Hey blog friends! So in my last post I discussed a relaxation/guided meditation CD to serve as a second step in your coping techniques during labor. When — or really, the key word is if, because for some people, the first two steps I discussed may really be all you need — that isn’t working for you as far as pain coping anymore, you may want to consider having a list of graduated breathing techniques along with labor positions.
I know at this point during labor I will not be in any mindset to be checking out my printouts of labor tools from my bag, so Hubby will help guide me through the techniques from this point on. If I tell him a breathing technique isn’t working for me anymore, for example, or if I seem to be struggling — losing my rhythm, focus, and limpness — he will suggest elevating the breathing technique and/or trying another position.
Because I don’t want to give away all the “tricks” of my wonderful childbirth class, I won’t go into detailed descriptions of the techniques here. If you have specific questions, leave me a comment with your email address and I will try and email you more information. You should be able to research most of these though to get a better idea of how they may work for you.
Breathing Techniques (remember these are again ordered in a list so that you can graduate to the next when the first isn’t helping you anymore, etc.)
- Slow-paced breathing
- Slow-paced breathing + effleurage
- “He” breathing
- Accelerated/decelerated “he” breathing
- “He”-Blow breathing (in ratios of 5:1,4:1, 3:1, and 2:1, for increasingly shorter goals, if you are having a hard time meeting the longer goals)
A key to note here is you/I really have no idea what will be comfortable to you during labor. At some point, I will probably be getting into a birthing tub for my labor, so I may use some or even none of these. But on the suggestion of my childbirth class instructor, I went ahead and listed the labor positions that resonated with me in an order I thought I might enjoy:
- Rocking on birthing ball
- Laying over birthing ball
- Hands and knees
- Modified child’s pose with butt in the air
- Supported squat
- Standing with one leg up on chair (kind of a lunging position) with partner’s support
- Leaning on partner
- Leaning over back of chair
- Side lying (I imagine I would use this only if exhausted)
One thing to note is that you can combine any of the above with different comfort techniques, such as a shower, hot/cold, touch/massage (suggested between contractions only, not during), and hand massage. As always, make sure you are remaining limp and letting your uterus do its work. Your partner can help make sure your body remains limp and that you are maintaining whatever rhythmic ritual you are following. If you start to fall off that rhythm, he or she can help you regain focus.
Hope these tools help you as I believe they will help and empower me! In a few days, for my last post in this mini series, I will share with you my labor and birth affirmations. All my best wishes to you.