Labour & Delivery

Childbirth, also known as labour and delivery, is the ending of a pregnancy by one or more babies leaving a woman's uterus by vaginal passage or Caesarean section

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10 Effective Exercises for Easy Labor & safe Delivery

Exercises during pregnancy are not only good to keep you and your baby healthy but also prepare the body for the labor. Regular exercises ready the muscles and ligaments in the pelvis to get through delivery with lesser effort. Here are 10 Exercises to Induce Labor Naturally: 1. Pelvic Tilts Pelvic tilts are great to strengthen the pelvic muscles and prep them for labor. It is one of the best exercises to help induce labor naturally and can be started early in pregnancy. Begin by lying down on your back with the knees bent and the feet on the floor. Flatten the back against the floor and slowly bend the pelvis up. Hold it in this position for about 10 seconds and slowly release. Exercise twice a day for 10 minutes for pelvic strength. 2. Squatting Squatting is one of the most natural movements of the body and among the safest exercises that can be done during pregnancy. It builds strength in various muscles in the thigh, lower back and the abdomen while opening up the pelvis. Squats can be performed throughout a healthy pregnancy and are even thought to help orient the baby into position for delivery. Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips and the toes pointing forward. If you need support or stability, hold the back of a chair that is placed in front of you. While keeping your back straight, go down as though you’re about to sit on a chair. You can either do a full squat- go down all the way or a half squat where your lower lack doesn’t go below your knees. Hold this position for 5 or 10 seconds, take a deep breath and exhale as you rise back up. 3. Exercise ball  An exercise ball is a fun addition to your workout routine.  Sit in the centre of the ball with your feet flat on the ground, and the knees bent. Use your feet to roll back and forth or just bounce up and down gently on the exercise ball. Rolling on the ball and gentle bounce are some of the good exercises to induce labor at 38 weeks as the bouncing motion can help position the baby for a natural birth. 4. Pelvic floor Exercises Pelvic floor exercises activate the pelvic floor muscles that support pelvic organs such as the bladder, urethra, vagina, uterus, small intestines and rectum. Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles and gaining a good control over them can help during the pushing stage of labor. It is said that by voluntarily relaxing them you can ease the birthing process. Contract the pelvic floor muscles tighter for a count of five seconds, hold for five seconds and release for a count of five. Practice this 10 or 15 times a day. 5. Butterflies The butterflies are a simple exercise that open up your pelvis and build flexibility in the surrounding muscles along with strengthening the muscles of the back and thigh. Butterflies are easy and can be done from the moment you’re pregnant to the time you deliver. Sit on the floor and put the soles of your feet together. Pulse your legs up and down like the wings of a butterfly and feel the muscles in your thigh stretch. Maintain a pace and range of motion that feels comfortable to you.  6. Lunges Lunges are effective in warming up the hips and open them up to let the baby rotate and descent. They can be used to induce labor naturally. Stand with both the legs together and take one big step forward. Descend your lower back while pivoting on the front knee while you feel the muscles in your back and hind leg stretch. For added safety and balance push up against a wall while you do it. Alternate the legs and repeat the exercise. 7. Stair Climbing Climbing stairs requires you to use all the muscles of your lower back and legs. The stretching and movement of the hips help orient the baby’s head down towards the birth canal. Stair climbing is a wonderful way of inducing labor naturally as it prepares the body for the physical exertion of labor. It also presses on the cervix, prompting it to dilate and opens up the pelvic region. 8. Walking It shouldn’t come as a surprise that walking can have tons of benefits to your body during your pregnancy and this is low impact aerobic exercise is a perfect way to induce labor naturally  9. Back Stretches Back stretches are among the best exercise for labor pain reduction as they help relieve muscle tightness during labor. The following exercise stretches the muscles along the spine, shoulders and the back of your legs. It can also be tried whenever you feel a tension in the back. Facing a wall, bend forward pivoting at the hips, so your upper body makes a 90-degree angle with your legs. The back should be flat and the legs straight or a slightly bent. Now place your hands on the wall at the shoulder level. Relax your head while you look down keeping it at the level of your arms. Push your hands into the wall as you lean back from the hips until you feel a stretch in the back and the muscles in the back of your legs. Hold for 10 seconds, relax and return the hips to a neutral position. 10. Leaning Leaning forward is the best way to counter all the time you spend leaning backwards every day. Leaning forward is also essential to help flip the baby into an optimal position. You can lean on anything that’s comfortable such as counters, tables or an exercise ball. If you can still work, try and scrub the floor while on hands and knees to help add to all the leaning time you need. Regular exercises throughout pregnancy help prepare your body for a natural birth. They are also a wonderful way to induce labor naturally while keeping you warmed up for the stresses of childbirth. content source

