Active Moms

Can women prepare for labour like preparing for Exams

09th Jul 2011

Childbirth is  a wonderful moment in the lives of every woman. The joy of getting a new life into the world is incomparable. Most women however are unclear about the process of birth. They do not know how their body is well designed to give birth. As a result there is lot of fear associated with childbirth. Added to this is the unrealistic, cloudy image of childbirth portrayed in films and novels as well as labor stories narrated by friends and relatives which make matters worse. This way most women enter labor with the fear of unknown, in unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people and a lonely time full of surprises. She naturally gets very stiff and tense overcome by a feeling of helplessness.

Preparation for child birth is not a new concept. In the earlier days when childbirth happened in the comfort of the homes the other young girls in the family got to know about labor and birth even before marriage. Elders in the family were close to  young women in labor offering remedies to discomforts during labor and the proximity of them gave a sense of being cared for. Laboring women were comforted by experienced moms and grand moms who would reassure them, stroke their foreheads or apply hot packs to their aching backs. As child birth shifted to hospitals for better mother and child protection from fatal complications, such caring, comforting measures also gradually faded away.

Today most of the child birth is devoid of the soothing and comforting measures of a close family member. In the recent years the medical fraternity was regenerated this concept and the result is the growing number of birthing boutiques allover India. They have 5 star facilities where giving birth happens in utmost peace and luxury. Such a facility should not be restricted to the creamy layer of the society, afterall, all laboring women need to be cared for with dignity, love and affection. Here are some guidelines to help you  prepare for a natural satisfying birth experience

Preparing for  labor:

Know what happens in labor:

Similar to studying for exams it is essential to gain knowledge about the process of birth. You could enroll yourself in local childbirth preparation classes for that purpose. In the class you get to know all about giving birth and also learn coping skills that you and your partner could do to get maximum comfort during labor. You will be pleasantly surprised to know that there are load of simple and effective painrelief measures such as changing positions, massage,and breathing  which you could do yourself with the help of your partner to soothe , relax  and decrease the time of labor. Usually these classes are to be attended with your labor partner –mostly your husband or if he is out of India may be your mom or your friend would be of help

Choose the right person who will offer you support at the time of labor:

The presence of a labor partner will be of immense help to you during labor; in many western countries there are trained doulas to comfort the laboring woman   and offer non invasive pain relief .Your labor partner should be calm, patient  and caring for you. Most women prefer their husbands to be their labor partners. It is also a good idea to prepare one more family member so that one person or the other is available to be with you during labor. It is essential that you practice all the comfort measures with your labor partner starting from 32 weeks. This gives more time for practice and identify positions which give maximum comfort

Find a comfortable environment for your birth:

At least after 32-33 weeks you should discuss with  your doctor about the birth plan. If possible make a visit to the labor room, and the the recovery room  so you get be familiar with the set up. You should also discuss with your doctor whether you will be encouraged to walk around  or sit up in labor and also the choices of  position for giving birth.Many hospitals now have birthing balls,birthing chairs etc,some bigger hospitals also offer birthing in the warmth of pool.Birthing under water provides immense relaxation to the muscles of the pelvis and birth canal area..

Talk to someone you trust about any  fears about your birth

Many women hold fears they do not talk about-of pain,of needles,of medicines,of losing control and more.Being able to talk about such fears with a knowledebal trusted person brings a sense of relief and may also help you find practical ways to deal with these fears

Childbirth need not be a dreadful experience any longer. Well equipped Hospitals that can handle any emergencies during childbirth and experienced Obstetricians during childbirth have already lessened the tension of expectant couples. Basic knowledge of the process of labor and understanding of what to expect during childbirth is what is required in the present scenario to ease the stress of labor. Changing positions, remaining upright,rocking etc are some simple   techniques you could do to decrease the labor time. Adding the comforting supportive touch of the husband and  reassurance of close family members will definitely make childbirth a rewarding experience to remember and cherish for ever.

Tips for a satisfying childbirth experience

  • Make a visit to the labor room to familiarize with the surrounding. A picture on the wall, or a window through which you can see the trees can have a calming effect
  • Register for prenatal class that would prepare you and your partner
  • During labor ease the situation with  your sense of humor
  • Listen to music or play scrabble or such board games with your partner to distract your attention from discomfort
  • Try to be upright throughout labor, you can manage the discomfort better 
  • Research shows that upright posture decreases labor time by 2 hours



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