Best ways to lesson pain in natural childbirth? - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-13-2003, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My lamaze refresher class was cancelled and I am due in less than 4 weeks. I am not ready for labor as I DO NOT remember how to use breathing techniques or massage to manage pain. I would like to know other good ways to deal with painful labors without drugs...
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Old 08-13-2003, 11:40 AM
 
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This book is excellent! Are you familiar with Bradley?
Natural Childbirth The Bradley Way
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Old 08-13-2003, 01:01 PM
 
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Forget those breathing techniques!! Breath naturally, very deep, and i found moaning very deeply helped a lot!! When labor got hard, i would just throw myself onto my bed, clutch the pillow, burry my head in it, and breath deeply... my husband would tell me 30 seconds, 45 seconds, 60 seconds... and it was over....

When i got to the hospital i was 6 centimerters, went to 8 in like a few minutes... then i got "forced" onto my back by the nurses and strapped to a fetal moniter, and a heplock injected into my arm... I would use the bars on the side of the bed to hold and bear down, again with the deep breathing, and the deep moaning.... the moaning really helped alot!! I think it helps because of the diaphram vibrating moves the baby down...

And read that bradley book too!!
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Old 08-13-2003, 01:13 PM
 
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I cannot speak from personal experience becuase I had an epidural, but from my reading and input from women I've assisted in childbirth here's what they say relieves pain the best:

-- changing positions often-- like squatting, leaning over stuff, all fours, etc. Change after every cx. or two in transition especially.

-- laboring in the water is supposed to reduce pain by up to 80%. Not sure how they measure that though.

-- Doing low breathing with an open mouth. My prenatal yoga DVD has a great low sound: "FAH" that requires you to do low deep breathing and open your mouth so your jaw stays relaxed.

-- Counterpressure. Have someone press hard on your feet, hands or other body parts.

Happy delivery!
Darshani

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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Old 08-13-2003, 01:21 PM
 
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From what I know now about my first labor, the pain came from fear and emotional issues I had not dealt with. Also having too many people present. Having your birth as private as possible is the best way so that you can go inside of yourself to get the work done! I always use the mama cat image. When I was little our cat went under my sister's bed and never made a sound. Just quietly and diligently popped out those babies. I think it's helpful for us to make those primal noises to help push and to stay focused. I plan on having a totally pain free birth this time. Affermations are good, too. Being totally in tune and cuddling with your partner can be really helpful too and can make your birth experience painless. I would read Spiritual Midwifery if you haven't yet even if you aren't planning a homebirth. The stories are really nice and talk a lot about enjoying birth.
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Old 08-13-2003, 01:23 PM
 
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T


USAmma, I just noticed your quote at your sig line.....where is it from? Its so beautiful!!
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Old 08-13-2003, 03:28 PM
 
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-Being in the tub

-Moaning/ deep, slow breathing

-Looking deep into dh's eyes

-lots of skin contact with dh

-dh pushing on my clitorus- all of our birth pictures have his hand in my crotch, but he said it was amazing when he felt ds#2 come out (I don't know that being alone is so important, except at my first hospital birth, I didn't ask dh for as much concact as I wanted, and it was probably because of all the people, bright lights, ect)

-having my toddler there, I know some people just want them out of the way, but for me it was really reasurring to be able to see he was okay during my labour and not have to worry about him
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Old 08-13-2003, 03:39 PM
 
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I walked. A lot. Just stopped and leaned on my husband during actual contrax and breathed really slow and deep while letting him take most of my weight. My labor wasn't very long and wasn't really hard until I hit transition.
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Old 08-13-2003, 05:26 PM
 
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I'm about to have my 1st go at it... have been learning hypnobirthing. 1st thing for hypnobirthing is give up the idea that it has to hurt - it's natural, it's perfect, it only hurts because we believe it's going to. Pain is normally an indicator of something going wrong - there's absolutely nothing wrong with normal birth, therefore is completely illogical that there should be pain. But for sure if you expect pain you'll get some.

Main "practical" points for hypnobirthing are total physical relaxation, & deep slow breaths during contrax, to avoid resisting the contrax. Philosophy is that resisting them & bracing yourself against them makes them hurt because you set up contrary messages in your muscles.

And don't be scared. You can do this! If you let yourself get scared you'll resist them whether you mean to or not.

Will let you know if this works!

