Reducing Your Pain In Childbirth

Pain is the word most associated with labor. Women go to great lengths to deal with the discomforts of childbirth. They attend classes, buy products, read books and talk to their friends. However, relaxation is the one essential ingredient, often overlooked, which helps with the reduction of painful contractions. When Moms have fear in labor, their body tenses. When there is tension (opposite of relaxation), there is pain. Relaxation takes away the fear, therefore, reducing tension and pain. You can't have relaxation and tension at the same time.

Relaxation exercises help a mother desiring either a medicated or a natural childbirth. The pregnant mom has to take responsibility before labor to prepare for her birth by practicing relaxation. The more the woman practices before delivery, the faster she can draw upon relaxation when she needs it, making her labor quicker and easier.

PREPARING FOR RELAXATION DURING THE PREGNANCY:

· Daily listening to a relaxation CD

· Attending a childbirth class that emphasizes relaxation

· Sitting on the birth ball to reduce muscle tension

· Having pregnancy massages

· Practicing breathing exercises

· Taking a pre-natal yoga class

· Reading Dr. Dick-Read's book "Childbirth Without Fear."

REDUCING FEAR DURING LABOR:

· Hiring a trained labor assistant or Doula

· Having the birth partner's continuous presence

· Listening to several relaxation CD's

· Using a birth ball

· Having a massage

· Praying

· Focusing on objects in the room

· Having someone read from the Bible

· Listening to music

· Dimming lights or turning them off

· Correct breathing

· Doing yoga exercises

· Dancing

· Telling yourself that you are not afraid

· Listen to your body and do what feels good

When the woman doesn't give in to the fear but rather reacts to the "pain" in labor as normal, natural and healthy, then the sensations of the contractions are tolerable. The contractions are still strong, intense and maybe even awesome. However, the woman free of fear faces them as a challenge. Relaxation is vital in pregnancy and childbirth to help achieve an easier, faster and more comfortable labor. Guaranteed!

Julie L. Johnson is a wife and mother of three who has experienced every pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum and breastfeeding situation there is and has lived to tell about. She is a Certified Lamaze Childbirth Educator, Certified Doula and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant practicing in Southern California. Her website http://www.birth-angel.com provides services and products to help ease the transition into motherhood.

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