There are many benefits to a natural birth for both mother and baby. The baby will be born without the lethargic effect that can occur from some pain relief medications. Natural pain relief methods may result in a better chance of avoiding interventions. Here are some things to take into consideration...
There are many benefits to a natural birth for both mother and baby. The baby will be born without the lethargic effect that can occur from some pain relief medications. Natural pain relief methods may result in a better chance of avoiding interventions. In some cases, pitocin, artificial rupture of the membranes and other interventions become necessary after the woman receives pain medication. If you want to have a natural birth, you will need to be ready with some natural methods for relieving pain.
Natural Pain Relief Methods
Breathing: All prenatal classes that promote natural child birth include information on breathing. This can be patterned breathing, as in the Lamaze method or just relaxed breathing as in the Bradley method. Breathing helps in a few ways. It brings more oxygen to the baby and your body tissues. Breathing can also help the mother relax through the contractions.
Moving: The typical hospital birth where the mother is confined to the bed and continually attached to fetal monitors is not conducive to a natural birth. The freedom to get up, move around and change positions is more effective for both pain and the progress of labor. When the mother is upright, the baby has an easier time moving through the birth canal. When the mother is free to move, she will often naturally find the best position to help bring the baby into the world with less pain.
Heat: Some women find that heat helps relieve the pain of labor. There are a few methods that you can try during labor. A hot water bottle filled with warm, but not very hot water can help relieve the pain. A sock filled with wheat husks or rice can be microwaved for a heat source. This method is especially helpful for relieving the pain of back labor.
Resting: Labor is hard work. It is also long in some cases. Rest is important for conserving your energy for the delivery. In the weeks leading up to your due date, be sure to get extra rest whenever possible. When you begin to feel that you may be going into labor, you may feel excited and start doing things around the house to get ready for the baby. This is not the best idea. Instead, rest during the early portion of labor. This will help you conserve your energy for when you will really need it.
Massage: Some women find that massage is helpful for reducing pain during a natural birth. Massage on the shoulders and lower back can help relieve tension and pain. Firm pressure on the lower back is effective for relieving the pain of back labor.
Hydration: When you are dehydrated, the body doesn’t handle labor as well. The pain can actually feel more intense when you are dehydrated. This is one of the reasons that many hospitals use IVs during labor. An IV can sometimes be avoided if the mother is well hydrated. Water and ice chips can help you stay hydrated during labor.
Water: Many women find that spending some time in the water during labor is helpful for dealing with the pain. The natural buoyancy and relaxing effect of water make it perfect for a natural birth. This method may not be available in all hospitals, so be sure to ask.
Music: Listening to music helps relieve the pain of labor for some women. The type of music is not important and preferences vary. Classical music, nature sounds and other soft music may be helpful. You can bring a selection and try a few different types of music during labor.
If this is your first baby, you may not know which methods will be most helpful until labor has started. The best thing you can do is to come prepared with several different natural pain relief methods. If one isn’t working, you can try another method to reduce the pain.