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  • Writer's pictureHampshire Birthing

Want to make your birth less painful!?

In my first pregnancy, my view was 'I'll just have an epidural' - sound familiar?

In reality, when we arrived at Hampshire Hospitals Maternity -Winchester and were allocated one of their fantastic pool rooms, I suddenly went off the idea. I wanted to be mobile, I wanted to be in the water, there and then, that's what my gut told me I needed.

Irritatingly, because - until that point, I was gung-ho on my 'give me all the drugs' approach - I hadn't looked into other comfort measures which could support my labour.

The result was a husband arguing with a midwife, a midwife dealing with a very confused mother and a very chaotic birth ending on my back with my legs in stirrups. (To reassure you - my second labour was a spectacular Hypnobirth in the water - one which I'd gladly repeat if we have a bigger house.)

So, what could have helped?:

  • Focused Breathing - helps with relaxation, increases oxygen levels

  • Music - assists with relaxation, associates with happy memories, decreases anxiety

  • Acupressure - produces endorphins, the body's own natural pain-killer

  • Counting Down - reduces intensity of discomfort through distraction

  • Low lighting - encourages production of melatonin which boosts the production of oxytocin & subsequently endorphins

  • Massage - blocks messages of discomfort and encourages production of endorphins

  • Water - promotes mental and physical relaxation, decreases pressure through buoyant support (& so much more!)

  • Movement - optimises the body's natural birthing process & instinctively responds to comfort requirements

  • Essential Oils - aids relaxation & positive association

  • Laughter - releases tension and promotes the production of endorphins

  • Visualisations - distracts from discomfort, aids relaxation boosting the good stuff

  • Hypnobirthing - encompassing much of the above and more, in simple terms helps to access and maintain the right mental state to produce the hormones that make birth more comfortable and more efficient

What helped you in your birth?

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