When it gets down to the wire, coping methods play a large role in helping birthing mothers hang in there while character takes its course. Understanding what’s happening during each stage of labor can allow the birth ally to appreciate and work with the birthing mother as she goes by this powerful experience.
Specific coping skills focus on reducing tension and anxiety. Popular relaxation techniques include massage, visualization, natural breathing, and meditation. Special emphasis should be given to the role of the birth ally as they help reassure and calm the birthing mother in ways that will help make her as comfortable as possible.
Some ways to cope with pain whether you have had surgery, are in chronic pain or during labor and delivery:
- Changing Position – Most of us have rolled in bed to find a more comfortable position to sleep. This same idea is great for helping with pain.
- Rice Sock (cold & heat) – Alternating between cold and hot compresses can make all the difference in the world. Rice socks are easy to make.
- Birth Ball – The birthing ball is also very comfortable for a mother who is experiencing a lot of pre-labor, and is tired of walking and may need a break from the other labor stimulation techniques.
- Yoga – By using yoga stretches the birthing mother can help herself to cultivate the muscles for birth, this can naturally make birth easier for her in the pain coping long run. The muscles are prepared by yoga to do their job the best in labor.
- Meditation – Can help the birthing mothers and the birth allies to relax and prepare for labor. Enhancing thorough relaxation and decreasing anxiety. Help in lowering blood pressure. Teaching positive coping and stress reduction skills. Encouraging self-nurturing and self-reliance while enhancing trust in, and cooperation with, the intelligence of the body.
- Walking – Strolling in labor is a great way to help you speed up the labor and can make you more comfortable. It’s also the best way to use early labor. Walking can help your pelvis move about more freely and help gravity assist your baby in moving down into your pelvis. So, get those walking shoes on and get out there!
Using these skills will give the birth allies the ability to promote the thorough relaxation and bonding that the birthing mothers will need to awaken their natural instincts to cope with the intense experience of birth. That is the strength that we, as birth allies have, so completely give ourselves over to helping the birthing mothers own their births.