Contributed by The Fit Doula, Maddy Wasserman
Whether you’re in active labor or trying to get things going, keeping your body moving during labor is fundamental. Movement is an essential tool for pain relief and relaxation. As you change positions, you and baby work together to navigate the birth canal.
Below are three ways to keep your body moving throughout labor once you get to the hospital. The key is to follow your intuition and be creative.
Dance with your IV pole: Your caregiver will likely suggest you receive fluids intravenously (IV) to prevent dehydration. This should not limit yourfreedom to move; stand up, sway, squat and dance with the pole. You can even bring a portable speaker with your favorite tunes to inspire movement and rhythm.
Spend time on the ”Labor Throne” AKA the toilet: Emptying your bladder and bowels during labor will help make way for baby. In addition, I encourage you to spend some additional time on the toilet as you labor through contractions. It is a great place to hang out, it puts you in an upright position and encourages your pelvic floor to relax. If you are comfortable there, there is no reason to leave.
Bring a birth ball: If you don’t have a birth ball yet, Get one! It may seem excessive to bring in a cab but trust me you will be happy you did. Just deflate it a little and your partner can re-pump at hospital. There are lots of ways to use the ball to get your body in positions of rest & relief and to promote progress:
-Try sitting on the ball and swaying your hips side to side & front to back, either upright or rest your head on pillows on the bed. (adjust bed height to accommodate)
-Kneel on the bed and rest your upper body on the ball relaxing shoulders.
-Place ball on bed and lean over it, swaying lower body.
When buying a birth ball size is important. A ball with a 65cm diameter is best for a woman of average height (63-70 inches). A much shorter woman may require a 55cm ball, and a much taller woman may require a 75cm ball. If you are planning to have an epidural get your self a peanut shaped ball, these are great to keep your hips open and support your legs in various positions. See Positions Here
Movement during labor is the best comfort technique for pain relief and labor progress.
When a position is working stay with it and have your birth team support you and remind you. And when it no longer helpful, change it up. sometimes moving positions can re adjust your mental space, which is just an influential as the physical.
Your Pregnancy is a Wellness, your Body is Wise, Trust Yourself & MOVE!