Unless otherwise noted, most of our classes and workshops are now in person at Blue Heron Midwives 105-30 Dupont St E in Waterloo. Covid safety measures are in place so we can learn together as safely as possible.

“Natural Pain Management” in Labour. What does that even mean?

The word “natural” has been over-popularized and overused nowadays to mean something totally different than the word’s original intention. Natural pain management simply means managing your pain without the use of medication.

This post’s focus is on breathing. Breathing is not only an essential part of surviving labour, but it’s also essential to surviving overall! The more oxygen you take in during a contraction the more oxygen your baby gets. Breathing slowly and deeply is key to staying calm and focused during labour. If you are anxious and hyperventilating It quickly makes labour overwhelming and unbearable.

Here are some tips to help focus your breath and help lessen the way your body interprets the feeling of your contractions.

Here are the “Balancing Birth to Baby tips and tricks” when it comes to breathing.

  1. Don’t hold your breath! Holding your breath during a contraction does nothing for you other than help you to focus on how uncomfortable you are and lose yourself in the pain.
  2. Keep the muscles of your face relaxed! Pursing your lips or gritting your teeth actually engages the muscles in your abdomen and pelvis at the same time, exaggerating the fatigue caused by a contraction and the pain you feel as well. Ina May Gaskin, a world-renowned Midwife, equates having “loose lips” to having “loose hips”.
  3. Don’t be afraid to make noise! Using low tones and moaning through a contraction helps to focus and slow your breathing, as well as maintain the “loose lips” philosophy.
  4. Make sure to have elongated exhales. Studies show that your exhale can help release and reduce stress

If you’d like to learn more about coping with labour effectively check out our “Natural Pain Management for Labour Class”.

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