Sometimes labor is prolonged and it may be best for the baby and mother if medical intervention speeds things along to safe delivery. Other times labor can be slow and tiring but not present any risk to Mom and baby.
If you are not in any danger and you are offered medical help to speed your labor you may wish to think about what you can do to help yourself before accepting. Here are some ideas as to how you might help speed labor along naturally.
Research suggests that the more mobile you can be during labor the better. Being upright and mobile may strengthen your contractions and help you to cope with them. If you are lying on a bed and feel unable to get up you can change position regularly to help.
If you can get up than taking a trip to the bathroom can help as an empty bladder is beneficial to the descent of your baby.
If your baby is presenting in the back to back position you may be encouraged to move onto your side or try kneeling on the bed which can help your baby move into a better position for delivery.
If facilities allow get try getting into warm bath or even a birthing pool.
Use breathing and relaxation techniques learned at antenatal classes to help you stay focussed and calm.
Ask you birthing partner if you have one to massage your back or feet.
Eat and drink if you need to; stay well hydrated.
Rocking your hips and leaning forward during contractions can help pressure your baby down onto your cervix ready for delivery.
Don’t be afraid to ask your care team how your labor is progressing and what to expect next as this will help you feel more in control and relaxed. Emotional support from a birthing partner you trust and the experience of your medical professionals will help you to manage pain and discomfort.
There is no need to feel that you must do without medical help and at any point you can change your mind. The important thing is that your baby is safely delivered into the world and that you are both healthy; if medical help is required it is entirely up to you if you wish to accept. Good advice is to try and speed and manage labor naturally if you can but keep an open mind and accept the advice of your medical team.