From our team at the private practice of OB/GYN Kelly Morales, MD, in San Antonio, Texas, congratulations on your pregnancy and upcoming delivery!
We know that while this is an exciting time, it’s natural to worry about the less-than-glamorous side of childbirth, especially the pain that comes with labor and delivery.
As a mother herself, Dr. Morales knows firsthand what’s involved when you go into labor. She specializes in helping pregnant women deliver healthy babies, whether it’s via a gentle C-section, traditional labor and delivery, or natural childbirth.
Keep reading to learn Dr. Morales’ top tips for making your labor and delivery less painful and more memorable.
While staying in shape won’t give you a pain-free delivery, moms-to-be who are more fit and in overall good health usually have faster, easier labors. Staying active during your pregnancy not only increases your physical stamina, but it helps you sleep better so you have more energy for the big day.
Some good options for staying in shape while pregnant include:
But talk to Dr. Morales before beginning an exercise program to make sure it’s the right fit for you and your baby.
We know it’s not always easy to sleep during the last few months of pregnancy. But by prioritizing sleep as your baby’s due date approaches, you’ll have more stamina and energy for delivery, helping the process go more quickly so you feel less pain.
On average, active labor lasts 12-19 hours for first-time moms, so when you feel your first contractions, you may have many hours in front of you. When your labor begins, stay calm and relaxed to keep your labor progressing.
Instead of focusing on each contraction as it hits, distract yourself by engaging your mind and body with other activities, such as:
Anything that helps you stay relaxed speeds things along so you experience less overall pain.
Gone are the days when doctors kept women in labor tied to their beds. Staying upright and moving through as much of your labor as you can helps you take advantage of gravity and keeps things moving along.
When you stand or walk, your baby’s head presses on your cervix. This helps you dilate faster. You can switch up your position to see what helps you stay the most comfortable, alternating between standing, walking, kneeling, or squatting.
Dr. Morales knows that breathing plays a key role during labor and delivery. Patterned breathing goes a long way in helping you stay focused during contractions, and it can make it easier for you to rest and recover between these strong cramps.
But when you’re stressed and in pain, it’s easy to breathe shallowly or even hold your breath. Unfortunately, this can make your pain more intense and even slow your labor. It can help if you try different relaxation strategies, like visualization, listening to music, and deep breathing.
While labor and delivery often bring many surprises, one thing is certain: Every labor eventually ends, and you’ll get through it.
If you’re expecting and want personalized recommendations to make your upcoming labor and delivery a better experience, schedule an appointment today with Dr. Morales in San Antonio, Texas.