It’s Labor Day in the US, a day to celebrate the worker, but if you are pregnant and set to deliver your baby soon, you could use this day off to start exploring tips to make your delivery day smoother. For me, I, like Jessica Alba after me, relied on Hypnobirthing techniques to get me through and still today, three kids later with no plans for more, I STILL use those techniques I learned whenever I have to encounter a painful situation (getting a shot, getting through reps while doing Pilates or weightlifting, when suffering through a bad headache). Here are 7 other tips and tricks from BabyCenter to consider using to manage through labor pains:
1. Pack in the protein: If you were about to run a long marathon, would you eat only ice chips? No. You need to eat a protein-rich meal. It will give you the stamina needed for labor (plus many hospitals won’t let you eat once you check in anyway). Make a plan to either keep something in the fridge/freezer/cupboard or know where you can go to get your marathon meal.
2. Don’t fight gravity: Remain upright as long as possible. Walk around or sit up, but don’t lie on your back. (Yes, that’s really me in the pic, before I found out I should be walking around.)
3. Hydrate thyself: Pack (and use) a water bottle. If you properly hydrate yourself during labor, you’ll increase your energy output by as much as 30%. Also, if you can keep drinking water, you may not need an IV that will really restrict your mobility. That’s when the ice chips and clear liquids can also help.
4. Breathe using your abdomen: Normal abdominal breathing increases relaxation, which you’re really going to need. Chest and patterned breathing may fool your body into stress mode, and you don’t want that.
5. Take a virtual chill pill: You’ve got to stay relaxed. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. If music helps, bring a preloaded playlist on your iPod, locate a focal point in the room and breathe. Banish as much negative energy as possible. While it’s not easy, stay as relaxed as you can through contractions – it will let your body do what it’s supposed to do.
6. Move around during labor: There are a variety of positions for labor. Try to change positions so you’re not in one place for too long. Speak to the nurse about how you can be monitored and still move around. Bring slippers or as for those lovely grippy hospital socks so you can walk the halls.
7. Make sure you have support and loving encouragement: Having your husband partner or trained birth partner can make a big difference. That support will do more for you than any amount of medication!