20 Tips For An Easy And Smooth Labour
Created by Swati Nitin Gupta Updated on Mar 21, 2020
Pregnancy is one of the most enjoyable stages in any woman's life. But this enjoyable stage comes to an end at the onset of labour, indicating that your baby is getting ready to enter your world sometime soon.
As a new expecting mommy are you worried about what is in store for you during the labour? Do you feel scared, nervous at the thought of going into labour? Are you at any given point in time thinking about avoiding normal delivery for a caesarean or both, as far as going into labour is concerned? Worry not, as we bring you 20 tips for an easy and smooth labour but before that let's see what normal delivery is?
What Is Normal Delivery?
Normal delivery in layman terms is a delivery where a pregnant woman delivers the baby without inducing the labour and drugs. A normal delivery is divided into three stages of labour – namely first stage that is dilation and effacement of the Cervix – the first stage is further divided into three stages – early, active and transition phase, and then comes the second stage that is pushing and birth and the last and the final stage of delivering the placenta.
So how do you ensure that all these three stages are reached in an easy and smooth labour? Well here's how you can have an easy and smooth labour.
20 Tips For An Easy And Smooth Labour
Every pregnancy is unique and so is every delivery. Some women may an easy and smooth labour while some may be sweating it out during the delivery. But worry not as we bring to you 20 tips so that you can have an easy and a smooth labour. So let's see what those tips are.
- Be Active: Yes, that is the first step towards an easy and smooth labour. It is believed that when you are active throughout your pregnancy, there are more chances of easy and short labour because the movement through your pregnancy keeps you agile and fit thus resulting in shorter and easy labour
- Walking: Make walking a daily part of your routine right from the moment you know that you are pregnant. If you are not the exercising types and have never walked in your life, then it is advisable that you start right away as it will ensure an easy labour
- Snacking: When you go into labour it is advisable for you to keep snacking on healthy foods like apple or dry fruits, but don't take heavy food as it may result in an uncomfortable labour. Keep a bowl of some nuts like almonds and keep snacking on it to restore the energy levels and have a smooth labour
- Stay hydrated: It is believed that all the panting and labour contractions can make you dehydrated so keep drinking water or take a glass of apple juice. It will also help in easing the labour pains and relax you as well. Drink it sip by sip and not at one go
- Deep breathing: It is no brainer as we all know that deep breathing relaxes us but believe me that it is all the more helpful during your labour, when you are all ready to huff and push, deep breathing will help you conserve the energy and also shorten the labour by channelising your energies in delivering the baby rather than on the pain
- Hot water bottle: Hot water bottle is another method to soothe the labour pains. Remember to fill the bottle with hot and not the boiling water. Before placing it on your stomach wrap it in a soft cloth and then place it on your pregnant bump
- Eat right from the start: While you can eat whatever you want to during your pregnancy. It is a myth that you need to eat for two during pregnancy. In addition, go slow on ghee and oily foods. In fact if possible avoid oily food instead go for healthy foods like fruits, dry fruits, and stick to your regular food
- Be stress free: This is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do during pregnancy, as you are anxious about each movement, heartbeat of your baby. You end taking too much stress and that's what you need to avoid all through your pregnancy and even when going into labour. Stress puts unnecessary pressure on your body making it tight, whereas for an easy labour you need a relaxed body and equally relaxed mind
Recommended weight gain: There is a recommended weight gain during pregnancy and if you stick to your recommended weight gain the chances of having a smooth and easy labour would be more. Here's a checklist of recommended weight gain.
- Underweight women: If you were underweight during pregnancy then you should gain anything between 12.7 and 18.5 Kgs.
- Average weight women: If your weight was average before you conceived that you should gain between 11.3 and 15.8 kgs.
- Overweight women: If you were overweight at the time you conceived then your weight gain should be between 6.8 and 11.3 kgs
Keagels: Keagels are the pelvic floor exercises that help in strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. Keagels strengthen your pelvic floor muscles thus helping you in easy labour during pregnancy and helps you in preventing urine inconsistency. Here's how you can do Keagels the right way during pregnancy.
- Before you start doing Keagels even during pregnancy, you need to find the muscles that you use to stop urinating or control the flow of urine
- Once you have identified the muscles, now is the time to do the exercise by squeezing those muscles for 3 seconds and holding them
- Gradually by adding one second each week till you are able to squeeze and hold for 10 seconds each time
- You can repeat the exercise so long as you feel comfortable however; remember to do Keagels while urinating
- Perineal massage: For a smooth and easy labour it is advisable that you massage your perineum – the area around your vagina – so that the area's ability to stretch increases thus leading to reduced need for an episiotomy and lesser natural tears as well. You can either start doing the massage from day one of your pregnancy or can start it around 34th week of your pregnancy. You can either do this massage yourself with clean hands and trimmed nails or ask your spouse to do it
- Positive Affirmations: Listening to positive affirmations does help in calming your mind and distressing you. I remember during my 5th month I had started getting nightmares, and a friend suggested Gayatri Mantra to soothe the distress mind and believe me it really helped me overcome my fears and deliver a healthy baby boy
- Don't lie down: When going into labour don't lie down on your back as that obstructs the oxygen reaching to your baby. You can sit or rather walk a little in the corridor to ensure a shorter labour and an easy one too
- Raspberry leaf tea: Interesting? Yes! Unusual? No, it is believed that raspberry leaf tones the uterus muscles so that they work efficiently while you are in the labour. Raspberry leaf does not either initiate the labour nor would it speed up your labour, however, it will help in an easy and smooth progression of your labour. Hence it is advisable and also considered safe to start drinking raspberry leaf tea around 32nd week of your pregnancy. You may start with one cup a day gradually increasing to 2 and finally to 3 cups of raspberry tea
- Aromatherapy:Aromatherapy is another way to induce labour and it does help in easy and smooth delivery. However, it is best to consult a trained aroma therapist to guide you on which oils are good during pregnancy and how these essential oils help in inducing labour that is smooth and easy
- Birthing ball or chair: It is believed that birthing ball helps in soothing the labour pains and aids in an easy and smooth labour because the upper curve of the ball gives a counter pressure to your already swollen vulva thus making the labour process much more smooth and easy
- Good support team: It is important to have a good supporting team when you go into labour – I had my mom and my husband. However, my husband proved to be the best support during the labour. Hence choose your support team wisely because you need someone who will gently encourage you to push during labour and be there with you when you go into labour
Squatting: Squatting is another way to induce labour and believe us it is a tried and tested way to induce labour that results in smooth and easy delivery. Here's how squatting helps.
- According to the experts, squatting helps in opening your pelvic outlet by 10 percent which helps in easy delivery
- Squatting strengthens your legs especially if done during third trimester, which are required to do all the pushing and shoving the baby out
- It is also believed that if you do primitive style of squatting it can significantly reduce the labour time – an important aspect when you are in active labour
- Distract yourself: Well yes, sounds silly but believe me when you try to distract yourself with a soothing music or positive chanting you tend to worry less about the contraction pains resulting in easy and smooth labour
- Climb stairs: Yes, climbing stairs can induce the labour, as it is believed that when you climb stairs, the back and forth movement of your pelvis helps in opening it thus allowing the baby to come down and press on your cervix thus smoothing the progress of dilation resulting in a smooth and easy labour
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| Mar 28, 2019
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