Working with labour pain
Most people will agree that labour will be very uncomfortable and hardwork. Some women will feel they need something to help with the discomfort earlier than others although this doesn’t have to be administered – there are other options you can use yourself, for example going for a walk, having a bath, resting, keeping relaxed and carrying on with things to distract you. Work with your body, the discomfort is your muscles work hard and your baby moving down, try not to fight it – if you tense up for each contraction it will hurt more.
Try to think labour pain as a positive pain – the message is that your baby is ready to be born and your body is working as it should. Surround yourself with people who are positive about having babies: mums who have supportive birth partners, a good relationship with their midwife and perhaps another supporter such as a doula, will find they feel more positive about the pain they experience.
How do hormones help you in labour? Find out here.
The positions you use during labour are important. Choosing a position which keeps you upright will help your baby to be born and your labour to be shorter and less painful. You could try squatting, being on all fours, kneeling, leaning on a birth partner or sitting on a birth stool. Practice different positions during pregnancy with your birth partner so that you are familiar with them once you are in labour. Check out this printable leaflet here and download and print them off if you want to.
How does using different postions in labour help? watch this video
Where you choose to have your baby will affect the choices of pain relief available. For example, gas & air can be used wherever you have your baby but an epidural would only be an option within the consultant led unit at Lancashire Womens and Newborn Centre, Burnley.
What are my options for pain relief in labour? have a look here