Many techniques have been stressed to help relieve the rigors of labor pains. First thing is first, use the breathing techniques and focus on what you learned in your childbirth classes. These are designed to make you focus on a particular way of breathing or item to refocus your brain on something other than the contraction.
While a contraction is happening, focusing on this other distraction can be quite effective. You may also want to have some acupressure or massage applied to your back at this time as well. Many women will focus on their coach or partner and breathe together for the duration of the contraction. Breathing techniques are great to use in early labor when contractions arent too bad yet.
Combinations of breathing and other types of distraction or method may need to be used as labor intensifies. Many women bring pictures or items that they designated as focal item to help keep them focused on something during contractions. Other women find closing their eyes and just breathing works for them. Do what is best for you.
Try walking as labor progresses and follow you internal instincts. Birth is a primitive function that has been taking place since the dawn of time. If a contraction occurs while you are walking then drop into a squatting position and grunt through the contraction. This is very effective and satisfying as well. Most contractions make you feel like you need to push and it is the withholding of this pushing that causes pain and discomfort.
Squatting or getting on all fours and groaning and/or grunting the pain through your voice is a good way to move past each ever-increasing contraction. Vocalization of pain and discomfort is a really good way of expending the pain with another physical act. You may need to scream, yell, groan, grunt, or whatever works for you to get through the pain best and most effectively. Make faces and grab at railings and the bed if need be. Sometime putting pressure and squeezing another object will help displace the pain and make you feel more in control.
Many birthing facilities and hospitals now offer water-assisted labors and sometimes even deliveries. Water in any form can be a laboring womens best friend. It is recommended to try standing, squatting or sitting on a birthing ball in a shower. Focus on the water as your breath hitting your body and face.
This is a great focal point because it not only offers the internal focus but also provides a light physical distraction from the water. Ask to be placed in the facilities labor tub. Soaking in a warm bath can relieve the physical pain and stress of the contractions.
If you can tolerate it, have the jets put on to help distract you from the labor. Some women find the jets make them worse so make sure that you do what is working for you. Many facilities also encourage the partner to get in the tub too. This gives the mother the sense of being together and she can be aided in massage or pressure points to further help ease the pain. So have your partner bring his bathing suit unless he doesnt mind the nurses seeing him in the buff.
Medications can be given to help pain as well. There are several options available as well. You can take the quick fix and get a nice shot of something in the arm.
Most of these types of drugs only take the edge off but still allow the mom to stay in control and coherent. Intravenous drugs are also available and allow the mom to rest in a more pain free way, but can make you feel a bit woozy and have a harder time controlling your thoughts and reactions if pain is detected. Another and widely used option is the epidural.
This will allow you to feel nothing from the waist down and be perfectly coherent and happy through labor. Many women prefer laboring in a pain free state and find that they are less tired and able to be awake more after the birth. But dont bank on this, many complain that since they cant feel the urge to push they take longer to push and exhaust themselves or end up with a medically assisted birth or C-section.