Anything you think helped make Labor easier?

posted 2 months ago in Pregnancy
Post # 16
2247 posts
Buzzing bee

Oops, I meant “your”.

Post # 17
2333 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

 Twizbe :  That was a really unnecessary comment. Some ladies have the kind of labor where they  reach a physical and emotional wall. Sometimes a epidural is the difference between a positive birth story and one that causes lots of trauma and anxiety even years after the birth.

I often hear  women wearing a drug free birth like a badge of honor. It is great that women were able to give birth in the way they wish but its not fair to diminish someone else’s achievement because they chose another option.

Every birth is an achievement and an absolute miracle and we should definitely as women celebrate that we are lucky to have this experience. The outcome for every mother should be to feel proud of their journey and that they’ve had a positive trauma free experience and so has their little one. 

No advice OP for pain other than do what feels right for you and your little one. Its great that you are looking into different options to help you through birth. Bring your list and try different suggestions until you find something that works for you.

I did a four month rotation on at mat ward. I saw lots of births and they were all so different. The ones that seemed to go better for mother and child were the ones where everybody involved was more flexible on their birth plan. Its great to go in with a plan but sometimes things don’t happen that way you plan and can lead to negative feelings later on. It is also important to speak up if you are unhappy with the Level of care/recommended care being offered to you. It is sometimes difficult to reason and logic in such an intense situation so make sure that you have someone who can speak for you. Go through possible outcomes with your partner/birthing buddy so that way you have a positive birth that you are happy with. Best wishes to you and please come back and post your birth story here xx

Post # 18
3208 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

Hypnobirthing! Moving around during labor, an experienced support crew that can help you stay in your body and move through the contractions rather than pulling away from them- once things really get going, many women get a bit altered so you need someone that you will listen to who can help you stay focused and present with your breathing. I kept forgetting to breathe and I had a wonderful friend who just kept bringing me back to my breath.

Also- I’ve seen epidurals do great things for women who used them to manage the pain but still were able to open and deliver vaginally. I got TWO epidurals and neither of them worked on me and an epidural can cause you to numb in wonky ways or have other side effects so make sure you do your research before counting on that for your plan.

Good luck! You may be one of those women who are fortunate enough to breeze through birth! I have a friend who went to the hospital, gave birth with ease and then was home with her baby within a few hours. I have a cousin who was relaxed and laughing through labor and doctors came in to let her know it was time to push. My mother hung out with a neighbor who was a labor and delivery nurse while she labored with me. They drank a little wine and were chilling. She had me within 90 minutes of getting to the hospital.

Good luck! Wishing you an easy and joyous birth and much happiness with your new baby.

Post # 19
430 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

cmsgirl :  that wasn’t my intention. The post I was replying to seemed to suggest that she go for the drugs without researching the realities of it. Epidurals are great if there is a risk it might be a c section anyway (e.g VBAC) or if the labour has gone on a long time and the mother needs rest. But they are known to prolong labour and increase the risk of assisted delivery. In the UK they also often mean having a catheter and not being able to get up for a good while after the birth. 

i don’t ‘wear my drug free birth as a badge of honour’. I had pain relief and in the UK we have gas and air which is fantastic l. If the OPs hospital has this option I’d really recommend it.

what I was trying to say was that an epidural isn’t always an option either. By the time I was at hospital and examined I was only 2 hours from giving birth. No time to have one. In fact in the U.K. You are dependant on being ‘in need enough’ to get one. There is usually only one anesthetist on duty and if someone has a greater need you have to wait your turn. They tell us to really think about pain relief and ways to cope without one. 

i agree birth plans often go out the window (mine did) 

Post # 20
3049 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I had a midwife and all good intentions of walking, yoga balling, laboring in the shower etc. My plan was to stall or avoid drugs as much as possible. I started having regular contractions at 5, water broke at 9, I was in the hospital by 10. As soon as I got in my room I put on the gown, laid down and asked for drugs. Best decision ever, haha. 

