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Old 04-07-2012, 09:33 PM   #11
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Re: Pain Management Techniques for Labor?

Dr. Sears' The Birth Book is sooo helpful. Mrs. Sears does a great job of explaining what causes unreasonable pain in labor and how to prevent it. The most important thing is to relax your body as much as possible. Let the tension out of your face, shoulders, back, belly, and bottom. Relax deeper with every breath. "Effleurage" is really helpful too. It's just gentle massage with just your fingertips. It kind of tickles and gives you goosebumps, but it releases endorphins in your body that kill pain. I did it right where it hurt on my belly and my hubby did it on my back. Definitely read The Birth Book though.

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Old 04-07-2012, 10:41 PM   #12
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Re: Pain Management Techniques for Labor?

I didn't read all of the posts, so this may have been mentioned already with my 3rd I planned for a homebirth and was induced at 42 weeks at the hospital due to state midwifery laws. My 1st and 2nd were SROM with pit augmentation at 12 hours past rupture and epis. I wanted my home birth so bad and wanted to make sure I could handle the pain. I spent MONTHS watching homebirth videos on YouTube. After a few months, I started to notice that there were women who looked like your average laboring woman, screaming through contractions (not vocalizing but screaming, swearing, saying "I can't do this" etc) and there were women who seemed completely in control of their bodies, totally relaxed, totally centered (and this was not hypnobirth videos, I wasn't using it so I didnt watch those) so I watched these women over and over again, and focused on what was going on around them, how their support people were acting, and what they were doing to manage the pain. In every video, these women were calm, collected, and more than half of them were silent. Some were moaning or vocalizing, but most were quiet.

Then it hit me. They were literally relaxing every muscle in their body! So I started practicing.... I had to sit on the toilet to get it just right. I would start with my forehead, relax those muscles and just move down.... Eyes, jaw, head, shoulders, arms, tummy, butt/vag, legs, feet and everything in between. I had some good false labor in the weeks leading up to my induction so I was able to practice through some mild ctx.

In the end, I had to be induced and the pit was started at 7:40 am on Dec 17, 2010. I was "handling" the ctx amazingly according to my nurse (who was AMAZING) but honestly wasn't even feeling any pain! When a ctx would come on, I just went limp. Around 12:30 pm, my OB came in a broke my water. I was about 5 cm. still handling things well.... Because I wasn't in ANY pain... And this was WITH pitocin! I barely made it past 5 cm with both my previous births with pit before getting the epi and this time I didn't feel ANYTHING! Around 3ish I had to pee. Went and sat on the toilet, and that's when things started getting painful, but only if I stood up from the toilet. While sitting on the toilet I was perfectly comfortable. No pain. The nurse said she wanted to check me to make sure I had made progress because she was worried that with my lack of pain, I might not be progressing.... I got up and she checked me and I was 9cm with a lip. I pushed through the lip. Labored on the bed for a few minutes and pushed him out at 3:43pm. I was only in pain for about an hour and still it was NOTHING compared to my first 2. The nurse said she had NEVER seen a woman with pit deal with ctx the way I did.

So, my suggestion is to practice practice practice total body relaxation. When you have a ctx, your natural instinct is to tense up, which counteracts what your body is trying to do, thus causing pain. If you relax your entire body, you will be able to float above the ctx, and not feel pain until the very end if at all . I "had" to get back by the monitors (instead of on the toilet ) because I was on pit, at a birth center, you can labor wherever you want, on a birth stool (highly recommend) on the toilet, in water, whatever

Good luck!
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:24 AM   #13
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Re: Pain Management Techniques for Labor?

DH pushing on the back of my hips as I knelt and leaned over something was really helpful.

Getting in a warm bath was BLISS! Wait until you're about 5-6 cm though, otherwise you can slow labour down too much.

Having someone coach me to FULLY relax between contractions was helpful. (I was clenching my fists still without realizing it.)

Doing my best to stay relaxed and breathing through contractions, and keeping my neck relaxed as much as possible was also helpful.

All the best with your up coming birth!
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:21 PM   #14
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Re: Pain Management Techniques for Labor?

Thanks for posting this and for all the responses! I'm having a homebirth after an epi hospital birth and am excited to start total body relaxation and preparations! Thank you!
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:25 AM   #15
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Re: Pain Management Techniques for Labor?

Did you transfer to Chapel Hill? I ask because I am in NC too.