Robin
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Old 08-13-2003, 05:45 PM
 
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Robin-I totally agree with you. Hypnosis has always worked really well with me, that's how I quit smoking and never had a craving again. I may use hypnobirthing to weed out the old negative stuff like what my midwife told me before I went into labor. I asked her what it would feel like and she said it would be the most painful thing I ever went through and it would be eye-popping. What the *^%? You know what? I let it happen and let it feel like that. You just have to get rid of any old tapes in your mind about how society thinks childbirth is suppossed to feel. It is wonderful and your body knows exactly what it's doing. Just enjoy it with every cell in your body.
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Old 08-13-2003, 09:22 PM
 
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About a month before my daughter was born, someone in an email ring I had subbed to recommended focusing on keeping my hands and feet relaxed while in labor. If you focus right now on totally relaxing your hands and feet, making them totally slack, you'll find that the rest of your body goes along.

So while I was in labor, I focused on relaxing, breathing deeply through my contractions and experiencing each contraction. With my son, born 4 yrs earlier, I fought the cx and my labor was really very painful. With my dd, being relaxed and having no fear made it an incredibly easy labor (one nurse just assumed I'd had an epidural and it hadn't been noted on my chart....LOL!). I had, in my opinion, the perfect birth...even though it was in a hospital. I kept waiting for transition to begin only to find out I was complete and ready to go. I only pushed for 20 minutes and my 11lb 3oz daughter came into the world leaving me with no tears and then nursed like a champ.

I hope the same for you...and do try to give the hands and feet thing a shot. I know it's what made my labor so easy.

Maureen
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Old 08-13-2003, 09:45 PM
 
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Hire a doula.
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Old 08-13-2003, 10:11 PM
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Second the long, slow, relaxed breathing.

WATER!

Skin to skin with partner.


Nothing new under the sun, is there...
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Old 08-13-2003, 10:12 PM
 
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STAND UP!!

While laying down my labors were untolorable. while standing up they were completely painless.

The thing that helped me get through transition was on hands and knees with my dh presssing with all his mught into my lower back.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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Old 08-13-2003, 10:15 PM
 
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I second, the "hire a doula!"

OK, I'm a little biased, because I am a doula.

All fabulous suggestions so far.

Pay attention to what your gut/instinct is telling you. If your body wants to move, move it. If you need to make vocalizations, do it.

Keep moving.

Stay upright as much as possible. Even in long, long labors. Alternate between laying down, and upright postions if you need to.

Pee every hour. Keep that bladder out of the way of a baby coming down.

Take a sip after each contraction. A well hydrated muscle contracts more effectively than a dehydrated one.

Change positions every half hour. Even if you're happy where you are. You can always go back to that same position after trying something new.

Eat 100 calories an hour.

Find a birth ball.

Read positive natural childbirth stories like Spiritual Midwifery or Ina May's other new book.

Remember you have choices.

Low vocalizations. High tones are held in your throat and upper chest. Send those sounds down low.

If labor starts at night. Go to bed. Sleep when the sun comes down, move around when the sun comes up. You'll need your energy later.

Limit the number of people in the room during labor and birth. It can be really distracting.

Ignore the clock.

Warm/hot water is a great soother. Get in the shower. You can put the ball in there too. Get in the tub. Try different positions in the tub. Hang over the side on your hands and knees.

Happy Birth-day!
Golden
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Old 08-13-2003, 11:54 PM
 
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I totally agree w/the idea that hypnosis suggests that it is not pain that you are feeling... I never felt "pain" a lot of pressure... and trying to describe it is pressure like someting is trying to push its way downward... like if you were carrying something really heavy on your lower back or abdomen... I tried that technique and i swear i never felt "pain" the way ANY one of my friends that all ended up having epidurals had... Just when the pressure got soo strong that i didn't know if i would be able to hold onto it anymore, the baby popped right out and the pressure was gone and the only pain there was was the stitching... but then i had my brand new baby on me, so i didn't really care!
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Old 08-14-2003, 04:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mallory


-Looking deep into dh's eyes
Mine would be saying, "Don't you want an epidural?" I think I'll look into my doula's eyes. :LOL
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Old 08-14-2003, 05:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh you mamas are great! Thanks so much for the ideas! I am feeling better after reading this...

I was really stressed over not being ready for this birth in many ways. I can see it's can be easier than I thought if I stay positive and believe in my body. It's all about getting rid of the fear. SO important!!!
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Old 08-14-2003, 11:49 AM
 
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I wasn't sure if I would be able to do it...First time I actually admit that, but three nights ago, I succeeded!!! Here's what worked for me...
Moaning...awesome, deep low moans...hot shower...amazing difference labouring in the hot shower, I stayed in there til I ran out of hot water :LOL
Concentrating on each finger individually, making sure each one was fully relaxed...I also just was in awe of my uterus, it worked so well, my whole body was relaxed other than my uterus...which was TIGHT
Um, amazing labour partners...my mom was talking me thru each finger relaxation, my sister was massaging my feet deeply and dh was massaging my back deeply...my ctx were back to back, no breaks in between, I went from 1.5cms to having baby in under 2hrs...
Lastly, keep telling yourself, I can do this. I WILL do this...

