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Oh Baby! Please share your favourite labour coping techniques with me!

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Although it hasn't been that long since the last time :o it's been long enough that I can't really recall how I got through it. :rolleyes:


Anyone have some great techniques that you want to share with me?? Pretty please??!!!


No horror stories, please! :eek: ha ha. Can't handle that right now.

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I've had the last four naturally, two of them at home, and what has helped the most is freedom. If I can move the way I need to, not worry about how funny I must look (as if one really cares in the midst of hard labor), and not have to be hooked up to anything or play by anyone else's rules, then I can usually cope well for the majority of the time. Of course, there is always that last thought of "I can't do this anymore!", but that's about the time baby is ready to be pushed through.


Prayer and Scripture always help tremendously, too, if you are so inclined.





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If you have access to a birth tub, being in the hot water is a BIG help with labor pain. The most natural pain relief you can get. Doesn't take it all away, but it helps a lot. Freedom of movement, definitely take a Bradley class (it helped with my first couple births), a birth ball to sit on, lean on rock on, etc. I would also recommend a labor doula to be with you. When I had one, my births went smoothly. When I didnt...I ended up at the hospital b/c I couldn't handle it. My dh is wonderful, but another woman there who has btdt and is trained to help me cope...that's a different story. My midwife is AWESOME, but she is there for the baby and the birth...not pain coping techniques. Oh, if it gets too bad...my midwife packs an herbal tincture called Rescue Remedy. Order from any health food store or online. My dh said when I took that, I immediately calmed down...like magic.

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Although hot water does feel great during labor, I'd caution you to make sure you are 5-7 cm before getting in the water as it can slow down labor if you get in too early.


Doing a stomp walk can feel really good when ramping up into transition labor. Also, vocalizing during contractions can help you get through tough ones - like an open-mouthed humming sound. And I agree wholeheartedly with freedom of movement!

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I think everyone has their own special way of dealing with labor pain. I will say that being stuck in a BED in a hospital...can't be good for anyone, LOL!


I liked being able to move around....and getting into positions that helped (mine was on all fours, LOL).


I waited to the last minute to get to the hospital....for that very reason.


I think if you are at home....you will find 'your' special way to cope!


Good luck!!!!!



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Although it hasn't been that long since the last time it's been long enough that I can't really recall how I got through it.


Anyone have some great techniques that you want to share with me?? Pretty please??!!!


Really, Bradley's philosophy helped me so much. It gave me the means to understand what's going on and why. Everything that happens in labor happens for a purpose, and if we can understand that and work with it (or at least not get in the way, *grin*) it's much easier to cope with. Relax, let your body do the work. Concentrate not on tensing up or fighting the contractions. Doing that (I actually talk to myself :o Hate to admit that, but it helps. I tell myself to realx and open up, let this baby come on out - I focus on the fact that this is work and it's good work) Anyway, doing that all helps w/ the first bit of labor, getting to about 7cm or so.


Once I get past 7cm, I am In. The. Tub, Baby!! Wild horses can't get me out of that warm, soothing water. (Well, a wild bladder can chase me out for a minute or two. *grin* But other than that, no.) I do love soaking in the water. For me, it's better than any drug I've ever been given. We watch movies, eat snacks, tell stories. I like to have a variety of music on hand - tribal drums are kind of fun, some 80's crap rock, favorite instrumental pieces with varying rhythms. Just something to attract my attention when what I really want to do is get up, announce that I am simply not doing this right now, and walk away for a while. :D


I remember once telling our midwife, "I just don't want to push anymore." She shocked me when she said, "Well, you don't have to. This baby will come, whether you push or not. Pushing just helps. So if you want to sit back and ride out a contraction or two, go ahead." Really?!?!? (My voice actually squeaked. LOL!) Having "permission" not to feel like I was at the top of my game seemed to bolster my second wind and gave me something else to focus on.


In the more intense phases of labor, there near the end, it helps me so very much to be able to just drape myself on DH and let him hold me or let me dangle or whatever I need at the moment to relax my muscles and not fight the contractions. He's a trooper about it, and has come to know that I'm probably going to whine a bit in the last five minutes, but that's okay b/c The End Is Near. :cool: He's cool that way. If I had to pick just one thing (other than the tub, which is SO not negotiable for me), I'd say one fantastic support person with whom you can communicate w/ minimal effort, someone who understands you and someone you trust wholeheartedly would be one of the best coping tools to have on hand during labor.


Congrats! You can do it!


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Just some background... I've had 4 kiddos, all unmedicated.


#1 Took Bradley classes

Unmed. vag. birth. Baby was induced with pit at 38wks, huge head and 9lb9oz after 6 hrs of labor.

#2 Took Hypno-birthing classes

Unmed. vag. birth. Baby was born in about 45 min! 8lb even.

#3 Took nothing, but relied on my hypnobirthing techniques

Unmed. vag. birth. 8lb 8oz baby, spontaneous labor sped up by Dr. breaking my water - 40+wks, about 5hrs of labor.