I taught Bradley for a year and now I teach my own natural childbirth class because I was able to shorten it both for time and I kept hearing about the expense.

In any case, I agree with the mommas who said to listen to your body. Your body knows how to have a baby and will do it whether you are in the way or not. It will be much more comfortable if you get out of the way. I like the "limp noodle" illustration. At some point in your labor, you are going to "get serious". That will mean you are no longer interested in any interruptions and dont feel like talking even between contractions. At that point, if you have not already, find a comfortable side lying positions and let it all go. Every muscle in your body should be relaxed except your working uterus. All the energy should be there. When the contraction starts, have your partner cue you to relax from head to toe fully, allwoing your belly to press into the bed. You are not relaxed if your tongue is touching the roof of your mouth so consciously let that go.

All of that said, if you body screams, "get on all fours!" Do it! Rock your pelvis and get some counter pressure. If your partner is not fully prepared to be your doula, really consider hiring one. The birth center is great but the nurses are there to help you birth not to help you labor. How much they are able to do that depends on how busy they are.

Additionally, a more relaxed momma usually has a shorter or non-existant transition period. Be prepared for one either way.

Lastly, dialation is not a time keeper. I just had a couple birth at the birth center last week. She told her husband she was ready to go after 16 hours of easy labor and a couple hours of harder labor. They drove an hour to get there. They told her she was only at 3 cm and to go home and rest. She remembered what I told her but was a first time momma so even though her body was screaming to stay the baby is on the way. They drove an hour home. After laboring a couple of hours, she entered trransition and screamed at her husband that they had to go go back. She got to experience transition in the car and then the second half of the drive trying not to push. She is still happy overall but just an example of listening to body.

Good luck and dont hesitate to PM me with any questions about the birth center!
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:56 PM   #16
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Re: Pain Management Techniques for Labor?

Huntmommy- Yes, Chapel Hill

Thank you all for the great advice! I am doing lots of reading and video watching. There are moments when I feel pretty nervous, but for the most part I am feeling confident. Although I wonder if maybe I'm just naive for feeling confident?

This is what I really want for my child and for myself, so in a lot of ways I am actually looking forward to it. I am trying to prep dh the best I can because I do want this to be a time of bonding for us and I want him to feel like an important part of the process. It's kind of hard to imagine myself actually doing this and my body actually being capable of this but I know that I can.

Sorry if that sounds jumbled, that's just kind of where my head is right now. I'm hoping more reading and more mental preparation will bring me to a place of more confidence and less nervousness/doubt.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:47 PM   #17
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Re: Pain Management Techniques for Labor?

We did a Bradley course, and I have to say I don't think it helped as much as I had thought it would. I was totally unprepared for the pain, to the point that even after the birth I felt sort of shell-shocked for days. Or maybe it did help--I know I was really focused on not fighting the pain, trying to relax through it and picture my cervix opening--it must have worked because my labor was super fast. But if I could do it over I might try Hypnobabies or Brio instead.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:10 PM   #18
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Take a class!!! I too, thought I could 'read up on it' lmao! I spent my
Labor mooing like a cow and screaming in agony. Mostly begging for a med helicopter to transport me. Lol!!! A class can teach you hands on!!


In my very small defense I have back
Labor and the midwives said it was the most painful labor she has witnessed. Lol. So I justify my mooing with that. Rofl!!
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:25 AM   #19
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Re: Pain Management Techniques for Labor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by keen1981 View Post
Take a class!!! I too, thought I could 'read up on it' lmao! I spent my
Labor mooing like a cow and screaming in agony. Mostly begging for a med helicopter to transport me. Lol!!! A class can teach you hands on!!


In my very small defense I have back
Labor and the midwives said it was the most painful labor she has witnessed. Lol. So I justify my mooing with that. Rofl!!
LOL! Unfortunately there weren't any classes available in our timeframe/budget...so I will have to make it without one.

This made me laugh because I ended up being in the room for my sister's birth. I was 11 and my mom had planned on getting an epi but labor was too fast. She moo'd too! I still talk about her mooing, lol! I'll have to tell her she's not alone!
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:32 AM   #20
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Re: Pain Management Techniques for Labor?

I loved Hypnobabies - it's all about releasing yourself from fear and getting in touch with what works for you. Also the self hypnosis is extremly relaxing.

Also a doula, great for support.
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