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Thread: How did you cope with contractions?

  1. #1

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    Talking How did you cope with contractions?

    Hi Everyone,
    Just wondering how you all coped with your contractions? i had really painful contractions through the whole labour but had no drugs ( YAY).. So my whole labour was drug free.. Im just wondering if you all could tell me how to cope for when i have another baby as i want to stay at home longer and not feel as im dying in pain..



    Thank you all so much for reading and replying..





    Lilly-Jayne Born FEB 2009

  2. #2

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    hmm good thread! I stayed at home for half of my labour and managed by keeping the room quite dark, walking around the house and alot of self- positive talk. WHen I got to hossy and the pain was intense, I said things to myself like, "I can do this", "the pain isnt too bad", "Its okay". I found it helped if I said these things out loud to myself.

    Also having a great birth partner and supportive midwives helped. My midwives were saying to me every so often how well I was doing and that they couldnt believe for a first time pregnancy how well I was progressing. Even if I wasnt progressing well I would want them to say this as any negatrive thoughts I think can hinder your labour.

    The shower also helpe me alot, hosing my belly and lower back.

    I hope that helps and you get the birth that you want

  3. #3

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    I usually like to be standing up and when a contraction comes on I close my eyes, breath, and rotate my hips and imagine my cervix opening!! I also liked DH or the midwife applying presure to the small of my back

  4. #4

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    for me it was breathing through each contraction, nice deep breaths!

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    TENS machine was great. And breathing...

  6. #6

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    Focusing on breathing, thinking of the contraction as a sensation of pressure or tightening not pain, visualising the baby moving down and the cervix opening with each wave. I loved my heat pack and later the shower, the heat of the water on my lower tummy during the contractions was fantastic.

  7. #7

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    I read an article somewhere - probably on here about why labour hurts. It was excellent! By understanding why it was hurting I was able to go with it rather then fight it. In both my labours when things stepped up I wasn't really there if that makes sense. I was focused internally and didn't really have an awareness of what was going on around me. Funnily enough my first labour was atually easier and I think this was because I was alone (DH had to rush home to get things as it was an emergancy induction) whereas in my second labour DH was there and I couldn't get as focused, if that makes sense. I also found vocalising or a rhymic moaning felt really good. Also got to love the warm shower - wow who knew water was so powerful. Good luck, hope you find what works for you

  8. #8

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    I was singing a weird little ditty called "I can do this - yes, I caaaaaan ow, yes I caaaaaaan. I can do this, I AM doooooooooiiinnng thiiiiiis, I can do it"

    Worked a treat!

  9. #9

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    I had my sister rub a HOT heat pack on the small of my back in between contractions, and then when they started ramping up a bit, I walked up and down the hallway and stomped my feet and moaned.

    The only ones I felt were really challenging were the early ones before I had slipped into that labor haze iykim...after that I can't really remember them.

  10. #10

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    I had a old blue t-shirt in my maternity bag with DD#3 labour, i dont know how i got hold of it, but every time a contraction came, i would bury my face in this t-shirt....it worked.

  11. #11

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    I stomped my feet a lot... it seemed to take the focus away from the contraction and to me it felt like the pain would disappear down my legs each time I stomped.

  12. #12

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    saw each contraction as a wave. So it was only half as long. So on its way up and then on its way down. This was nice and calming...Then when times got tough, 1st baby....made grunting noises...so much so that id go "who is making that noise LOL" 2nd baby..more like a monkey and 3rd just looooooow moans!

    Its all fun!

  13. #13

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    i kinda did a visualisation thingy like Tegam mentioned. although i used to be a high-diver and so i 'stole' our visualisation technique from that and viewed each contraction as a big phat beer barrel that i needed to 'jump' over...strange but true LOL!!!

    i would recommend staying at home as LONG as possible too. those middies tend to be wayyy to keen to jab you with whatevers going at the time.

  14. #14

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    Stomped my feet, used heat packs (had to be very hot!), hot water from the shower head and strangely - reading something or thinking about something unrelated (distraction I guess). I only did the distraction thing when I was having the most painful contractions...I remember analysing every detail of the plastic chair in the shower...he he.

