Childbirth is usually the most joyful, beautiful and yet, often the most painful moment in a mother’s life. This brief guide will offer some tips that can make giving birth a little easier. While this is not a substitute for medical advice, these tried and tested methods are sure to make normal, natural delivery less painful.
1. Eat the right food
The best way to give birth without pain is to eat ‘real’ food. According to Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, women who eat real food devoid of chemicals, preservatives and additives are more likely to give birth joyfully, naturally and painlessly not to mention the positive effects on the baby. According to her, the best food for normal delivery is as follows:
- Food devoid of chemicals, additives, dyes, colors or artificial sweeteners.
- Ina May recommends that all women learn to read labels.
- She also asks to ‘lay off carbonated beverages until delivery’.
- Get at least 50-75 grams of proteins per day.
- Dark leafy green vegetables are the best for pregnant women. Eat kale, spinach, collards and yellow vegetables like carrots, yams and sweet potatoes.
- Dried nuts, seeds, legumes, dairy, peas and beans are also good food for normal, painless delivery and healthy baby.
2. Choose the right birth environment
If you are leaning towards natural childbirth but also want to keep your options open, then choose a birth environment that offers non-medical or alternative forms of pain management but also have accessibility to medical pain relief. Likewise, if you prefer to delay the use of epidural or pain medicine, then avoid a busy hospital that is known to have a high percentage of epidural usage. Talk to your doctor about recommendations for the right midwife/obstetrician for you.
3. Take Lamaze classes
Your pre-natal education is very important when it comes to make normal delivery less painful. This is where Lamaze classes can help. Lamaze is a method of childbirth preparation that has been the mainstay of labor pain management in American hospitals. It is based on the philosophy that every child birth can be happy, painless and natural. The method teaches women a series of breathing and relaxation techniques along with other coping strategies like labor support, massage therapy and hydrotherapy to manage pain and stress of childbirth. Lamaze focuses on partner involvement in these classes; so you and your partner/spouse can take these classes together.
Find a Lamaze class near you.
4. Practice breathing techniques
Even if you choose not to enroll for Lamaze classes, there are many useful breathing technique videos which are free of cost and can teach you the proper way to breathe during labor. These techniques can de-stress you and also take your mind off the pain.
Related content: Easy Ways to Induce Labor
5. Use hypnotherapy
One of the best tips for easy normal delivery is the use of Hypnotherapy. Try the video here. You can even download the video and listen to it in the hospital, once your water breaks. The gentle voice relaxes and allows you to sleep between contractions and can be very beneficial in lessening the pain.
6. Use Binaural beats meditation
Binaural beats meditation involves the use of music at certain frequencies which stimulate the pineal gland, release endorphins and give immediate pain relief to a person in pain. This can help a woman in labor relax and have a easier delivery. The meditations often contain subliminal messages which can relax and let you take your mind off the pain . Many binaural beat meditations made specifically for pregnancy and delivery contain affirmations such as ‘birthing is beautiful and natural process’, ‘my body is strong and capable of anything’ etc. These messages strengthen your mind and spirit and help you have greater confidence in yourself as you experience labor contractions.
7. Exercise for easy labor and painless delivery
There are many ways to give birth faster and with greater ease. Exercise is an important part of this process. Pelvic floor contraction exercises or Kegel exercise reduce swelling and strengthens the pelvis prior to birth. Always talk to your obstetrician prior to doing these exercises.
- Deep squat breaths– Take a deep squat pose and keep your legs wide apart. Keep your hands folded in front of your chest. Make sure your elbows rest on the respective knees. Palms can touch each other in ‘namaste’. In this pose, take 5 deep breaths. Keep eyes closed and focus the energy and attention on your pelvis.
- Squats– Do this starting from 7th month (make sure your doctor allows it) all the way until delivery. Stand with les shoulder width apart. Push your lower end back, keeping your abdominal end tight and in as you lower your body. Bring hands in front of the chest shoulder width apart as you lower your body. Be extremely cautious that your knees do not pass your toes. Repeat this squat exercise for at least 20 times.
- Sitting exercise for normal delivery– Sit in a relaxed position with back as erect as possible. Bend your legs at the knees and keep toes touching each other completely. Lean backwards and place your palms on the ground facing the side. Focus your attention and energy on the pelvis. Breathe in and out normally. You can also bend forward but not too much owing to the protruding stomach. Go back and return to starting position with back as erect as possible.
8. Avoid weight gain during pregnancy
Many women erroneously ‘eat for two’ and gain a lot of weight during pregnancy. This is not the best way to give birth without pain. So eat healthy and preferably focus on small frequent meals rich in nutrition rather than consuming empty calories. Do talk to your doctor about the right exercises to prevent weight gain. As long as you have not been advised bed rest, keep moving. The more active you are, the easier it will be for you to avoid excess weight gain. You can go for brisk walks, do yoga and also do the exercise for easy labor and painless delivery described above.