- Patterned breathing, i.e. 4 count in and 4 count out
- Touch…what relaxes you and what does not…this could change several times during labor.
- Movement…swaying, rocking, “dancing”, squatting, lunging, walking
- Create a relaxing environment using things from home like your own clothing, pillows, blanket and pictures. Lower the lighting and use relaxing music. Make a play list of all your favorite music. Your preference may change throughout labor and birth.
- Aromatherapy…use your favorites and be sure to try these out before you begin labor. Lavender, chamomile, citrus are a few that work well.
- Visualization…practice beforehand with your partner. Try things like riding a wave in the ocean or going down through a cool cave. You can use the aromatherapy to help in this.
- Sit in a warm tub. The water provides soothing comfort as well as a respite from so much gravity.
- Create a birth plan. This gives you the best chance of having the birth experience you desire.
- Be present. Don’t go to “what ifs”, “what was”, or “what will be”, be in the moment.
- Trust your body and “tune in”. Practice relaxing all your parts, one at a time, as you breathe. Especially focus on face and shoulders. Don’t waist energy on tensing all those muscles. The more tense you are, the more pain. An open, relaxed mouth equals an open cervix.
- Partner with a doula.
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