If your baby is in a head-down position, with the back of his head slightly towards the front of your tummy (anterior position), your labour is likely to be shorter and easier. Most babies get into this position by the end of pregnancy. In an anterior position, your baby fits snugly into the curve of your pelvis. During labour, your baby will curl his back over, and tuck his chin into his chest. Your labour and birth should progress easily if your baby is in this position, because: During contractions, the top of your baby's head puts rounded and even pressure on the neck of your uterus (cervix). This helps your cervix to widen, and your body to produce the hormones you need for labour. During the pushing stage, your baby moves through your pelvis at an angle, so that the smallest area of his head comes first. Try putting on a tight polo neck without tucking in your chin and you'll understand how this works! When your baby gets to the bottom of your pelvis, he turns his head slightly, so that the widest part of his head is in the widest part of your pelvis. The back of his head can then slip underneath your pubic bone. As he is born, his face sweeps across the area between your vagina and back passage (perineum). Can I really make my baby get into the right position for birth? Adopting a hands-and-knees position for 10 minutes, twice a day, can help to move your baby into an anterior position in late pregnancy. This technique (OFP) is tried-and-tested. However, all doctors may not recommend OFP in pregnancy because of the lack of written evidence. Most doctors may still encourage you to try the positions during labour, as you may be more comfortable in them once your contractions start. You could try to stay in upright or forward postures regularly in every-day life, rather than for short bursts. But this might not affect how your baby lies at birth. How can I improve my baby's position during labour? If your baby is in a posterior position when labour starts, you can still use postures and movements to try and help your baby to turn and relieve your pain. It's common for posterior babies to change position during labour, and most get themselves into an anterior position by the pushing stage. You may feel slight niggling pains for several days before labour really starts. This can be tiring, but may be a sign that your baby is trying to turn into an anterior position. You may find that one of the best positions is on all fours. In this position, your baby drops away from your spine, helping to relieve backache and hopefully helping him to turn, too. Here are some tips for coping with pre-labour and early labour: Get plenty of rest at night. Vary your daytime activities from walking and moving around, to adopting all-fours or knees-to-chest positions. Knees –to-chest position is when you're on your knees with your head, shoulders and upper chest on the floor or mattress, with your bottom in the air. Lean forwards during contractions, and try pelvic rocking on a birth ball. Eat and drink regularly to keep your strength up and stay hydrated. Try to stay relaxed and positive. Content source Featured image source
7 Strategies to make labour easier
Written By MyloEditor1694 Views
Labour is the hardest physical task that a woman experiences. Since a normal delivery takes less time to heal and doesn’t leave any visible scars on a woman’s body, most women aim to deliver vaginally. In order to do so, the mother needs to prepare her body accordingly. Although labour is a long and painful task, there are some things that you can definitely do to make it easier and smoother for you.
1. Do Squats Daily
Squats is the most beneficial exercise for every woman looking forward to delivery close to their due date. Due to its role in facilitating smoother deliveries, squats are considered to be the best exercise for easy labour. The best way to do squats is using a medicine ball, keeping it between the lower back and the wall and rotating the toes and knees as wide apart as possible. It is recommended to do 15 squats daily in this position for expecting mothers to have a great delivery experience.
2. Practice Yoga
After consulting your gynecologist, practice yoga during pregnancy regularly. Not only does it help to relax the body and make it flexible but also improves your breathing and prepares the body for labour. Various yoga asanas help to make the pelvic muscles more flexible to ease labour. It helps to get rid of stress and also provides relief from the aches and pains of pregnancy. Women who practice yoga during pregnancy suffer from fewer health problems.
3. Sleep Adequately and Regularly
Among all the tips on how to make labour easier and faster, this is the easiest to follow and is the most effective. As discussed earlier, such a stressful and important event like labour requires calmness from the mother’s end. Only a well and adequately rested person can adapt to such a scenario seamlessly. An expecting mother should sleep at least seven hours or more every day for a faster and smoother labour experience. The sleeping experience should be enhanced with soft, skin-friendly pillows and recliner beds for the comfort of the mother and the child.
Regular massage of the stomach along with perineal massage towards the end of the pregnancy helps to decrease discomfort and relax the muscles of the stomach and the vagina. Perineal massage helps to stretch the tissues of the vagina and this reduces the chances of vaginal tearing during birth. Massage also helps to increase the blood circulation in the perineal tissues and this in turn speeds up the process of healing after childbirth. Massaging of the thighs may also be done during labour to release tension between the contractions and to encourage the labour to progress.
5. Practice Breathing Techniques
Labour is an extremely painful experience for any woman. Breathing helps the woman in labour to adapt to the pain better and also helps in relaxing her. Breathing also helps in setting rhythmic contractions and helping the woman to push better and more efficiently. Breathing also ensures that the body has enough oxygen and the mother does not pass out due to the astronomical labour pain and cramps due to her contractions.
6. Take a Childbirth Class
Pregnancy is a mentally and physically taxing period for expecting parents where there is a lot of new things to be learnt and a lot of responsibilities to be understood as well as the do’s and don’ts of parenting. Hence, it is always good to be prepared for the moment of childbirth well in advance to make sure everything goes perfectly and according to plan. A childbirth class also relieves pressure that can be faced by dealing with the unknown and helps the partners be prepared for everything from the water-breaking to the cutting of the umbilical cord. A childbirth class can also be beneficial in providing easy labour tips to make the whole process simpler and faster.
7. Stay Upright during Labour
Rather than lying down and trying to push, it is considered to be better to stay upright on the bed and push. This is because gravity plays to the advantage of the mother and child as the child’s head pressing against the cervix due to gravity helps it in dilating faster and more easily. A variety of positions can also be tried out, like kneeling, squatting and standing to see what gives the best results during labour. Movement of the body also helps widen the pelvis helping the baby’s head to pass through easily.
Hope the above strategies help to make your labour shorter and easier!