#4 Took Hypnobabies home study program

Unmed. vag. birth. 8lb13oz baby, induced with pit at 40+wks. From pit to birth was about 4.5hrs. (Only about 2hrs of "real" labor though)


(FWIW, my inductions were due to problems with GDM. They don't let diabetic women go past their due dates, typically.)


These techniques all combined to work for me in different ways. The biggest deal, i would say, is that it required DAILY practice and thought for several months ahead. I think I liked the Hypnobabies program the best, honestly. It was simple and easy, relaxing and effective. But it may have been all of those things to me b/c of my previous experience combining in with it.


Anyway, whatever you choose, practice daily and you'll be fine.


GL and hope that helps! - Stacey in MA

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I guess I am mostly agreeing with what others have said here, but this is what helped me have 4, 9lb baby natural births.


BRADLEY, BRADLEY,BRADLEY Nothing will prepare you like Bradley. If there is such a thing as truly being prepared for labor.


Practice relaxing your whole body in a comfortable position daily for about 15min. Then it will come naturally during labor.


Know what is happening with your body during labor. How the muscles move. It really helped me to know where those sensations were coming from.


Stay at home as long as possible. Can't emphasis this enough either. You will lose some amount of freedom when you go to the hospital or birthing center.


Water-Shower or Bath


Move and walk while you can to keep progressing.


Low deep open throat moans that bring you up over the contraction.


Deep rhythmic breathing


A midwife that you can trust and a good birth plan.


Lastly and most important take a Bradley class they will cover all this and more in depth.:)

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I did take Bradley classes and read the book. I personally didn't find their technique overly useful for my last birth & my midwives agreed with my finding. Also, weirdly enough, to be truthful, I HATED being in the water. Just hated it! Don't know why.


This will be my first birth w/o midwife and I'm rather nervous b/c I know what being in a hospital is going to mean! For various reasons I will have to be in the hospital and earlier than later :(


Thank you all for the well wishes and the reminders. I've forgotten so much! I will go back and give the Bradley method another go. Maybe it'll be better for me this time!

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The more you practice relaxation the better off you will be. Here's one of the things I used to have my students do...get some clip clothespins and use them to simulate contractions. Put them on your ears (or someplace uncomfortable) for a minute-minute and a half and practice slow, deep breathing, consciously relaxing. It sounds nuts, but it does help.


I never had access to a tub, but I think that would be wonderful. What helped me most was strangling my dh's arm, closing my eyes and retreating into myself. If I blocked out the external, I could concentrate on breathing and relaxing. (And I managed to have unmedicated births for my 9lber and my last sunny-side up baby who was small but very tough to get out!)


I also found it helpful to have other women with me if for no other reason than to hold my hand and say "there, there, you're doing fine."

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Aside from being at home...

My ante-natal teacher gave me a wonderful sheet of good positions for pre-labour and labour. These helped you get the baby in a good position to 'press the right buttons' for the natural pain-relief to kick in and most efficient contractions.

My husband was an amazing masseur all through the labour. We practised this lots beforehand. He rubbed my back very low down.

Breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth (concentrating on the out breaths).

With all this I had the easiest possible labour.

All the best,


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It really helped having something outside of my labor pains to focus on.


Yes! That is a great point! I watched a funny movie and baked a chocolate birthday cake from scratch with my midwife during the early parts of labor. If you haven't read Birthing From Within, the author's mantra was "I will only labor as long as it takes to make, bake, cool, and frost a chocolate cake." Of course, someone else may have to do the frosting... :D

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Well, I have labored at home as long as I could before heading to the hospital. With my last bundle, I walked everywhere and just took a lot of deep breaths and concentrated on the contractions not letting them bother me. I also cooked. Weird I know, but it kept me busy. Everytime I would arrive at the hospital at least 7 cm. They would never believe me when I would get there that I was that far along because I was too calm. An hour later I would have a baby in my arms. Now, we live across the street from the hospital so I am really going to take my time getting there, but hopefully it will be one day this week. :o)

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Staying upright. Movement. Walking. Rocking. Loved the water (had 2 waterbirths, planning a third). Yes, as someone mentioned, don't go in too early it *can* cause labor to slow..it's so relaxing. But, in that case...simply get out and walk around again to fire things back up ;) Water calls me, that's all there is to it.


Focusing inward and "upward". I pray, looking to Him for help, strength and guidance. Also, talking to the baby.."ok baby, let's go, time to go, let's do this"

Basically I just listen to my body. I let it do its thing. Staying as relaxed and focused on that as I can. :)

With the first two I had to have hub 'right there' through it all. With #3 I wanted him 'near' but he wasn't to touch w/o permission :p #4 was pretty much the same and with #5 .. I pretty well took off on my own.

So, yeah, as someone mentioned previously, about a support person...good to have one *handy* at least. Then decide from there how much, when and where you want them involved.

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