Post # 21
101 posts
Blushing bee

A heated wheat pack was very helpful for contractions. It definitely got me through. 

Also, paracetamol took the edge of the back pain I also experienced from the labour so I could focus on the contractions. I didn’t need an epidural. 

Post # 22
565 posts
Busy bee

Have your preferred plan and a back up plan,  I got a lot of side eye from the other women in my breathing class because I said I’ll have the epidural pre-ordered as an option if I needed it.  Their plan was “all natural” birth. I heard after the fact many were whining about the pain and didn’t have any option once the time came because it wasn’t included in their plan lol.


but, do read up on risks to your baby as well.. I probably wasn’t as knowledgeable on that as I should have been.  My little ones heart rate kept dropping and it scared me, although in the end everything turned out.

Post # 23
3783 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I had an epidural and it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.


Before receiving the epidural, I sat on a yoga ball and when the contractions became super intense, I stood up and leaned over the side of the bed to take some pressure off of my back. That helped immensely. Once I had the epidural I was confined to the bed. My nurse had me lay on my side with a peanut ball between my knees. I found that to be incredible uncomfortable and my labor ended up stalling. As soon as I returned to a semi-sitting position, things got rolling again.


I dont know why I didn’t believe the DOCTORS when they told me that an epidural doesn’t numb your vagina. But in case you’re like me, an epidural does not numb your vagina. You will still feel that baby coming out. And it still hurts.

Post # 24
520 posts
Busy bee

I bounced on my ball a lot

Also walked through all my contractions as it was too uncomfortable to sit. They only lasted 40-50 seconds though so I managed to breathe through them well. Staying calm really helped me. Coupled with the fact I  didn’t believe it was true labour so I didn’t think too much into it! Was very much real labour and I was afraid of giving birth in the car on the way there! Close call though…

Post # 25
4241 posts
Honey bee

yorp127 :  I had a completely unmedicated birth 6 weeks ago so,it is still very fresh in my mind. Labor hurts – no way around that – but it is not impossible. I started eating dates at week 36 because some studies have shown it helps soften your cervix and makes for a faster delivery. No idea how much it helps but at 37+4 I had a 17 hour birthing process. My water broke but then contractions didn’t start for another 8 hours. From then it was another 9 until she was born and I labored at home for the entirety only getting to the hospital in transition and only pushed for 15 minutes. 

During labor at home I used a birthing ball. I walked around a LOT. I spent many of my contractions on the toilet (your body has a natural release there). I also juggled tennis balls to distract myself from some of the less intense contractions. I ate and stayed hydrated so that I had enough energy to manage labor. Screaming will only tighten you up and make it worse (I did it twice to vent steam and then reminded myself that low gutteral moans are better and switched back to that). I don’t remember much of the car ride to the hospital but DH said I was clinging to the “oh shit” handle with my eyes closed and repeatedly saying “I am strong I can do this”. He said it sounded like I didnt believe it and was trying to convince myself lol but I was right – I was strong and I did it! I thought I would rather birth in a squat but I’m the moment on my back was more comfortable. Think about what you might want and remember to throw thr plan out the window if it doesnt work in the moment. Your body will tell you what you need to do. 

Post # 27
1745 posts
Bumble bee

A scheduled C-Section. Works like a charm for pain 😉

Post # 28
9178 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

an epidural!  Also, keeping in (relatively) good shape when pregnant can help you push more effectively.  Seriously though, an epidural makes things easy and painless (until you have to push and that part is the real work).  I’ve had 2, best thing ever.  I was practically napping during labor after I got mine.  With both of mine I could feel contractions, they just didn’t hurt.  So I knew instinctively when to push.  I was lucky as I had no complications and was able to get up and walk after 2 hours (we have the 2 hour window from birth to when they move you to your mother/baby room so I had no need to get up until after the 2 hours were up as I was mostly just holding baby that time).  I was induced with my first and after I got the epidural my labor sped up.  With my second I was not induced and when I got the epidural it stalled my labor for a couple hours.  Then we got out the peanut ball and things were back on track.

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