How to Manage Pain During Childbirth
Amid the excitement of welcoming your new baby into the world, you are probably experiencing some apprehension about the pain you are expecting. This is perfectly normal and no reason to feel embarrassed or ashamed. Whether you plan to go drug-free, have pain-relief medication or play it by ear, don’t expect your birth to be pain-free. Having some ideas on how you plan to manage your pain can give you confidence and help ease your mind as you go through labor and delivery.
6 Steps to Manage Pain During Childbirth
1. Register for childbirth classes.
Whether you choose Lamaze, Bradley or basic classes taught at your hospital or birthing center, childbirth classes give you confidence in your ability to make it through the labor process. You’ll learn pain management techniques, as well as pharmaceutical options for dealing with pain.
2. Exercise throughout your pregnancy.
Unless your health prohibits it, a regular exercise program can help strengthen your muscles and prepare your body for labor.
3. Understand that pain is part of the labor process.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the pain of contractions, but remember that pain doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you or your baby. Knowing that discomfort is normal, even with medication, can help ease some of the fear and tension that can make labor pains worse.
4. Stay hydrated.
Drink water during early labor, before you head to the hospital. Once you are in the hospital, you’ll have to abide by its policy on whether you can keep drinking or are limited to ice chips. Dehydration can increase the pain of childbirth.
5. Move into different positions.
Sitting, squatting and getting into an all-fours position can all ease some of the pain of childbirth. Avoid laying flat on your back, which can make pain worse.
6. Use physical methods of pain relief, such as hot or cold compresses or counterpressure.
Where your partner presses against a painful area, such as your back. Experiment to find out what methods work best for you.
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