Techniques to Facilitate Labor
As the delivery date approaches, some pregnant women try to implement tips and recommendations to facilitate labor.
Dividing the process into three stages (before, during and after the contractions) will allow you to apply specific techniques for each phase.
However, calculating how long labor could last is difficult to determine, as every woman is unique.
Additional factors that will affect the duration of labor include the size and position of the baby in addition to the intensity and frequency of contractions.
Active labor is considered the active phase of childbirth, although hours of contractions could occur before this phase is completed. Each pregnancy has its nuances, however.
Below are a set of techniques and recommendations to help facilitate labor that apply to normal deliveries:
Techniques before labor
There are some recommendations for a faster and less painful delivery. Try to do some physical activity depending on the evolution of your pregnancy.
Also make sure to have a balanced diet, abundant hydration (at least 8 glasses of water) and sleep at least 8 hours a day.
Courtesy of Teresa Rodríguez
- Physical activity: Exercise in pregnant women usually brings short, non-traumatic births as a benefit. This is generated by the constant stimulation of the cervix. Some exercises such as: Pilates, kegel, yoga, swimming, walking or having sexual activity facilitate the progress of labor.
- Balanced diet: Eating well can prevent added complications in labor. You should commit to consuming fruits and vegetables (make sure they are ripe and wash them well). Prepare lean meats, preferably grilled, and drink at least 1 liter of water daily to stay hydrated.
- Rest: Sleeping for at least 8 hours a day is ideal because it favors the baby’s development and prevents sudden changes in mood.
- Sleeping naturally reduces anxiety and helps to release growth hormones. It helps your body to be prepared for the arrival of your sweet baby.
Techniques during contractions to facilitate labor
Applying the techniques mentioned below will facilitate and reduce labor time:
- Listening to music, or watching a movie or video so that the hours of labor pass faster and in an entertaining way.
- Taking a warm shower relaxes tense muscles, relieves the discomfort caused by contractions, and helps you to facilitate delivery.
- Stretching can relieve nerves and cravings.
- Stimulating the nipples can cause the secretion of the hormone oxytocin, which causes contractions in the uterus.
- Slow breathing helps in the relaxation process. This will allow you to relax from the intense contractions.
- A massage, in addition to relaxing, releases endorphins.
- Choosing the right companion, whether your partner or a relative, has been shown to provide additional support and incredibly fast childbirth.
Courtesy of David Martín
It is recommended that every pregnant woman has the support of her partner and closest family members during the process of labor and delivery. The assistance of your doctor along with the people that you choose will make the process more bearable and the reception of the baby more pleasant.
Techniques after contractions
Once labor begins, balance the hips and lean forward. This can ease or push the baby firmly outward to facilitate labor. Doing this activity combined with controlled breathing facilitates the arrival of the baby.
Finally, being aware of what is happening will calm your anxiety. Do not hesitate to ask the doctor to explain what happens during the process.