Friday, May 8, 2009

How to Help a Laboring Woman--Suggestions from You

Here's a list I compiled using the e-mails and comments I received in response to the question: What Did You Find Helpful in Labor?

Ladies, thank you for your insight!

  • Ask your husband's perspective as a coach

  • Use prayer and Scripture to help with relaxation (Mom is a professing Christian)

  • Distraction from contractions (early-labor)

  • Don't leave Mom alone during active labor (either be there or free hubby to be there for her AT ALL TIMES)

  • Suggest position changes (birth ball, standing, toilet, glider rocker, hands-and-knees, bathtub, etc.)

  • lip balm, mints, extra pillows, tennis balls in a sock, snacks/quick energy for Mom and helpers

  • Hot/cold packs (rice sock and chilled washcloths)

  • Water--either tub or shower
  • Music & aromatherapy

  • Massage/counter pressure (and don't stop unless she tells you to)
  • Remind her to take one contraction at a time

  • Counteract getting too much in her head about the intensity of the contractions. ("That one was hard. Really hard. They're getting harder. The next one is going to be even harder. I don't want to do the next one. I can't do this anymore.")

  • Counteract "labor math." ("It took me 20 hours to get to 6 cm. It will take another 10 hours at least to fully dilate."

  • Read two of the books suggested in this post

  • Encouragement that the pain is normal. Affirmation that it is hard work.

  • Pushing--help her push effectively and tell her when she is pushing effectively, and that it is making progress

  • Refreshing beverage after birth! (And keep her nourishment needs met during labor)

The great thing about these suggestions was that many of them had a reason behind them--a mini story the women told me that brought home the importance of what they suggested.

1 comment:

  1. You were given such wonderful advice. This would make an excellent cheat-sheet for any birth attendant.