Labour…the clue is in the name! I have been there myself twice and supported lots of women through their journey and I can safely say, it’s not easy.
But you’ve probably guessed that already. We have all seen One Born Every Minute and the actual blood, sweat and tears involved in getting a baby out. What you might not know, is that there are plenty of pain relief options open to you during your labour. Thank God.
I would love to say that you are the boss and the decision is yours but in reality it will be your baby who decides how things are going to unfold. Things sometimes don’t go to plan so my advice is to keep an open mind. Be aware of the options and talk to your midwife/doctor about your preferences. They want you to have the best experience possible so will do their upmost to stick to any plans you may have. The more you’re familiar and informed with the pain relief options available the more prepared and confident you will feel during labour.
When things start to stir in the early stages, it usually feels like period pain, bothersome yes, but not usually anything that would stop you going about your business. So that’s what to do! Stay active and move around. Remember to eat and drink and if you’re tired rest….you will need that energy later!
As thing progress, a nice warm bath, massage, a TENS machine and some Paracetamol are really helpful and will help you to relax at home while you wait for labour to establish, i.e., strong and regular contraction. Then it’s time to grab that oh so carefully packed bag and make your way to the hospital.
Once you’re there, there are lots of options for you. All those above mentioned aids are still on offer and very effective but if you need something more, then Pethidine, Entonox (laughing gas), and the Epidural are the main choices. Hypnobirthing is another amazing option and definitely worth considering if you are hoping to go the drug free route.
Nobody knows how they will cope on the day. My first labour, I used Entnox and found it surprisingly manageable so on baba number two, I was quietly confident that I would sneeze this one out. This was not the case, it was fast and intense and I would have sold my granny for an epidural.
So whether you opt for no pain relief or the full works, birthing a baby makes you superwoman and remember, birth should be your greatest achievement not your greatest fear.
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