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6 Things NOT To Do During Labour

There’s so much info and advice out there to guide you when it comes to what you should do during labour.

But is there anything you SHOULDN’T do?  Read on for our tips…

1. Don’t over-do it!

Now, I know it feels like you’ve been waiting FOREVER for those first contractions – especially if you’ve gone past your due date.  But what you perhaps don’t realise at this point, is that rest is so important when things first kick off.  Yes, being upright, and changing position is definitely helpful to get comfy – but periods of rest are crucial in these early stages. You could be in labour for a good while, and the last thing you need is to be exhausted before you get to the business end of it all. Every labour is different, but it’s best to prepare yourself for a marathon and not a sprint. Pace yourself.

2. Don’t go to hospital too soon (if you’re having baby in hospital)!

If you’re having your baby at home, no worries! If you are having your baby in hospital, you don’t want to get there too early or there’s a good chance you’ll be sent home. I’ve heard of women being sent home three times before finally being admitted! Travelling backwards and forwards that much is not a stress you need. Hang on

3. Don’t ignore your instincts!

When you’re in labour, don’t feel like you need to stay in the same position (unless you want to). Sometimes the hospital staff will want you to stay in the bed in a certain position because they want a good, continuous reading of your baby’s heart-rate. That can be super uncomfortable though. If you want to move into another position then go for it! It’s your body and your labour so listen to your instincts and do what feels best. The nurses will be able to work around you and keep moving the monitor until they have your baby back on the monitor.  It’s your body, your baby, and your experience.

4. Don’t hold your breath or hyperventilate!

Once labour starts, the simplest of things, such as how to breathe, can go out of the window.

You might think that breathing should come naturally during labor and shouldn’t be something that you have to think about. I mean, you do it all day every day, don’t you? Unfortunately, during labour, it’s entirely possible that you may get really worked up and freaked out which can cause you to breathe too rapidly, which in turn can cause dizziness, numbness and tingling of the hands, feet, and/or face, or even fainting. The type of breathing that you need to do is abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing. This will help with relaxation and stress relief – it oxygenates deep tissues, and it strengthens the diaphragm.

At the other end of the scale, you also want to make sure that you aren’t holding your breath during labour. The oxygen that you are breathing in is also giving oxygen to your baby. If you hold your breath, your baby’s heart-rate can start to drop, which could then cause your Midwife to consider whether it would be safer to deliver your baby asap, by whatever means necessary. Nice big deep breaths are the best thing for you and your baby. Proper breathing helps you manage the stress, provides the best oxygenation for both you and your baby, and it prepares your diaphragm to get ready for pushing a baby out. You’ll learn some useful techniques in your antenatal classes – keep them in mind!

5. Don’t clock-watch!

If you’re wondering why things are taking so long, it never helps to look at a clock. You won’t be left in a perpetual state of labour. It’s not an indefinite thing. That baby is coming out of you sooner rather than later. So relax as much as you can, lay back and enjoy the Entinox (if you’re given it).

6. Don’t fight it!

This is a natural process that your body was MADE for.  Surrender your body to the experience and allow the labour to open your body and don’t fight it.  Just let your body do what it needs to do.

Pay attention to what your body is telling you.  If a new position doesn’t feel right after a few contractions, as mentioned above, change positions. If you feel like you need to rest, rest. If you feel like a massage, or a bath will help to move things along, ask for it. If you feel an overwhelming urge to do something, do it.  Don’t fight it! You’ve got this, Mummy!

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