Labor pain is caused by contractions of the uterus and dilation of the uterine cervix, and is similar to an intense menstrual cramp that comes and goes, starting weaker and gradually increasing in intensity.
In labor, pain can be relieved through natural resources, that is, without taking medication, with forms of relaxation and breathing. The ideal is that the woman, and whoever will accompany her, should know about these possibilities during prenatal care, so that they can be better used during labor.
Although the pain is not completely eliminated, many prenatal instructors suggest using some of these resources to make women feel more comfortable during labor.
There are some affordable, affordable and possible alternative methods in most places where childbirth can occur to relieve pain in childbirth:
1. Having a companion
The woman has the right to have a companion at the time of delivery, whether the partner, the parents or a loved one.
One of the companion’s functions is to help the pregnant woman relax, and one of the ways to do this is through massages with circular movements in the arms and back during labor.
Since contractions are muscular efforts that leave the woman fully tensioned, massaging between contractions increases comfort and relaxation.
2. Change position
Avoiding lying with your back straight and staying in the same position for more than 1 hour can help to relieve pain during childbirth. Being lying down is a position that forces the woman to do more abdominal strength than she would do sitting or standing, for example, increasing the pain.
Thus, the pregnant woman can choose a body position that allows pain relief, such as:
- Kneel with your body bent over pillows or birth balls;
- Stand and lean on your partner , hugging your neck;
- Position of 4 supports on the bed, using your arms, as if you were pushing the mattress down;
- Sit on the floor with your legs open , bending your back toward your feet;
- Use pilates ball: the pregnant woman can sit on the ball and make small rotating movements, as if she were drawing an eight on the ball.
In addition to these positions, the woman can use a chair to sit in different positions, identifying which one would help to relax more easily during contraction. The instructions can be seen in the image below.
Keeping on the move during the first stage of labor, in addition to stimulating dilation, also relieves pain, especially in standing positions, as they help the baby descend through the birth canal.
Thus, walking around the place where the birth will take place can reduce discomfort and help to strengthen and regulate contractions.
4. Do therapy with warm water
Sitting under a shower with a jet of water on your back or lying in a hot tub are options that can relax and relieve pain.
Not all maternity hospitals or hospitals have a bathtub or shower in the bedroom, so to use this method of relaxation during childbirth, it is important to organize in advance to give birth in a unit that has this equipment.
5. Apply heat or cold
Placing a hot water compress or ice pack on your back can reduce muscle tension, improve circulation and cushion pain.
Water with more extreme temperatures dilates peripheral vessels and redistributes blood flow, promoting muscle relaxation.
6. Control breathing
The type of breathing changes according to the moment of delivery, for example, during contractions it is better to breathe slowly and deeply, to better oxygenate the body of the mother and baby. At the moment of expulsion, when the baby is leaving, the shortest and fastest breathing is indicated.
In addition, deep breathing also decreases adrenaline, which is the hormone responsible for stress, helping to control anxiety, which often intensifies pain.
7. Do music therapy
Listening to your favorite music on a headset can distract attention from pain, decrease anxiety and help you relax.
8. Exercise during pregnancy
Regular physical activity improves breathing and the musculature of the belly, giving the woman more control at the time of delivery when it comes to pain relief.
In addition, there are trainings for the muscles of the perineum and pelvic that promote relief and decrease the chances of injury at the time of the baby’s departure, as they strengthen the region of the vagina muscles, to make them more flexible and strong.
When it is necessary to use anesthesia
In some cases, when natural resources are not enough, the woman can resort to epidural anesthesia, which consists of the administration of an anesthetic in the spine, capable of eliminating pain from the waist down, without changing the level of consciousness of the woman at work. childbirth and, allowing the woman to attend childbirth without feeling the pain of contractions.