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The recipe for a pain free-er birth
Giving birth is PAINFUL.
Today, pain killers can ease the pain, but they aren’t the magic bullet. Yes, they do take the pain away, but they also take the PUSH away too. Since it is the PUSH, that is needed to get junior delivered, sometimes, what you gain on the swings, you lose on the round-about.
You want a natural birth.
You don’t want to start out natural and morph to an emergency c-section. So you’d prefer to skip the painkillers, if possible.
You’re not a sissy, so you’re prepared to suffer SOME pain.
But………… you’re human.
Getting ready for the pain
You’ve done your homework and prepared yourself to “manage” THE PAIN. Most of your preparations have centred around preparing yourself mentally, for the challenge.
- You’ve taken a hynobirthing course
- You’ve hired a doula, to provide you with the emotional support you need, and
- You’ve got hubby to lean on
What else can you do ?
Pack a hot water bottle and an ice pack.
This is the advice of a team of researchers from Mazandran University of Medical Science.
Blowing hot and cold
The idea of using temperature to relieve pain, is not new.
- You’ve treated a sprain or carbuncle with ice cubes and
- Warmed tired aching muscles in a hot bath
What you might not have done, is both on the same problem. No, I’m not smoking something, I realize you cannot do both at the same time, but you can do them sequentially i.e. alternate the hot and cold.
This is the recipe for a pain free-er birth….
Stopping labour pains
The researchers enlisted the help of 64, healthy, about to deliver Moms. The deliveries happened at the Emam Ali and Shahid Rajai Hospitals, in 2011.
- 32 Moms received standard care
- 32 Moms received “thermal” pain relief
The thermal pain relief, began with a little heat. A warm water pack, was wrapped in a towel and placed on the Mom-2-be’s abdomen, for 30 minutes. The temperature of the pack was between 38-40°C, hot enough to matter, but not hot enough to burn.
At 30 minutes, the HOT was whipped away, and replaced with COLD. The ice pack, was also wrapped in a towel and placed on the Mom’s abdomen, the ice pack was left on for 10 minutes, and then…………
The hot was back.
The hot and the cold
As labour progressed, the interval between hot and cold, shifted. In the second stage of labour, the hot was left on for 15 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of cold.
Labour was quicker, less pain meds were use and the Moms were HAPPIER !
The thermal pain relief group reported having a good birthing experience : none were dissatisfied, 43.8 % were highly satisfied and 12.5 % were very highly satisfied. The level of satisfaction was significantly lower in the standard care group, a whopping 65.6 % were unhappy/dissatisfied.
Too hot to handle….
Heat causes blood vessels to dilate.
The blood vessels are actually trying to cool you off, but in the process, the expansion allows more blood to move through. More blood coming through, means more “goodies” can be delivered.
For hard working muscles, this means more fuel. Sugar and oxygen.
More fuel, means more fire.
Empowered………… the uterine muscles, can get on with the job of PUSHING junior out.
There are more contractions, they last longer and they push harder.
Whoohoo, baby is on the move…..
Too cold to move…..
Higher temperatures SPEED things up………..
Muscles charge. Nerves chatter.
And in the case of the nerves, monitoring the uterine moves…………. the chatter is reaching the brain, FAST, causing the perception of PAIN.
But, a chilling blast of cold, quickly silences the chitter chatter, because cold decreases the velocity of neural transmission to be slowed. Despite, the cries of pain and discomfort from the uterine muscles, the pain signals being relayed by the nerves, are muted.
Effectively decreasing the perception of pain.
The effects of heat, on blood vessel volume, are pretty close to immediate. Cold effects are somewhat delayed……. it typically takes 10-30 minutes to slow the nerve chitter chatter. By alternating, hot and cold, in quick succession..… you get the best of both worlds.
More PUSH. Less PAIN.
It’s simple. It’s safe. It works.
Thermal pain relief
So don’t forget to pack your hot water bottle and ice pack, along with some munchies, into your labour bag.
And when you get to the hospital, whatever you do ……DON’T GET INTO THE BED.
Melatonin is normally associated with getting you ready for bed, not babies, but he is an important part of the delivery room team – assuming he show up.
You’re ready to deliver, the date is set …………… and then NOTHING. Maybe the NOTHING is a sign, your baby is not ready, some babies need 37 more days to develop
Why it’s important to cut the cord ON TIME
Mother Nature knows, babies need lots of iron, so she provides a little stash of iron deep inside the placenta, cutting the cord early, cuts baby’s supply.