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What did you visualise / think about during labour? suggestions needed.

(20 Posts)
airborne Thu 11-Aug-11 23:23:32

I am due to give birth any day now. This will be DC3, I have not done any classes this time around and am trying to recall what was going through my mind during labour last time. I remember visualising climbing up a hill (when contractions reached their peak) then going a downhill as contraction eased. I believe that having the attitude of accepting the pain would get worse it would also soon reach its peak and get better got me through. Someone told me to visualise a coffee plunger as baby comes down the canal but this did not work for me!! One other piece of advise that got me through was 'each contraction you go through is one step nearer'. So.....any tips?

PeterSpanswick Thu 11-Aug-11 23:34:59

Bumping for you!
Due with dc2 and I seem to have blanked out a lot of my first labour (admittedly I was out of it on gas and air for the most part grin) so would like something helpful to focus on in case anything unwanted comes flooding back and panics me.

FessaEst Thu 11-Aug-11 23:42:56

I tried to make sure my hands weren't clenched, read somewhere "make sure the uterus is the only muscle that's contracting".

Whenever I felt like "I can't", I tried to remember, "I can, and I am".

I also imagined getting to the top of a steep hill, and riding a massive wave - each one bringing you closer to shore.

"Each one done is one you don't have to do again"

"Each contraction is one closer to meeting your baby"

If all else was failing, I tried to focus on the fact that it would end!

I listened to the natal hypnotherapy CDs, and they had some good imagery - " the intensity of a contraction is like feeling the sun getting hotter on you, then going behind a cloud".

TBH, I couldn't have got through labour without yoga breathing/making controlled sounds/humming on the outbreath - sounds hippy but worked for me!

Good luck!

MerylStrop Thu 11-Aug-11 23:45:55

I found counting up to the "peak" of the contraction and then counting down to when it would stop worked well.
I totally agree with accepting the pain (and relishing the relief in between).
I found a liberal sprinkling of denial also worked well right up to the pushing bit.

airborne Thu 11-Aug-11 23:51:37

FessaEst - why is it bad idea to clench your fists? I remember doing this most of the way through - was nearly ripping out sections of the shag pile carpet!

piprabbit Fri 12-Aug-11 00:02:02

I tried to focus on keeping all the tension of each contraction located in my belly and back.
This meant consciously relaxing my legs, shoulders and arms (especially my hands) and trying to keep my breathing as relaxed as possible. I spent a lot of time talking to myself - saying 'Breathe' and 'Relax'.

I did this instinctively, but it really fits in with what FessaEst is saying.
I think I was remembering a comment made by my antenatal teacher - if you hit your thumb with a hammer you may take a sharp intake of breath and tense yourself (possibly muttering fuck to yourself and flapping your hand around) but this tends to hold on to the pain. The pain will disappear more quickly if you can breath out through the pain and remain as relaxed as possible... go on, try it next time you have a bump, it really does work grin.

piprabbit Fri 12-Aug-11 00:03:17

Oh, and breathing in for a count of 3 (through nose) and out for a count of 5 (through mouth) helped manage the pain too...may just have been distracting, but it did help.

MummyAbroad Fri 12-Aug-11 00:46:14

I remember focussing on a few things:

"I am opening up like a flower" (got this one from a book, and it did make me feel a bit hippy and silly, but what the hey, try everything right?)

"I have a huge bucket fanny" this one made me laugh, and I feel did the same job. grin

and I also thought about contractions being like jumping waves in the ocean. If you see them coming and get prepared its easier, if one catches you unawares you will get dragged under, feel panicked and come up coughing and spluttering!!!

also "the big ones are the most effective ones" so instead of being scared by them, I tried to say to myself mentally "bring it on!"

and finally I banned everyone from using the word "pain" we only talked about "strong ones" instead.

good luck and enjoy meeting your baby when he/she gets here smile

royaljelly Fri 12-Aug-11 01:00:07

Just go with the flow... The only thing you will be imagining is getting her / him out of there. I would say concentrate on that. The sooner the better.

GetDownYouWillFall Fri 12-Aug-11 18:32:04

I am doing hypnobirthing this time round and there are lots of ideas for visualisations. Have a look at getting this book from the library and have a read. I have found the concept of thinking of contractions as "warmth", "power" or "pressure" quite helpful. Agree with others that you should try not to think about "pain" or be tense at all. The idea with hypnobirthing is to be completely relaxed.

I had a bad experience first time round. I am under no illusions that this time could be the same. However, I know hypnobirthing can and does work, so here's to giving it a go!

marylou242 Fri 12-Aug-11 20:31:01

I did hypnobirthing too. The main thing I imagined was my lungs as a big balloon inflating when I breathed in during a contraction, then when I breathed out I imagined blowing the balloon up into the air. It really helped. You can also think of different coloured/patterned balloons to keep yourself distracted. Try to breathe as slowly out as possible, both in and out, during contractions. I found it really helped.

Coca Fri 12-Aug-11 20:38:39

My second birth was so much better than the first. It sounds odd but I concentrated on thinking nothing. I had no pain relief not even gas and air. Google Michel Odent, he recomends no stimulation so no people talking to you or asking you questions. My midwife was amazing and just let me get on with it compared to my first midwife who chatted to me like a bloody hairdresser! grin

Coca Fri 12-Aug-11 20:40:06

Oh and feel free to ignore his views on no men in the delivery room, I did and it is of course completely up to the individual

neverlookback Sun 14-Aug-11 21:35:31

i imagined that i was being pulled up a big hill and then as it peaked i could slide back down and as they got stronger i was getting nearer and nearer the top i think this was from the gas and air!!

Zuzi Mon 15-Aug-11 15:31:16

I tried to imagine my baby descending and with each contraction being further down.
This time I think I'd like to try BIG & WIDE - I picked it up from Ina May Gaskin's book and I think it sounds incredibly appropriate.

EvaPeron Wed 17-Aug-11 15:15:16

Having done a hypnobirthing course I had planned all sorts of visualisations, safe places, beach, tide going in and out etc etc. When it came to it, I saw nothing, warm black, almost red nothing.

I think there was a line on one of the affirmation CDs about identifying with you baby or something (can't remember) and in hindsight, I wonder if I was visualising what he saw?

nunnie Wed 17-Aug-11 15:46:22

I just kept telling myself maybe with the next push, and looking at the clock and imagining holding my baby by a certain time. When I got closer to that time and still no sign I would add 10 minutes on.

fantus Wed 17-Aug-11 17:47:44

Another here who concentrated on trying to relax as much as possible.

When I was in labour the first time my midwife kept telling me to relax my shoulders and it really did help - I still felt like I was going to die though.

The second time I had a homebirth. I had read somewhere ( I think is was the Active Birth book) that pain is intensified when you tense your muscles so I consciousley tried to relax my whole body and kept my shoulders lowered. And I kept repeating in my head "It's not so bad" over and over again.

mrsravelstein Wed 17-Aug-11 17:49:59

i remember with ds2 i visualised one of those old fashioned american type semi circle lift indicators, you know the ones like a half clock face with an arrow that goes around from 0 to floor 1, then 2, then 3 etc, lighting up as it goes? so that i got floor 5 at the peak of the contraction and then back down again

BobbieSox Thu 18-Aug-11 16:58:08

MummyAbroad am loving "I have a huge bucket fanny" and am so going to use this! Possibly with the flower thing but hoping a bit of a giggle might help me relax, so thanks!

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