So you want a drug-free, pain-free birth?
If you fall pregnant, after the initial wave of emotions, your next thought might go to the actual labour. Here at the Baby & Toddler Awards, we’ve spoken to a group of new mums for their top tips on how they managed their labour, without the drugs.
1. Research! We found that the mums’ with a good idea of what to expect reported the most comfortable experiences. From reading books, chatting to others to watching YouTube videos, those who knew what to expect and were aware of their options had the more positive experiences.
2. Breathing – sounds simple but when in the midst of labour, thinking about your breathing might not be at the forefront of your mind. The mums who had practiced their breathing and/or used birthing apps to help control their breathing gave positive reviews. We were a big fan of an app called ‘Freya’ from the Positive Birth Company which helped with counting your breaths with each surge/contraction.
3. Birthing Pool / Warm Bath – warm water helps to relax the muscles as well as takes the weight so you can go into certain comfortable birthing positions more easily. Some mothers having Birthing Centre/Delivery Suite births also found that in the early stages of labour, whilst at home, a warm bath also helped them manage discomfort before going into the hospital.
4. Gas and air – offered in the hospitals and by homebirth midwives, this mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide gas comes via a mask or mouthpiece that you can hold. The technique here is to draw in long deep breaths in and out at the beginning of a contraction. The mothers who didn’t feel the benefit of gas reported that they were taking short sharp breaths and were not timing it with contractions.
5. TENS machine – all the women asked who used the TENS machine found it had made a noticeable impact on the earlier stages of birth. Standing for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, the TENS machines involve sticking some pads onto your back and pressing the buttons and controlling the intensity of the shocks as they gradually increase. These machines can be hired from a hospital, bought online or in Boots or you can borrow a friend’s – if this is the case we recommend buying new pads, which cost around £6.
6. Positive Mindset/Hypnobirthing – women have given birth for thousands of years and will continue to do so. Their bodies were made to do this! Reading/Watching hypnobirthing or attending classes can really help prepare you mentally, taking you away from it being a medical procedure, to being something perfectly natural.
At the end of the day, no matter what kind of birth you have, you soon forget about it because you have a much greater challenge ahead of you…raising your child! However, if you have tips on how you managed pain during your labour, we’d love to hear in the comments section below!
Keep an eye out for the winners of our baby awards to see our best picks for baby skincare and mummy skincare before and after the birth too.
Read blogs from our friendly team who are parents too!
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