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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am on the home stretch now with baby no. 2 and I am looking for some ideas about coping with labor pain. With DS1 I squeezed my midwife so hard that she was bruised and I actually bit my own arm and was covered in bruises myself. This time I would like to find a better technique! I am thinking of stress balls to squeeze and I heard about squeezing a comb both for distraction and acupressure points. Does anyone know about this or have any other ideas that can keep me from hurting myself and my poor midwife?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by XanaduMama View Post
Can you labor in a pool? I couldn't believe the difference...honestly--it really is nature's epidural!

Yes, my birth center has a water birth suite so that is an option as long as it is available. I plan on using the tub if I feel like it in the moment!
 

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With my last birth what helped the most was my birth ball. Not sure why but any position other than kneeling in front of the ball and sort of draping myself over it was just too much towards the end.

Have a great birth!
 

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Birthing from Within has some pain coping ideas. I prefer pain reduction/elimination and used Hypnobabies.
 

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I really find that tensing up increases the pain. Can you try totally relaxing against it?

Other things to try would be:

ritual/rythm-- find something you do everytime... like sway your hips back and forth while leaning your head onto a countertop

Totally agree with pp-- water is AWESOME

Stay upright and moving as much as you can

Stay OFF your back to lessen discomfort

Forward positions-- hands and knees-- are good

Warm rice socks, cool washcloths

Aromatherapy
 

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Yep, water for sure! It really is amazing how much it helps. Also, I second trying to relax, rather than tensing your muscles. It's hard to relax when your body wants to be tense, but it helps if you can allow your body to just go through the process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the great advice, but I think I should clarify more.

I was pretty much prepared to do all things mentioned here with my first birth and had a bag full of goodies with me. I ended up using none of them (except the hot herbal compress). I did labor in a tub (regular tub, not birth tub) from about 3-7 cm and then I just wanted to get out. I really didn't feel like I wanted to use the birth ball or anything else, I just got really inwardly focused and wanted my husband and midwife to hold on to. I wouldn't even let my poor DH use the bathroom until my midwife finally convinced me that I should!
I was free to move around as much as I wanted and I labored in several different positions. I'm just thinking that if this labor is anything like last time I will need something to hold on to or distract me. I have read (and am re-reading) Birthing From Within because I found it so helpful last time. I am hoping that I will be able to relax more this time through contractions. I am also hoping that the birth tub will be more appealing to me.
 

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I found the birth ball amazing. I sat on it with my legs open and leant on the back of a chair in front of me.. it really helped alot. I did a lot of talking tomyself as well. Don't know about you, but I really closed in on myself during labor. I repeatedly welcomed each contraction and kept telling my self I could do it and all my ancestors had done it and if they could, then so could I.. that really did help me alot.
 

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You mentioned tensing up your hands - how about having your hands massaged by your DH & MW?
I think it was a video with Penny Simkin where she mentioned that when Mamas are tensing their hands & squeezing, a hand massage is a nice relief & nice sensation for them - & helps them not tense up instead.
 

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One technique that my DH and I used was the "breaking the popsicle" pressure on my hands/wrists. During very intense contractions, DH would take the palm of my hand and wrist with both of his hands and squeeze up and apart with his thumbs (think of the motion that you'd use to break a twin pop into two separate popsicles). It was like an extremely firm massage. I needed this pressure HARD during both labors to keep me from tensing my hands and help me stay focused and relaxed; it really helped. It's a great distraction, too, for both mom and partner. Once when my DH had to use the bathroom and didn't make it back in time, my midwife tried to do it for me, and I kept saying "harder, harder!" I think she was afraid of hurting me, but extremely firm pressure felt great. I am sure DH was tired out by it, though!
 

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I know you're looking for ideas of things to hold on to, but...

When I was in labor whenever I felt my body, hands, etc. tensing-- whenever I wanted to grab something and SQUEEEEZE--i would vocalize. loud, long sounds--I guess moaning is the best way to describe it. I just sent it all out with my voice. this kept my body relaxed, instead of tensing up to squeeze something.

Also, I loved it when DH or the midwife rolled a tennis ball around on my back.
 

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Yes I found that sighing - almost a singing type of sigh, with each breath, really helped me. I counted each breath during a contraction and generally knew that after 15, my contraction would be over. That, hot packs on my lower back, and sitting on the birth ball and leaning forward onto a pile of pillows got me through.
 

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I was all about relaxing in a nice deep birth tub. But if you're looking for something to hold on to or pull, what about a tug-of-war rope? I don't know what you call it exactly, but I've heard some women describe pulling on a bar or rope to be really helpful during labor.
There's actually a cool scene in that recent nativity movie, where one of the women is giving birth and they throw a rope over a ceiling rafter and she squats and pulls on the rope.
 
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