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Written by Paula Jones Last updated: September 12, 2007
Improve your chances of having a natural and problem‐free birth with these important tips, which include massage therapy, water birth and positions during labour…
Improve your chances of having a natural and problem‐free birth…
Have your hospital bag packed from the 36th week onwards and keep it near the door, ready to go. Do a practice run from your home to the hospital to see how long it takes, taking into consideration busy times such as school runs and rush hours.
There is no need to panic at the first twinge or sign of waters breaking. Write down how far apart the contractions are and how long each one is lasting. Discuss before hand with your doctor what is the point at which you should leave for the hospital (usually when they’re about 5 minutes apart and lasting for 45 seconds). Rushing too early to the hospital will just mean even longer hours spent in the labour room rather than in the comfort of your home.
Get your partner to massage using a firm touch as this can help alleviate pain. Ask an aromatherapist to recommend essential oils that are safe for use during labour. Alternatively, simply use almond oil or baby oil.
Many women find that they are better able to deal with the pain by pacing around rather than lying down, as this gives them a greater sense of being in control. Movement also helps to relax the muscles and can prevent you from feeling too tense.
Leaning over a birthing ball can help with coping with contractions. Sitting on the ball and moving from side to side or in circles can help to reduce the pain. Other positions include standing up, kneeling or squatting. A squatting position will be easier to maintain if you’ve prepared your muscles by attending pregnancy yoga classes.
Many women find giving birth is much easier in a birthing pool, which helps to relieve the pain of contraction. You will need to have discussed and arranged for this in advance.
Use a TENS machine, which sends electrical pulses that prevent pain signals from your contractions from reaching your brain. These are sent along wires to pads stuck on your back and you can control the dial for intensity. There are no known side effects, however you have to remember that it can’t be used in water.