How to deal with Contractions!!(18 Posts)
I'm due in two weeks and so far everything has been quiet, lots of BH but no painful cramping etc.
I was just wondering what contractions felt like at the start, right the way through labour and how you dealt with them?
This will be my first labour so any tips or advice will be most welcome
They start off by feeling like a bad period pain and then get much worse. They come in waves.
Congrats - how exciting!
Just had DD2 9 weeks ago, both labours I just "breathed" through all the contractions pretty much right to the end (slow labours but fast transition!) It used to wind me up when people said that, I mean of course you're meant to breathe !
Just take a nice big "in" breath and breath slowly through your mouth with "out", concentrate on that and keeping the rhythm steady. I found it stopped me even going near panicking. I've also heard that some ladies end up holding their breath without realising and nearly passing out - so it's not as daft as it sounds!
Have you thought about trying hypnobirthing techniques? They teach you to relax as much as possible during a contraction. My first labour was terrible because I panicked when I started having contractions and if you do that it hurts much more. If you stay upright and active they are also much more manageable ime.
Yes, a good breathing pattern is surprisingly effective in reducing pain.
An epidural is very effective
At the start its just like period pain - and where you normally get it ie just at the base of yr tummy - hire a TENS machine and whack it on at this point. It buzzes annoyingly but I really think it helps as I got to 8cm with just that and am really no hero at this kind of thing. The pains then gradually get worse - but over many, many hours - again I agree they come in waves. I tried to stay active on my feet (I hoovered and mopped the floors) and to stretch my tummy up and out with my breathing aka hypnobirthing theory (if you panic, curl up and dont move I think it will take longer). Don't panic there is usually time in between contractions to breath, eat choc, curse at your DP for being annoying etc...They will get to the point where they are taking your breath away and you can't speak or stand - at this point G&A is bloody marvellous!! A pool also feels amazing - made me feel light as a feather when I hadnt realised the tremendous sense of pressure around my back/tummy. My advice is an soon as you feel a contraction starting take the biggest breath in you can of G&A ...it takes a second or two to work so you need it in advance IYSWIM. They aren't nice at their worst but there are gaps in between and you do manage. And the best bit is however it was you get a snuggly newborn and within hours you'll find yourself gazing at your gorgeous baby saying 'I could do it again'. Be positive, active and BIGGGGG breaths of G&A. XX
I found breathing, staying on my feet and swaying my hips really good - hang off something if you can (eg. partner's neck, a door, some MLU have ropes in the rooms you can hang off and sway!).
And don't worry too much - I found them a lot more manageable than I thought they would be because you get a break, it's not constant pain.
Later on though nothing beat a birth pool and gas and air.
Breathe slowly and deeply, count while you are doing it. Focus on the breathing and counting and you won't panic. Standing and swaying helps too.
And concentrate on relaxing. Try not to tense up as this can make contractions more painful.
Mine came very suddenly, intensely and frequently, about a min apart from the start. I used a tens machine and in hospital gas and air. I was a cynic about tens machine until I used it. I was fantastic. Better than gas and air and I didn't even put it on it max. I also moved about a lot and lent on hubby standing up. Also used breathing through contractions and actual found it helpful to say relax, relax on put breathes, whilst relaxing pelvic floor and 'opening' a much as possible. The prep I did for labour definitely helped. If I had gone in unprepared I think I might have freaked. As it was I have definitely had worse pain. An ear infection wa much worse! Contractions were manageable. I even quite enjoyed it as I wa proud of how I was managing it! Good luck!
Hatt says I not constant pain. I was in almost constant pain nd it was still okay. I would also advise getting as much sleep as poss now and in early labour if you are tired and his is possible!
Thank you, this is all really useful! I had my first labour dreams last night and it freaked me out a little. My biggest worry is that I'll panic so the stuff about breathing is really useful.
I have a tens machine and plan on putting it on when the contractions start, is there a point when it is too soon? Some people have mentioned they put it on too late to notice the benefit, so I'm really unsure about timing.
I'm also planning on staying at home as long as I can, or until they hurt so bad I feel I need to go in. Again, I'm freaked out that I'll get to the hospital and I'll be like 1cm and they will laugh and send me home :P I honestly think at this point its fear of the unknown that's freaking me out!!
Interested in your opinions on drugs during labour?? I'm very open minded to be honest and would rather not use anything but don't want to say a definite no in case I need it and feel like I've failed.
This is my second, and my only plan this time is to avoid pethidine as it grogs the baby out for a week. Other than that I'm happy to trust the professionals who do this a million times a year.
A TENS machine really helped. I was very sceptical but it really was effective.
I second the recommendation of Natal Hypnotherapy. I used this one.
It didn't make things pain free, but I'm convinced this is what kept me calm.
finally got to the point whee I can hardly remember, but I think contractions felt to me like someone grabbing, squeezing and twisting my cervix. I don't recall the second stage hurting at all.
As soon as period pains start get the tens on - there's no thing as too soon as it works by building up endorphins slowly - x
My preg yoga teacher recommended practising with tens before going into labour. I did this. I think never say never when it comes to drugs. I know someone who did not want an epidural but took one and said it was great. She could still feel what was going on, to the extent that she also had gas and air, but it made things manageable for her. You just have to see how it goes. It is not a failure to use drugs, especially not if you have a better birth experience. If it is an option where you are, most people I know who used a water pool said it really helped with pain relief.
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