  15. #15

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    Birth pool - get one!
    makes a world of difference!

    Also - read Birth Skills by Juju Sundin (co-written with Sarah Murdoch). It has some great strategies to cope and help get you into the right mindset.

    And remind yourself that you already have done this before! You don't need to prove anything to yourself - you have already done it! Your body knows exactly what to do!

    Also remind yourself of the health benefits to you and your baby of avoiding pain relief as long as possible.

    Make sure your hubby and MW's are supportive.

    Write out a birth plan. Maybe saying that they not suggest pain relief to you, but you will request them if you want them. Maybe also note that you must only request relief in the break when you are thinking more clearly/rationally, not during a contraction.

    No athlete could go for 5 hours and not feel their muscles burning - and that's what is happening. Your muscles are working harder than ever before, for hours on end. You are not broken - you are working. And even athletes hit the 'wall' (transition), where they doubt their ability to finish what they have started. But they push through it and finish it - just like you will.

    If it's unbareable, then take pain relief - that's what it is for.

    And remember that every contraction's an action (baby moving down and one step closer to being in your arms). It won't last forever, and when it's all over you will forget about the pain in an instant.

    Bets of luck - not that you'll need it.... You'll be great!

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lulu View Post
    I was singing a weird little ditty called "I can do this - yes, I caaaaaan ow, yes I caaaaaaan. I can do this, I AM doooooooooiiinnng thiiiiiis, I can do it"

    Worked a treat!
    LMFAO! I have to try this! At the very least it will amuse the kids! If they are home that is.

    Personally I just bent over, breathed a lot and kept telling myself that it will be over soon. I was exceptionally proud at how much of Harrys labour I coped with at home. I arrived at the hospy in transition and he was born 15mins later.

    Oh, and I bit down on the handle of my hairbrush, haha. DH bought me a new one after I had baby because it had big gouge marks in it.

  17. #17

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    I had gas and I bit on the mouthpiece a lot towards the end, I didn't care about the gas, something to bite on was great. Heat packs, shower, and vocalising...not that I planned that , just that I remember moaning etc & the midwife saying things like, 'that's great, go with it, you're labouring very intuitively' etc (really? clever me! I had no idea!) FWIW I agree with Alibaby re the supportive partner/ midwives etc BIG help it made me feel like 'I can do this'.

  18. #18

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    Check out how this mama coped with contractions! Whew! Most of it is in French, but the few English sentences are so powerful and beautiful:

    Dailymotion - Naitre_enchantee - a Vie pratique video

    The things that are going to enhance the release of your endorphins are going to help the contractions be more manageable. Such as:
    * dark, quiet room
    * relaxation
    * rhythmical movement, rocking, swaying, stepping, breathing
    * warmth
    * no disturbance or interuptions
    * allowing yourself to drift away with the surging hormones
    * massage
    * water
    * staying well hydrated and fed with nourishing food

    I remember one birth i supported, when I arrived the mama was kneeling on her bedroom floor and she was already having a hard time with the pain and feeling gah I can't do this, get me to hospital! I knew if we went so soon it would set her up for intervention and I knew she did not really want that. So ... what could we do to help her get through?

    I talked to her and suggested she try getting up and moving, I said, it won't hurt *more* if you move. She ended up pacing up and down her house like a caged tiger, holding a wheat pack one in front and one behind. That rhythmical pacing seemed to help her much more than being stuck still in one position. When that stopped helping, she went in the shower with her dh, and that worked for her for about half an hour (until the water ran out!) I was amazed how she went from really being stuck and 'over it', to ebing able to labour at home nearly another 4 hours before we left for the hospital. She was 10 cm when she arrived at the hospital!!

    One more tip, I think Labour Ade is worth a try, because the calcium in it is supposed to help with pain management, and also when you're dehydrated you cope less well - when your fluid & electrolyte balance is good seems like you cope better.

    If you plan to labour at home, I think a birth pool or deep spa or bath is a huge help.

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