Pregnancy and you blog

Easy labor: Is it possible?

By Mary M. Murry, R.N., C.N.M. July 24, 2012

I was standing in a checkout lane at the grocery store when a magazine headline caught my eye — "Labor made easy!" Right away I wanted to know more. I've been delivering babies for years, and I've never connected the words "labor" and "easy."

If there's an easier way for women to labor and deliver, I want to know what it is!

The article didn't offer any special herbs, magic spells or secret incantations, yet reading it wasn't a complete waste of time. The labor tips — although not new — were good:

  • Physical fitness counts. Labor and birth are events of Olympic proportion. You'll use just about every major muscle group during the birth process, and you might need more endurance than you've ever summoned before. Muscles that are fit and flexible can help you meet the challenge.
  • Mental fitness is important, too. Athletes often learn techniques for focus and relaxation. You need the same training for your event. Start with a thoughtful birth plan, which can help you focus on what's most important to you during the birth process. It's also important to learn — and practice — conscious relaxation techniques. Mental preparation can help you jump the hurdles that are likely to appear during labor and birth.
  • Remember that labor and birth is a team event. You're the star player, but the rest of the team — including your support person or coach and the entire medical staff — can help you concentrate on the task ahead.

You won't earn a gold medal for labor and birth, but you'll get something much better. You'll get your baby.

What are your labor tips? Please share!

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Jul. 24, 2012