(1) Throughout the final months of pregnancy, I had practiced the different levels of breathing according to the stages of labor. Breathing deeply and slowly for the first stage contractions and then moving into mid chest breathing. Finally for the intense second stage contractions just prior to the pushing stage shallow panting works best. I found these breathing techniques really help with the pain management during the contractions. While giving birth to my third child, out of curiosity, I tried doing a couple of contractions without using any breathing control and they were painful horrible contractions! I felt very sorry for all those ladies who give birth and aren’t taught how to breathe properly during labor.
(2) Keep your hands relaxed during labor as well. It really helps relax your body. During the final months of pregnancy regularly practice relaxing your body by lying down comfortably and momentarily tensing up parts of your body e.g. a leg or a hand, and keep the rest of your body relaxed.
(3) You will get thirsty during the last stages of birthing but you shouldn’t drink as it can be very upsetting for your stomach causing you to vomit. It is much better to have some ice cubes handy. Ask your assistant to place some in a cloth. You can suck on them through the cloth. It is also nice to have somebody just wipe them over your lips between contractions as well.
(4) Wear warm socks during the final stages of labor regardless of the season because your feet will become cold due to your life force being so concentrated on the birthing process.
(5) Have a bucket, small towels or cloth nappies, and plastic gloves ready. If you experience strong back pain, ask your assistant to fill the bucket with boiling water and soak a towel in it. They then squeeze the towel out with gloved hands and place it on your back where you most need it. The heat works wonders.
As you can now understand, all those old movies with the woman lying on the bed screaming and thrashing about are the opposite to what labor can be like. Keeping key parts of your body relaxed and applying warmth to your back really helps produce a calm workable birthing experience.