When you're pregnant one common worry is that childbirth will be painful. Yes, it will be. Unless you use full...
When you're pregnant one common worry is that childbirth will be painful. Yes, it will be. Unless you use full on pain medications like an epidural there will be some pain or at the very least heavy sensations. However, women do manage to get through childbirth and I promise after your baby arrives you won't even remember (well, you won't remember so much). Now that we've established that there will be pain it's good to know that there are some ways you can avoid a more painful childbirth experience. All of the following have been shown to make labor and childbirth more painful than average -- average of course is subjective but you get the picture. Thinking about the pain: There is normal worrying and then there is all encompassing dwelling worry about childbirth. You can expect that childbirth will be hard and even painful but overly dwelling on it won't help matter and can, in fact, make the pain worse when the time comes. A better way to deal with worry is to focus on other issues. When your brain starts to dwell on the what-if's of pain try thinking about the nursery or cute outfits. Think about work or go window shopping. Anything you can to get your mind elsewhere. It's also good to note that the pain will end. Focus on knowing that yes it will be hard but the discomforts of labor and childbirth don't last very long in the grand scheme of things. Believe me I had a two day labor so I know. It was hard but those moments are a brief time of my life. I made it through and so will you. If the thoughts of fear become overwhelming talk to your care provider. Self-pity: I had a lot of this because I had a rare pregnancy condition that was very painful. I did try to brush it away and you should to. You'll feel better when you focus on the positives. These positive feelings will help you to get through labor. Hunger: Hunger, and actually thirst as well have been shown to make labor more difficult and more painful. Be sure that you choose a care provider who knows this. Some doctors still believe in no food during labor. This is the hardest work you'll do in your life -- nourishment is a good thing. Light snacks and fluids won't hurt an uneventful labor and can help ease pain. Fatigue: This one almost took me out (remember my TWO day labor). I was exhausted. As I went through labor and became more and more tired the pain got worse. The pain got worse even when my contractions were lighter. This was partly my fault. I wanted a totally drug-free pregnancy. Because it's impossible to sleep soundly and restfully through continuing contractions I didn't get much sleep for the first part of labor. I should have used some pain medication so that I could get some rest. For my situation that would have been smart about six hours into labor but I refused. I think I went drug free (with heavy pitocen contractions) for around 16 -17 hours -- I forget but it was a LONG time. Finally I quit progressing due to exhaustion and the insane pain so a cesarean was being discussed. The other option was for me to get some rest so I'd have the strength to continue. I choose rest which meant taking pain medication so I could sleep but it was worth it. What may have been better is pain medication sooner. Each of our situations is different but if you get tired the pain will become so much worse. Being alone: This one should go without saying but childbirth can be scary -- even when you're with a loved one. Don't go it alone. Studies show that being alone during labor intensifies pain quickly. If you don't have a good plan for a brith partner consider a doula.

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