Much strength to you, and happy labouring.

Mamasoleil
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Old 08-14-2003, 11:57 AM
 
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Good for you!!! it sounds like you did a Great Job!!! Congrats!!
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Old 08-14-2003, 04:40 PM
 
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A DEEP TUB FULL OF HOT WATER!!!!!
With #2 the visualization and breathing worked, with #3 breathing& focusing etc didn't do squat! I felt every second of every contraction until I got in the water and then I didn't feel a single thing!!!

Jennifer
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Old 08-14-2003, 11:37 PM
 
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I know you have to get rid of your fear, b/c fear=pain, but there are some things I can't get over...

1.) every woman I know in my age group has had a c-section. All for various reasons. I only beleive one was actually neccesary b/c she was in a car accident and her water broke, but labor never started after 24 hours, and she was only 8 months at the time. These all were done in different hospitals, by different doctors (and one mw), in different states. Some were originally induced, some were not.

2.) I worry about tearing. I know that sounds silly, but other women I know who are older than me and who actually had vaginal births, have told me that they tore or ripped very badly. One woman had her entire perrineam and anal sphincter tear. One woman elected to have an episi, and it tore worse.

so how do you avoid these things and eliminate your fear of them? These are the only things I am really worried about.

~Christy crochetsmilie.gif, mom to DD Sage (12-2003) joy.gif and DS Isaac (04-2012)  babyboy.gif, wife to Josh geek.gif.

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Old 08-15-2003, 12:23 AM
 
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The best coping skill was one I learned from the book "Birthing From Within". I call it "The ice cube trick". It teaches you how to relax.

First, you get an ice cube and hold it in your hand for a minute. Dont' try to relax or anything, but focus on the pain. It will seem like a VERY long minute.

Take a break for a few mintues to let you hand go back to normal.

Then, get an ice cube and hold in in your other hand for a minute. this time concentrate on your breath, either your "in" breath or "out" breath--pick one for this particular contraction. Try to assess what parts of your body are tense and relax them. Notice how fast this minute goes by! So much better!

Practice every day or so, going through a couple fake "ice cube" contractions. It will teach you how to relax your body, concentrate on your breath, and develop other coping skills. The skills I gained from this exersize have helped me through other painful moments--stubbing a toe, burns, etc.

Once you get the relaxing part down, you can practice doing other mental exercizes that are in the book.

DURING LABOR I loved WATER--in any form! The pool was great, a hot shower, big glasses of water, hot soup, etc. It was all very relaxing. I also enjoyed sitting on the birth ball. And I moaned through every contraction--very helpful. But some women aren't vocal, so it doesn't help.

I'm sure that once labor hits, lots of this will come back to you. Just be open to what your body wants to do and keep moving! That's the best advice. And to just be aware that transition is going to be really hard, but you can get through it! Around 7 cm is when lots of women scream for the epidural, only to need it for an hour or less and it hinder their pushing.

I really hope you try the ice cube trick. It is extremely helpful.

Emily
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Old 08-15-2003, 12:32 AM
 
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To Christi, I would suggest that you educate yourself about perineal tears and what causes them and how to prevent them. Look for info from a midwife's point of view. You could do a search on the mothering mag site and also on www.midwiferytoday.com They have lots of excellent articles written for and by midwives with great advice. They know the tricks of the trade and how to avoid them. I think once you arm yourself with the facts, you can start visualizing the birth and how your cervix will open, etc. I've heard that this is very helpful. And if you believe in prayer, ask that God help take away this fear and fill you with His peace. He can do amazing things for a troubled spirit. But that's my POV.

But it must be really difficult to have all these horror stories around you and still try to have faith that your birth will go better. It definitely can! My sister was in the same position as you, except with horrible breastfeeding stories from ALL of her new-mom friends. But she ended up having a *wonderful* experience. There is hope!!

Take care, and I hope you're able to find peace with this.

Emily
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Old 08-15-2003, 01:45 AM
 
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If you do not hire a doula (and maybe even if you do) you might want to make a list of these suggestions that sound good to you and give it to your husband. When you are distracted and start to get unrelaxed and lost in discomfort and confusion having him gently ask ( GENTLY! ASK!!!! ) if you want to try one of the things on your list could be a big help.
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Old 08-15-2003, 01:47 AM
 
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Quote:
make a list of these suggestions that sound good to you and give it to your husband
Great idea!!
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