Unmedicated Childbirth: What Are My Pain Relief Options During Labor?
Sunny Gault: So you're going for an unmedicated birth. But what happens if you're in labor and you feel like you need a little bit of pain relief? What do you do at that point? I'm studying with new mommy media. And I'm joined today by Hehe Stewart, she's the creator of The Birth Lounge and host of The Birth Lounge podcast. Hi, Hehe, thanks for being with us today.
Hehe Stewart: Hi, thanks so much for having me.
Sunny Gault: Well, he, first of all, I just want to get this out there in the open for all moms, regardless of their plans and what they want to do. It doesn't matter whatever your plans are for giving birth, if it doesn't go out the way you have it on your little piece of paper on your birth plan. It's okay. And you're not a failure. Would you agree with that i
Hehe Stewart: Totally 100% agree with that, I think it's really important to remember that you're not the only captain of this ship, it feels like all of the responsibility falls on your shoulders. But that's not the case. Your baby plays a big role in this and so does nature. So really, you're about a third of this puzzle, right? And then other things are going to impact it as well, your provider the energy around your birth, where you choose to have your baby. So there's a lot of factors, you're absolutely not a failure, there's there's actually no failure in birth, you can't fail at birth. Right.
Sunny Gault: Right. Such a good point, such a good point. So he if moms are in that situation where they feel like they need a little bit of pain relief, maybe their birth is going a little bit longer than they expected. Maybe it's a pain is just because you know, you never really know what to expect when to give birth right? And you may think your pain is going to be on you know, certain level, maybe it's a lot bigger. So if they find themselves needing some help, what are some pain relief options available to them?
Hehe Stewart: Sure. So we have a lot of unmedicated pain relief options. The first one that comes to my mind is heat. This could be a heating pad, this could be a rice saw, this could be hot water, you have lots of options. If you're having your baby in the hospital, they have actual heat packets that they snap open and it warms up and you can use them on various parts of your body, your back your lower back underneath your belly, where the contractions are in your hips on you can use them all of your body. The next thing is going to be movement, we know that staying stationary, especially lying down is not only unprogressive for labor, but it also makes sure the pain worse right being up right and moving around makes your contractions more progressive and also lessens your pain. monitors are also a really great thing.
Your mind is one of your biggest assets in birth, it can get you through so much. If you have a labor that hasn't been augmented in any way. Meaning we've not given you any medications to create your contractions or to induce you, then your contractions will never be bigger than you because they are you and there's nothing artificial that's causing those contractions. And so your mindset can do wonders. mantras such as I am not, I am bigger than this, these are not bigger than me. I am closer to meeting my baby. Every wave brings my baby down to me, my body is opening up so I can meet my baby. There are 1000s of mantras out there, find some that align with you that really make you feel powerful. Write them on little cards and tape them up on the walls. Have your partner or your nurse flip through them and read them to you as you're having your contractions or you can put them in your brain and repeat them to yourself as a way to get through and cope with your contractions.
The next thing is physical support. So there are various physical things that that you can learn either on the Internet through a birthing class or if you're working with a doula where your partner or your nurse any birth support can provide physical pain relief with you by pressing on certain places of your body. Deep touch massage is another really great thing. I always love it to go around and massage the birthing person's head, a nice shoulder massage is really great. And then finally, water, which we've talked about this on another episode, so tune into that but water hydrotherapy is immensely beneficial. It has a lot of benefits such as lowering your anxiety, lowering your necessity for medical pain relief. And then also just general relaxation not only of your mind, but of your body physically relaxing those muscles that are working so hard to bring your baby on.
Sunny Gault: Now, is it important to have a doula or a midwife that understands everything that we just talked about? Like who is the person that can be your advocate during this and be like, Oh, you're experiencing this? Maybe he is best for this? Like who is the go to person to help you through this?
Hehe Stewart: Yeah, I think this is individual right? Not everyone's going to love the idea of having a doula although a doula does have great benefits such as lowering your C section rate lowering your use of medical pain relief, shortening your labor link. So there's lots of benefits but I also understand to respect the premise that having a stranger in your birth may not be for you, I'm your midwife, your provider, your doula absolutely can play those roles. It's also possible for your partner to play that role, depending on how involved your partner is throughout the pregnancy and the birth planning process. They can absolutely be your solid rock through this.
Sunny Gault: Okay, and I'm assuming there's classes or something that women can take to learn a little bit more because we just briefly went over some of this today. But if they want to dive a little bit deeper, is this something they can Google or what's the best way if they want to try to get that information?
Hehe Stewart: I have to say the first round it's going to be a non biased non judgmental, comprehensive birth education support. I we set you through your pregnancy, we step you through your actual birth and then also postpartum it's going to be different than any childbirth education that you find in a hospital. So hospital sponsored childbirth education. And because we're able to share things that insurance policies a cog, different organizations may limit the information that your hospital is able to share with you.
Sunny Gault: That's great. Awesome, thank you Hehe- check out all of his information on her website, which is thebirthlounge.com. Also, please head on over to our website, newmommymedia.com where real moms talk about real life.