Everyone knows that childbirth is difficult.
But there are natural options available that may help in making labor more comfortable – and most of them can be done weeks before the contractions start.
Here are a few tips you can follow.
There have been many debates about maintaining an exercise routine while you are pregnant. However, a 2017 study by Plataforma SINC showed how moderate exercise during pregnancy is safe and beneficial for both the mother and the baby. Cardiovascular workouts, or exercises that elevates the heart rate, such as running or walking can reduce the risk of excess weight and prepare your muscles for childbirth. Aerobic exercises like yoga can also build stamina, and alleviate aches and pains. Exercise does not have to stop when you are pregnant.
Research published by PubMed found that women who consume six dates per day for four weeks prior to their estimated due date are more likely to go into spontaneous labor, have a shorter first stage, and higher cervical dilation (or the opening of the uterus) upon admission to hospital. Dates reduce the need for oxytocin, the hormone that induces and intensifies contractions, during pregnancy. They are also rich in fiber, which lessens the chance of constipation and other digestive ailments.
The use of essential oils like lavender, rose and peppermint is a soothing and effective way to help lessen the pain experienced during and after pregnancy.
Just remember to never massage the oil directly onto your skin. Instead, mix it with a carrier oil or release its fragrance via aromatherapy. It is also beneficial to use them during a massage. Professional masseur Fiona Pippa explains how massages “can reduce stress, alleviate pain and increase a sense of wellbeing,” especially during pregnancy. Aromatherapy on the other hand communicates with the brain's neurotransmitters for them to stop producing the chemicals that causes pain.
There is nothing quite like a relaxing, warm bath – even more so for pregnant women. The water takes the baby’s weight off your spine, which will help prevent any back issues. Many hospitals even have built-in bathtubs in their maternal care units. However, Today’s Parent claims that pregnant women should not take a bath that raises their core body temperature to 101-102°F for more than 10 minutes. This is because it could cause a condition called hyperthermia, which causes the body to absorb more heat than it repels. Warm baths in moderation are fine and good way to help take the strain off your body.
Preparing for an easier childbirth should be a priority for mothers, especially since the healthcare industry is facing a shortage of pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs). PNPs account for less than 8% of the 270,000 nurses in the whole of the United States. This reflects a shortage in general across the whole healthcare industry. Maryville University predicts that there will be a shortage of at least 100,000 family practitioners by 2025, which could result in shorter stays in the hospital and fewer hands to assist you during labor.
The more that you can do on your own to prepare for an easier, less painful delivery, the better it will be for both you and the baby.
But do not worry. With careful planning and a healthy lifestyle, you can give yourself the best chance of having a smooth, fast, and less painful delivery.
Exclusively written for NYCBirthVillage.Com
By: Clara Mila