy that helped you prepare for your birth or postpartum?

 

If you had a hospital birth, was there anything you took with you that you were glad you had?

 

What were things other people did for you during labor or right after the birth that you liked?

 

 

The most effective "trick" I discovered was what I would call a sacral lift. Instead of squeezing in I or DH would sort of push up on my lower back almost to where it would lift my tush a bit. It somehow helped relieve some pressure. Also swaying side to side in the shower. I showered a lot, I was definitely squeaky clean for the birth :) oh and also I listened to mellow music, as in the same few albums looped over and over and over for about 24 hours then on into the hospital room. 

 

Pregnancy preparations: well I'm not sure what prep was responsible for what but here are a few things I did and would do again: Hypnobirthing - and really the main thing I credit to that is something clicked and I went from thinking I'd maybe give the natural thing a shot to a very confident hell yes I could do this, this is what my body totally knows what to do!  Also, red raspberry leaf tea and evening primrose oil. I also think all those eggs and. It's I ate might have helped my membranes from breaking early. Who knows?

 

We didn't labor much in the hospital but I liked that we brought our iPod speaker thing so I could continue listening to music. I wish Id had my own pillow though. 

 

Things people did: the butt lifting trick was good and for pushing the doula put nice cool cloths on my forehead, and she and DH massaged my shoulders in between. In hindsight I wish I would have asked more for hands on massage type stuff in labor. I should have been more vocal. I also wished for my first post labor meal someone would have gotten me something real but instead I had a crummy grilled cheese and fries from the hospital cafeteria (although at the time it tasted like heaven!)

 

 

 

post #23 of 25
The biggest things that helped me were educating myself on everything by reading a bunch of books and forums and practicing relaxing my whole body every night and then using that relaxation during labor. If I could keep my body relaxed, contractions were intense but fine (it very much reminded me of long distance running, a metaphor that is used quite often for labor), when I couldn't relax (mostly when I was in the car and a couple times with the nurses) it was bad. And part of relaxing was being able to freely move as I wanted to, laying on my side and squatting were both good positions for me.

I do think all the squatting, kegels and birth ball sitting I did during pregnancy helped and the RRL tea probably helped too, but relaxation and the education about birth that allowed me to be able relax is what made my drug free labor manageable.

Also, being touched while in a contraction was bad for me, luckily my DH was very understanding of that. I'm sure you've run into it yourself, but if not, don't be surprised! Dark and quiet didn't really matter to me, since when I was in the contraction zone, I didn't notice, but being touched threw me off. I did anticipate the touch thing potentially happening as that is how I usually am when in pain or motion sick, so that might be something each woman can think about.

And yeah, relaxation sounds simple, but you really need to practice it. That is the biggest thing, practicing every day (or nearly) so you can do it when it counts. Practicing it every night had the extra bonus of helping me go to sleep easier, so it's not a bad idea anyway!

Oh, and wanted to add that the one thing that really was great was the nurses asking if I wanted to use the bathroom before getting my IV (I'm not getting an IV next time without good reason) and it was good because I was so in the zone I forgot about doing that and it had me move around enough that my daughter basically keyed into the right position so that I went from ~5cm in triage to 10 cm once they finally checked me after I came out of the bathroom and got on the bed. I insisted as I was feeling a lot of pressure and had felt her shift position dramatically, I think they were mostly humoring me, but I'm glad that they did listen and only delayed to finish putting the IV in. Hopefully that experience will teach them to listen to their patients better in the future smile.gif

(Edited to fix grammar and spelling and to add one thought)
Edited by Quinalla - 2/21/12 at 10:06am
post #24 of 25

Lots of great resources on here!!

 

Quote:

What really helped you during labor?

 

Is there anything you did during pregnancy that helped you prepare for your birth or postpartum?

 

If you had a hospital birth, was there anything you took with you that you were glad you had?

 

What were things other people did for you during labor or right after the birth that you liked?

 

 

What helped me the most was my birth ball. I pretty much walked around and during transition sat on my birth ball. I loved it!!! Also, reading a ton of inspiring stories and watching good films about birth. Oh my gosh, Birthing From Within was so fantastic for me!

 

In the hospital I wish I would have brought music. I forgot it. I also wish I would have remembered a robe or something for postpartum visits.

 

I liked when people left me alone. I was never checked for dilation progress and this really helped me.

I also liked when my doula looked at me with confidence and said 'You are doing great" compared to the fear in Dh and my mum's eyes.

post #25 of 25

What really helped you during labor?

 

Having a focus spot. I kinda stumbled upon it and found if I stared at a specific spot on the floor I handled the contraction much better. I needed to start looking at the spot at the beginning of the contraction though! Without the focus spot I felt out of control.

 

Having dh there and squeezing my knees/thighs during contractions. No idea why that helped but it did.

 

Having the doula telling me that things were okay, it was normal, etc.

 

Going into my "zone" during contractions even at the beginning when they weren't that bad. It set the groundwork for the stronger contractions.

 

I had to be hooked up the whole time (it was an induction so constant monitoring). I mostly sat in a rocking chair and on a birth ball. Climbed into bed only to push.

 

Is there anything you did during pregnancy that helped you prepare for your birth or postpartum?

 

DH and I took a natural childbirth class and I think that helped dh the most, since he'd never seen a labor/birth before and had no clue what to expect.

 

If you had a hospital birth, was there anything you took with you that you were glad you had?

 

Gatorade, snacks (mostly for after birth, but I did snack on some dried peaches in early labor). We brought the doulas birth ball that she had let us borrow, but the hospital had one so we used theirs.

 

What were things other people did for you during labor or right after the birth that you liked?

Reminded me to sip water and then pee. But I'm pretty sure right at the end I just peed on the floor. The bathroom was sooooo far away (like 6 steps) lol.gif

 

A few things the doula told me- I could scream all I wanted and beg for an epidural when the nurse wasn't in the room, but the moment I told the nurse I wanted it she would have to do it. When the nurse was in the room and it was getting rough the doula was in my face, talking over my grunts just in case I slipped lol.gif I think like 2 minutes before I started pushing I begged the nurse to "give me something". She laughed and said too late! (The nurse rocked and was very supportive of a natural birth so she was very encouraging too). Another thing the doula said is that once the contraction was over that was it, I would never have to do that contraction again. Taking it one at a time really helped.

 

I vaguely remember a cool washcloth appearing from somewhere.

 

Reminders to breathe. Funny how you forget to do something so simple.

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