Sleeping positions during pregnancy

Sleeping at this point might be an uncomfortable experience. Given the size of your belly! Even the discomfort you go through can contribute to ruining a good night’s sleep. Or nap time. With that in mind, it’s a relief to find out the best sleeping position to encourage labor. And feel comfortable at the same time. So you can sleep better. Did you know that getting adequate sleep is important right before labor kicks in? Sleeping promotes the development of melatonin in the body. This particular component combines with oxytocin. The result of which comes in the form of labor. All the more reason to get enough sleep, right! Plus, once the baby is born, your sleep will take the backseat. So you might as well make the most of this wonderful opportunity right now. 1. Avoid Sleeping On Your Stomach During pregnancy, sleeping on the stomach is definitely not an option. Am I right? This particular position tends to exert unwanted pressure on your abdominal region. Even the blood vessels responsible for carrying blood from your feet and legs to the heart are subjected to the extra pressure. As a result of which it can slow down blood circulation. To both your own body and the baby! 2. Avoid Sleeping On Your Back If sleeping on the stomach feels uncomfortable, then what’s the next option? Sleeping on your back, correct? But, unfortunately, that’s not a good idea either. You won’t take too long to realize how difficult it is to breathe when lying on the back during pregnancy. The belly tends to push down on the intestines when you sleep in such a position. So expect tummy troubles.In fact, sleeping on your back means welcoming severe morning sickness and nausea as well. This position too affects blood supply to the baby. 3. Sleep On Your Left Side Since you’ve exhausted the first two sleeping positions, it’s time to try another one. Side sleeping during pregnancy is highly recommended. Especially on the left! It’s incredibly comfortable as the abdomen increases in size. But why is the left side better than the right? Sleeping on your left offers tons of advantages, even when not pregnant. The most important health benefit is an improvement in blood circulation. And when pregnant, this particular side sleeping position promotes better flow of nutrients to your fetus. When lying on the left, you’re preventing your large belly from exerting pressure on the liver. The opposite of which happens when you sleep on your right side. So keep in mind that right is not right, left is right. Especially during pregnancy! 4. Use Cushions and Pillows When side sleeping, you can wedge pillows between the legs and behind the back. What this does is add more support to the position. So don’t hesitate to use cushions and pillows to feel more comfortable while sleeping. There are pregnancy pillows as well. If you think you might be interested in such a product, you can find it here. Or a maternity store. Propping a pillow between the knees or under the body offers more spine and belly support. On top of that, it keeps your body from rolling on to your back and stomach. Sleeping Positions to Induce Labor: Important Tips What you see below are a few tips that bring more comfort into action. This ensures better sleep and protects your baby when you’re fast asleep. Getting a good night’s rest is one of the most natural methods of inducing labor. So here are some tips that might help! Consume light meals at dinner. Don’t indulge in spicy foods as they lead to heartburn, which aggravates at night. Feel free to perform light breathing exercises before bedtime. It helps in relaxing the body by supplying enough oxygen. Make sure that you’re wearing comfortable clothes made of breathable materials. Such as cotton. Also, avoid tight nightwear. If lying down on your bed doesn’t feel comfortable, try the sofa or a comfortable chair. Please don’t panic when and if you roll on to your back or front while sleeping. Allow your body to move comfortably during the process. Instead of getting up frequently to sleep on the left side! Your body demands as much sleep as it can get in order to induce labor naturally. So appreciate the rest before your newborn destroys every last shred of a good night’s sleep. Midnight feedings and sleep deprivation are a part of the post-pregnancy journey.  content source

Water breaking: What it feels like.

When your water breaks, it means your amniotic sac has ruptured and labour is imminent (if not already under way). But what does this actually feel like? Does it feel like a pop? Is it a big gush or a slow leak? The answer: Any of the above. Everyone's experience is different. Here's what some moms had to say: 1. The gush or splash For some moms, the water really does gush out – either in the hospital bed or in a more surprising setting: "A huge gush of fluid went all over the floor." "A huge rush of water came from deep inside. Weirdest feeling!" "It felt like a 5-gallon bucket of water had spilled out. With the next five contractions, more water came gushing out." "Flood!" "I got up and was walking into the kitchen when a massive amount of water gushed from between my legs." "An extreme gush – nothing like urinating. It didn't stop or slow down! Grossest feeling ever." "It was like someone put a hose on full blast between my legs." 2. The pop Many women feel a popping sensation when their water breaks. For others, the pop is audible: "There was a pop, like someone cracking a knuckle, and then a gush." "I heard a pop, then all of a sudden a large gush and a bunch of leaking." "I felt a popping sensation, followed by an immediate gush of very warm fluid that soaked through my pants. A little more would leak out every time I moved." "I'd already had an epidural and was lying in the hospital bed. It felt like a water balloon popped between my legs." "A water balloon popping. It didn't hurt; it just was suddenly very wet."   3. The trickle Many women experience trickling or leaking instead of the more dramatic gushing: "I felt a warm trickle of fluid down my legs." "It was so slow that I thought it was sweat or normal discharge." "I seriously thought I had wet my pants. I went to the bathroom three times and changed my clothes before realizing that I wasn't suffering from pregnancy incontinence. It didn't happen like in the movies." "I went for a walk at the hospital to relieve my contractions, and at one point I bent over to throw up. I thought the pressure of throwing up had made me pee – very embarrassing. It turned out that the pressure had actually made my water break." "I felt really wet, and it was slowly leaking. Over time, it began to leak more and more until it started gushing."   4. The in-betweener Not a dramatic gush, but not just a little trickle either – some women go for the middle ground: "It felt like small gushes, like when you first start your period." "Imagine a heavy period dripping down your leg." "I was shopping at a big store, and when I turned, I felt a small gush. It felt like period discharge." "It wasn't a trickle but not a gush either."   5. The feeling of relief Many moms feel a sense of relief when their water breaks. For some, their labor then gets more intense: "Relief! That's when it was time to push." "A huge pop, then relief from some of the pressure." "I only remember relief for a brief second and then more pain."   6. The unnoticed break Some women aren't aware of their water breaking: "I couldn't feel it because I had already had my epidural." "I didn't even know it broke until I realized I was wet." "I didn't know until I woke up and went to the bathroom and my underwear was wet." "I didn't feel it because my baby was crowning." "I didn't know what had happened. I got up and the chair was wet. I still didn't feel anything in particular except that afterward, the contractions hurt more." "I didn't realize it had broken until I saw the wetness on the hospital bed." "I felt nothing. I just noticed some leaking during contractions, and the nurse confirmed that it had broken, probably during an internal exam."   Content source Featured image source