4. Go for a low-intervention pregnancy
Women who “go low” during pregnancy set a precedent for going low-intervention during labor, too. If you don’t have any particular health problems, opt for fewer rather than more tests, treatments and interventions during your pregnancy. Obviously, some tests are important for every mother, but many are entirely optional.
Whenever tests or procedures are recommended, ask why you need it, if it will change or improve your health or if you’d be just fine without it. If your doctor or midwife provides compelling reasons why you need certain interventions, then get them. They’re there for good reason, but not every patient needs everything.
5. Spend early labor at home
You can move around, get in the tub, eat and drink and go for walks. When your contractions are consistently less than five minutes apart and getting stronger for at least a couple hours no matter what you do, then you can check in with your provider. If you go to the hospital and you’re not very far dilated, go home.
6. Use water
A shower, bathtub, birthing pool and hot compresses are Mother Nature’s tools for easing pain and helping you relax. Spend as much time as possible in water.
7. Use your prenatal education
Breathe, meditate, relax, move, change positions, get a massage, listen to music, whatever it takes.
Here are six labor position poses to try.
What happens if it’s just too much to take? Check my action plan for what to do when you’re overwhelmed before you.
Jeanne Faulkner, R.N., lives in Portland, Ore., with her husband and children. And co-author of, The Complete Illustrated Birthing Companion: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating the Best Birthing Plan for a Safe, Less Painful, and Successful Delivery for You and Your Baby.
Got a question for Jeanne? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and it may be answered in a future blog post.
This Fit Pregnancy blog is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace medical advice from your physician. Before initiating any exercise program, diet or treatment provided by Fit Pregnancy, you should seek medical advice from your primary caregiver.