I’ve just caught up with call the midwife, the episode was looking at how relaxation can help during childbirth.
It’s interesting to hear that in the past when medication to reduce pain wasn’t available they used relaxation techniques to manage the experience. Also in populations throughout the world there are women who don’t expect to feel any pain and report not feeling any.
They explained on the episode about how fear of pain causes the body to tense and therefore causes pain. It’s a bit like a self fulfilling prophesy. It’s funny how there is so much talk of pain during the childbirth process in my experience, from planning how and where to have your baby, up until the moment your bundle of joy arrives.
When giving birth to my daughter I didn’t want to have any talk of pain and discomfort, a tip I’d gotten from an excellent book I’d read by Tina Taylor called Painless Childbirth. Using focus, relaxation and being calm really helped throughout the process, which meant I only used a tens machine for relief. I think I was still a little scared of the unknown though.
I’m just a couple of days away from experiencing the process again and i’ll definitely be using the same techniques and feel I’m better prepared this time. I’m more confident and have been practicing over the past few weeks.
These techniques mentioned can also be useful to manage most types of pain. Not always eliminating it but helping you to cope more effectively.
Just relax in a quiet place, think of a place or time when you have been very comfortable. Really focus on what you saw, heard and felt at the time. You could also make up a place you would really like visit. It doesn’t have to be exotic it could just be a beautifully comfortable bed or chair. Remember to make the pictures in your mind big and bright. The sounds more clear and louder and this will intensify the feeling. Try this whenever needed, while regulating your breathing, slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth. Relax your body one part at a time. I often find starting at your toes and working your way up your body works well.
This is also good if you have difficulty dropping off to sleep in the evenings.