Having a baby is totally exhausting and it can sure take a while. A first-time mama will labor for 12-24 hours on average. Sometimes longer.
But there are things you can do before and during labor that will help make the process just a bit easier and shorter.
Below are some things you can do to speed your labor up so you don’t end up so exhausted that you can barely push.
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15 Ways To Speed Up Labor And Delivery To Avoid Being Exhausted
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The first few on this list are things you can do before labor has started at home to help get things going. The rest of the list are things you can do during active labor to keep things moving at a good pace. Read On!
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Exercise is Important (Get physical in different ways)
Consistent movement can be good for your body as a whole in terms of breathing, and loosening muscles.
Dancing specifically can get you moving and also help put the right amount of pressure on the baby’s head so that it will push against the cervix.
Dancing can also irritate your uterus, which can help to encourage contractions.
High impact dance movements and exercises can have a negative impact so definitely talk to your doctor on the intensity and duration of the activity.
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Getting sexually intimate is not just for pleasure, it can also help get your labor going.
Having that all-important orgasm can help to not only stimulate your uterine muscles but also release the hormone oxytocin, which can help onset birthing contractions. The semen released during sex can also contribute to the softening of the opening of the cervix. Sounds fun right?!
And Sex is always especially good during pregnancy so get indulge yourself and your partner.
Specific Stretches And Exercises Can Help Speed Things Up
Birthing Balls can be used to help encourage dilation and effacement during labor. They also help while at home as well. They work wonders!
Sitting down on a birthing ball can help put pressure on the baby’s head, right onto the cervix. Some specific movements and exercises that can help support this process include doing a figure 8 and hip circles.
Kegel Exercises are specifically used to tighten the muscles within your pelvic floor. A steady repetition of tightening and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles can help get you ready for birth.
Despite not being scientifically proven, doing repetitive kegel exercises can help get your labor started in some instances. Just the stimulation they provide can move things along nicely.
One approach to doing this type of exercise is to stand against the wall with your feet on the ground then go ahead and tighten and relax your pelvic floor muscles. Do a repetition of 100 of these. This will be difficult but it so good for your pelvic floor and very stimulating.
Get A Massage
Treat yourself with a massage to help get your labor started.
Getting a massage is, of course, good in any circumstance. It helps relax your muscles, deep down, as well as enhance your all-around well-being.
There are certain places the massage therapist can work to help stimulate your body so that contractions can start. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s worth a try. At least you’ll get a good rub down if nothing else.
This might be one of the more squeamish options to try but utilizing acupuncture in a focused way can be very beneficial.
Acupuncture is used to apply pressure to certain points on the surface of the body using tiny needles, fingers or thumb.
This can be used to help the cervix soften and dilate allowing the start of contractions in some cases.
Believe it or not, Acupuncture can be particularly helpful for repositioning babies from breech to a natural vaginal birth position. I’m not sure how this would work exactly, You’d have to see your local Acupuncture expert if your babe was breech.
Certain Foods And Drinks Can Make A Difference
There are foods that can not only speed labor along but can also serve the purpose of alleviating things that may arise in pregnancy.
Some fruits contain special enzymes that can help start the onset of contractions, for example, pineapple, papaya, mango, and kiwi.
Pineapple is full of Bromelain, which can help soften and ripen the cervix,
and also aid in overall labor and delivery. Eating Pineapples in different forms can help with your digestion, and help alleviate constipation too.
Iron filled food
Eating dried fruit and other such iron-filled foods like spinach can help reduce anemia.
Anemia can be a negative side effect of heavy bleeding, which can occur during and after birth.
Drink Tea To Help Ease the Pain
Drinking tea can be conducive toward shorter, earlier labor, and Certain kinds help relax muscles (and in turn, the uterus).
Raspberry tea, in particular, can help with treating anemia, toning the uterus and helping prepare for labor and delivery. It can also help with the pain of contractions that occur during pregnancy.
Additionally, Raspberry tea can also help with any irritability concerning the uterus and It can also reduce acute pain post birth. It’s good stuff and every mama to be should be drinking it.
Take a bath
This will have more of an impact on your emotional and spiritual state, which will in effect, helps with your physical state too.
Warm water will help relax and loosen your muscles and that is certainly helpful during labor and birth too, so get the room with a tub if you can.
Remember to keep the temperature at midrange, as hotter temperatures will have a negative effect on your babe.
Consume Caster Oil
Traditionally castor oil was given to kick start labor. But only do this if you are at your due date or past due. It really does work so you don’t want to do it early. It causes uterine stimulation and that often starts contractions.
I did this with my third and it worked well. I had a baby less than 24 hours later. Many other women share the same story online.
Now Your labor has started! Let’s talk about what you can do to move it along quickly!
Your Environment Matters
A stressful environment will cause you to tighten up in every way. You really do need to be relaxed as much as possible.
The best thing to do is to labor as long as possible in the comfort of your home, then when you’re ready to come to the hospital bring things that will make you very comfortable.
Bring your own pillows and music. Have them dim the lights and speak quietly. Whatever you need, just make sure you put it in a birthing plan beforehand so they’ll be able to accommodate you. You can print a free birthing plan right here.
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Movement Is Important
Sitting or standing up and moving around is the best way to help your labor progress quickly. This helps gravity pull the baby down and it takes some pressure off your back and pelvis. That’s a good thing.
Just sitting in the bed puts a lot of pressure on your lower body and it doesn’t allow you to open up very well. You want to give your body as much space as possible to do its thing.
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Stripping or sweeping of the membranes
If your water still hasn’t broken the doctor can assist you in getting it done. This really helps speed things up.
The doc will insert fingers into the cervix and peel off the membranes from the inner surface of the cervix. It triggers the uterus to release prostaglandins that dilate the cervix and stimulate contractions
This procedure is really uncomfortable but afterward, you’ll have a babe before you know it.
Medication can be given in certain circumstances and scenarios. Pitocin is often given to help speed up dilation and labor in general if things are moving slow.
This is also what they give you if you’re having your labor induced.
It can be given as a:
→ A tablet or gel that is inserted into the vagina to start.
→ A hormone drip to move things further along.
I hope your labor moves quickly and you enjoy it. These things will definitely help speed things up.
The best of luck to you!!
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