mental techniques for labor relaxation and breathing techniques for Relaxation in labour relaxation and breathing techniques for labor and delivery Alternative Relaxation Techniques To Relieve Labor Pains
As pregnancy progresses and labor seems to be around the corner, it is natural to experience a certain amount of fear and anxiety in anticipation of giving birth. Delivery is referred to as “labor” because it is hard, grueling, painful work, but it is not work that you have to fear.
Because no two women interpret pain in the same way, now is the time to think about how you might react to your labor pains. Relaxation, preparation, and knowledge are essential aspects of a positive birth experience.
The following relaxation techniques, which incorporate all the senses, will help you and your partner focus your energy to manage pain in order to have as positive and productive a labor as possible.
What we see impacts our emotions and our behaviors. If what you see during labor is a relaxing environment with soft lighting, lamps, or candles (if allowed), you will experience feelings of safety, tranquility, and warmth.
The right environment will also minimize distractions. You can bring some pictures that remind you of a relaxing vacation spot. In addition, you can consider hanging your baby’s first outfit where you can see it in order to have a motivational focal point.
Music has the ability to make you want to dance or it can lull you to sleep. Music therapy can be an effective aid in helping you relax and work through your contractions. You may find sounds like ocean waves, birds chirping or bubbling brooks can help you focus on the waves of your contractions.
Many stores have a CD section where you can listen to music and find just the right kind to help you relax. Many women have enjoyed the music of Yanni or Enya in their birth environment. After you have found music and sounds that you find relaxing, play the music throughout your pregnancy. Smell
Certain smells can have a calming and comforting effect. If you are planning to give birth in a hospital or birth center, you can choose to bring a few things that smell like home, such as a favorite blanket or t-shirt.
Other aromatherapy ideas to explore include purchasing an electric diffuser, incense, or essential oils such as lavender, sage, rose, or jasmine. Use lavender, bergamot or geranium oils to keep the air fresh and create a tranquil, relaxing atmosphere.
Jasmine and clary sage have traditionally been used during labor to help contractions and ease muscular pain. In addition, lavender is an antiseptic and analgesic and frankincense calms anxiety.
To learn more about essential oils during labor: click here
Most health care professionals agree that eating foods rich in complex carbohydrates and Vitamin B is beneficial in the first stage of labor. However, opinions vary about eating during active labor. Most women are not interested in food at this point; however, you might want to have some nutritious snacks available that help provide energy and reduce anxiety and fatigue.
Women vary on the types of touch that they enjoy during labor. While one woman might find gentle pressure irritating, it might be ideal for someone else. You will want to take time to try out different types of massage, acupressure, hydrotherapy and reflexology to find what works for you. The following types of massage are recommended to help the mother relax tense muscles.
Gentle Pressure: As contractions increase in intensity you may notice tightening of the brow, eyes, jaw or hands. Gentle pressure, with or without movement, can help the mother identify and release that tension. For overall tension—give her a strong bear hug and let her release into you.
Kneading: Slow rhythmic kneading is helpful for reducing tension in the shoulders, thighs or buttocks. Grasp the muscle between the heel of your hand and your closed fingers. Squeeze in with gentle pressure, hold, then release and repeat, moving across the muscle. The thumbs may be used with the heel of the hand, but avoid pinching with thumb and fingers.
Stroking: Use firm pressure with the palm of the hand to stroke from shoulder to hip, or thigh to knee. Before one hand leaves the body, the other hand begins a second stroke. Alternate hands, maintaining constant contact with the mother as you slowly move across her back or thigh. Hand over hand movement across the lower abdomen may be done by the mother during a contraction as it is a natural response to rub where it hurts.
Counter pressure: Applying heavy pressure on painful areas of the lower back is effective. Fold your fingers flat against the palm of your hand. Keeping your wrist straight, use the knuckles to press into her pain. Position yourself so your body will lean into your arm to increase the pressure from your fist. The heel of the hand may be used for counter pressure,