Expectant mothers have many non-medical methods of pain control during natural childbirth.
The idea that natural childbirth is a painful process is incredibly stable. Only a few women believe it might be otherwise. Most women count on modern medicine with a large number of painkillers. There are so many medical ways to control pain during childbirth. Unfortunately, things are not so simple. Painkillers use during natural childbirth has many negative consequences for both a mother and her baby. This is why the recommendations of the World Health Organization say that at the time of delivery analgesic and anesthetic drugs should be avoided without strict medical indications. Does it mean that a woman has to suffer severe pain during natural childbirth? Certainly, no!
Endorphins are a non-medical method of pain control during childbirth.
Nature has provided women with birth analgesics. A woman’s body secretes a large number of endorphins during childbirth. Endorphins are the hormones of joy and happiness, which can provide painless natural childbirth. They can help reduce physical discomfort and relax, relieve pain and give a feeling of emotional recovery. However, the mechanism of endorphin production in the body is very fragile. It depends on your general emotional state in the birth process. For example, anxiety or drug use may suppress the production of this natural anesthetic.
Endorphins are, in fact, natural opiates, produced by the neurons in the brain. They reduce pain and lead to a state of euphoria. During childbirth, endorphins help a mother cope with painful contractions. They put a woman into some altered state of consciousness — light trance or drowsiness.
When labor becomes intense and contractions more painful, a woman is literally flooded with endorphins. At this time, she may feel drowsiness and lack of strength. A woman can even fall asleep and have dreams between contractions. Don’t be afraid! Your strength will appear when you need it. Thanks to the endorphins, a woman is able to endure contractions. After the childbirth, she will easily forget the pain.
Relaxation for childbirth without pain
The physiological meaning of any pain is to give your body information about violations of natural processes. Childbirth is not destructive to the body, it is a completely natural process. During natural childbirth, your uterus needs to do a lot of work — it will be contracting for many hours. However, if you think that these contractions cause pain, you are mistaken. The muscles of the uterus have very few pain receptors. Most often, the pain occurs in the muscles around the uterus. It is localized in the lower abdomen or lower back. The real reason of pain is muscle tension that interfere with normal physiological changes during childbirth. You cannot control your contractions, but you can control other muscles by consciously relaxing them. This simple technique can save you from pain.
If you feel fear or anxiety, your muscle tension increases. You receive a vicious circle: fear causes muscle tension, this tension causes pain, the pain causes fear. To get rid of pain, you need to learn to relax. The secret is that the relaxation of your muscles is impossible without relaxation in your mind.
Any relaxation technique starts with the selection of a suitable place and with the creation of a special atmosphere. The same is true about childbirth. Try to choose the place for childbirth in advance. Visit this place, meet with the doctors to have a real idea of where you will give birth and what people will be helping you. Then you will feel calmer and more confident.
Practice the art of relaxation. Put a big pillow in front of you, kneel, as widely as possible, but avoid pain. Move the knees apart, lean your chest on a pillow, putting your hands on your head. Breathe in slowly and deeply, relax while breathing out. Concentrate your attention on relaxing different parts of the body — your face, neck, shoulders, back, abdomen, arms and legs. Mentally say to yourself something like this: «My body is completely relaxed, it is easy and weightless. I am calm and happy.» While childbirth your mind and body will easily get to the desired state if you will practice this non-medical method of relaxation.
To enhance the relaxation effect, you can use soft music, dim lights, the scents of essential oils — lavender, lemon balm or rosemary. If you meet a doctor who will assist you in childbirth in advance, you may arrange to take essential oils or music to your prenatal ward.
Painless natural childbirth. Use imagination and music of the waves
Water is the most effective way of relieving pain during childbirth. I don’t mean water birth, just the fact that water helps to relax during labor, because when a pregnant woman is in water, she almost doesn’t feel her body, as water supports her bones and muscles, and frees up energy for the uterus.
If you spend the first period of labor at home, you can use water as painkiller. Take a warm shower. Taking a shower or a bath is like full body massage. It would take a thousand fingers to click on all the receptors on the surface of your body that are stimulated while taking a shower. In some hospitals, you are allowed to take a shower, so use this chance to relieve stress.
In general, the main task in childbirth is «to open». This means not only to open the uterus, but also to open your state of mind. Use your imagination. Imagine that you open yourself like a flower bud and your baby appears. Say to yourself that childbirth is nice and easy. Cultivate a positive attitude towards childbirth, for example, by means of this attitude: «I know my body will easily and without pain give birth to my baby.»
Remember that your baby experiences a stress that is much stronger than yours. If at some point you feel hopelessness and despair, then your baby has the same feelings, but they are much stronger. Try to encourage your baby. Don’t consider your baby the source of your pain. Imagine your baby is strong and healthy. Talk to him, ask him to work hard to be born sooner. Sometimes this simple non-medical method of pain control during natural childbirth eases the discomfort and gives new strength to continue the labor.
If you are ready to use your fantasy, try the exercise «Pack your pain». Imagine that your pain is a big ball of cotton wool. Roll it into a smaller ball, wrap it in paper, tie it to a balloon and imagine how the pain flies far away from you.
Correct position for pain control in labor
WHO recommendations are that every woman should be free to decide on her position during labor. Well-chosen position removes much pain.
Most women prefer walking, standing or squatting position during labor. Some lean back against the headboard, table or windowsill. You can shake your hips a little, as if dancing. This helps to relax the perineum, relieves discomfort, helps to open the cervix. Perhaps, the ideal position for you will be on all fours or sitting on a chair with your legs widely moved apart.
If you are tired and decide to lie down, the best position is lying on your side with pillows under the chest and between your legs.
Change your attitude to pain
Try to change your attitude to birth pains. Don’t consider pain an inevitable challenge in labor. Pain is your good adviser. During childbirth, pain tells you when you need to relax, to change your position for finding the most comfortable pose for your baby’s passage through the birth canal.
In order to respond to pain signals and be able to cope with them, you need knowledge about the process of birth. Attending special classes for pregnant women and their husbands is the most effective way of training. You will prepare for the upcoming physical and psychological stress, will learn the non-medical methods of relaxation and pain relief during natural childbirth. You’ll believe in the possibility of giving birth without pain.