Things to do to make labour easier

Our comprehensive guide to getting the best birth experience.

Pregnancy-Things-to-do-to-make-labour-easier (1)

1) You’ve got the happy news, OMG! What will you need?

One of the first things is to decide is if you want a doula (labour supporter or coach). She will offer emotional and practical support throughout your pregnancy, labour and post-birth. Doula services are becoming more popular, especially with mums-to-be who don’t want to use anaesthesia. Get recommendations from your gynae. Well-known doula services include ParentLink and FourTrimesters.

        Then you’ll need to make a birth plan. Speak to your doctor or doula about your options but also keep in mind babies have their own schedule! Try not to be disappointed if things don’t go the way you’d hoped once labour starts! Get your labour bag ready way before your due date ― 36 weeks is about right.

Labour bag essentials:

  • Pregnancy notes and birth plan
  • Baggy T-shirt or nightie, several for pre- and post-bub.
  • Cool-water spray and snacks.
  • Camera, phone charger.
  • Slippers, socks, underwear.
  • Toiletries, maternity pads, nursing bras and breast pads.
  • Things you’ll need to bring baby home:
  • Diapers, rompers, a baby blanket, plus booties.
  • A car seat for the journey home.

Remember that giving birth is natural, and your body can tell you what to do and when. Rally your support network your husband or Mum/relatives.

2) How you’ll give birth — it’s not just lying in bed

Active labour Being able to move spontaneously and not just lying in bed helps to make labour shorter and easier. Prepare a pillow or beanbag to lean on for when you’re in the throes of labour or if you’re attached to a drip. Alternatively, you could also prop yourself up on your left side to help oxygenate your baby.

HypnoBirthing This uses hypnosis to relax you and help you to focus during labour. Use a childbirth preparation CD to practise breathing and relaxation techniques or try HypnoBirthing classes at Four Trimesters and ParentLink where you can learn to relax, quell your fears and work with your body during labour.

Water birth Water offers natural pain relief and is great for easing the dull ache of contractions. It supports your body and makes it easier to get into certain positions. If you deliver in a pool, you’re less likely to tear or require intervention. The best time to get into a birth pool is during the later stages of labour, when you’re about 5cm dilated. Mount Alvernia Hospital, Thomson Medical Centre, National University Hospital (NUH) and Raffles Hospital support water births. Talk to your gynaecologist to find out more.

Birth ball This large inflated ball supports your weight and gravity as you bounce and rock, and helps propel your baby down the birth canal. Kneel and rest your upper body on the ball to lessen the pressure on your spine. You can also rock on it during contractions. You’ll need to find out more from your gynae or doula.

Read on for more ways to maximise your birth experience