6 natural ways to shorten your labour

No need to be in labour any longer that you have to. Follow these tips and hold your bundle sooner!

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The idea of a long labour is daunting for many expectant women. You wonder how you’re going to cope with the pain, worry about the well-being of your baby, and of course, there’s the sheer exhaustion of the entire process.

Says Benita Tay, who is now 5 months pregnant with her third baby, “I’ve had difficult labours with my previous two kids. The first time round, I was in labour for 20 hours. The second time, I had to have an emergency C-section after being in labour for 14 hours. I will probably opt for a C-section straight away this time round.”

While labour can be an unnerving and downright horrifying experience for some mums, for others, it can seem almost like a walk in the park.

Pamela Soon, mum to Nicole 2, recalls feeling her first labour pains at around 9am in the morning. “We grabbed the hospital bags and reached the hospital by 10 ― she arrived within the next hour!” she says.

A short labour can earn you some envious looks from other mums, but do also note that these can sometimes be more intense and painful, as your body has less time to get those endorphins, including oxytocin and prolactin, flowing. The hormone also beta-endorphins help to relieve pain.

Short labours can sometimes be more intense and painful, as your body has less time to get those endorphins flowing.

To avoid being in labour longer than you really have to, you can take natural steps to prepare for D-day.

1.           Move around

Staying active and upright can help your labour progress faster. Walking around helps to strengthen contractions and uses gravity to move your baby downwards. Besides walking, try squatting, kneeling and getting on all fours.

When your baby is about to arrive, try sitting upright, with your legs open as wide as possible. This helps your body open up and aligns your pelvis to the best position in order to push bubba out.

On the other hand, when you’re lying down, your pelvic size decreases because of the angle of the birth canal, nor would you have gravity’s help to push your baby down.

2.            Cuddle up

Birthing can be an intimate time for both you and your husband. It’s the lead up to the moment where you welcome your little one into the world, so cherish this time as a couple.

Cuddle and kiss, stroke, and let him massage you. Besides growing as a couple and helping you to relax, all the touching will help to stimulate the release of oxytocin, which can help to trigger stronger contractions.