Baby Settler Blog

Labor Pain….How do I deal?
Hillary Sadler | July 27, 2020
Labor pain is…pain like none other. Although, if you’ve had intense period cramping before..that’s what early labor feels like. But..it get’s real…real fast! I wanted share some personal tips for dealing with labor pain…
First, let me say…I personally chose to have unmedicated births with my last 2 baby’s. Why you ask?
Well, to be honest…I had a TERRIBLE experience with an epidural with my first child. Like bad, really bad! BUT….I was 7 centimeters dilated and in the transition phase when I was getting my epidural placed…and my husband says I was a terrible patient…and I probably was. So, it was likely my own fault..but still, it was a terrible experience. And second time around, I decided I was more scared of the epidural than the birth pain!
What did I do to prepare for a “natural” birth? MENTAL & SPIRITUAL PREP! And I read all of Ina May Gaskins books. I was almost convinced to track her down and deliver in her living room…just kidding! But still, seriously went into labor feeling like a Bad ASS Women who was MADE TO DELIVER BABIES! I felt empowered, educated, and didn’t allow myself to think to far past the next contraction. Her books talk about riding each contraction like a wave. She called them “a rush”. And that’s what they honestly feel like…a rush. And you have to be in control of your mind! If you start letting fear in, your pain threshold goes WAY down.
For me, being in Labor and delivering my babies is when I’ve felt the closest to God. It’s a constant prayer during labor and faith that God made my body to be able to deliver my baby. Now, I’m not saying God made my body to have unmedicated, natural vaginal delivers…. I count my uncomplicated deliveries as blessings and I would have been open to any interventions required to keep myself and my baby safe. I won’t go into all the details about that here (that’s a blog for another day!) …but hospital’s, birth centers, midwives, obstetricians…they are truly God sent! I’m only sharing this to saychildbirth-for me-is spiritual.
Walking, hip swaying, the birthing ball, hands and knees position.. I did all these things! I think the key to laboring without medications is to keep moving your body. Staying calm and breathing through your contractions to keep your body relaxed. If you tense up during a contraction… it works against you. Don’t let your mind take you past where you are in the labor process… take each contraction one by one…
Now, let me put my labor nurse hat on for a minute… these are some tips I’d give you as your labor nurse.
1. Wait to get to the hospital until your really in active labor. Your contractions are taking your breath away…you can’t talk through them. You have more intense vaginal pressure with each contraction
2. Don’t elect for many vaginal exams. Try to keep them to a minimum. It can be discouraging to hear your only 5 centimeters…. BUT…if your considering getting your epidural, DO have your nurse check you before you get it. Maybe your almost at the finish line!!
3. Don’t elect to have your water broken artificially...Now, I actually DID have this…but things got REALLY INTENSE…really fast…and I’ve seen more women have successful unmedicated deliveries when they’ve had a spontaneous rupture of membranes…
4. Make a Labor music playlist…this is SO helpful! Play it before you get to delivery and practice being relaxed and deep breathing with these tunes
Deciding to have an unmedicated delivery is such a personal choice…I would never try to talk someone into it. It really has to be a choice you make…and you have to go into 1000%…if you go into thinking about your exit strategy…your not going to do it. You won’t. I can guarantee it.
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