9 Tips for an Easier Labor and Birth

9 Tips for an Easier Labor & Birth | Baby Chick

9 Tips for an Easier Labor and Birth

Every pregnant woman wants to know if there is anything they can do to help them have an easier and faster labor. We’ll you’re in luck, mamas. Having supported hundreds of women during labor and birth, I know a few tricks that can help ease and speed up your labor process. Today I’m sharing with you my 9 tips on how to have an easier labor.

1. Eat Dates

I’ve actually written a whole post on the benefits of eating dates during pregnancy. It’s been proven that women who eat dates daily during the last 6 weeks of their pregnancy are less likely to be induced or need pitocin to help the progression of labor. They were also more dilated upon arrival at the hospital and labored seven hours less. Eat your dates!

2. Get Active & Do Squats

Out of all the births that I have gone to, I’ve seen that the women who stayed active and in shape during their pregnancy were able to better tolerate labor and they tended to have shorter labors. A recent study shows that women who continue to exercise during their pregnancy, especially in the last trimester, will be in labor for a shorter duration. Of course, get approval from your doctor or midwife first before beginning an exercise routine.

When in labor, it’s also beneficial to stay active. Upright and leaning forward positions allow gravity to help baby move into the optimal position, which can help shorten the duration of your labor by an hour. It’s common to get tired with all of this activity while also experiencing contractions, so strengthening your legs is key.

3. Hire a Doula

Even with your partner and family by your side, you may want to also have additional professional help that can guide and support you continuously throughout your labor. According to an analysis of clinical trials published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, women who had continuous care provided by a doula were 50% less likely to need a C-section and 30% less likely to need pain medication, and they experienced a labor 25% shorter than those without doula care.

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4. Get Some Sleep

study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that women who slept fewer than six hours during their last month of pregnancy labored for 11 hours longer and had C-sections four times more frequently compared to women who slept seven hours or more. That means you have to make sleep a priority as you approach your due date. Here are some tips if you are wanting more/better sleep or if you are experiencing pregnancy insomnia.

5. Get in the Water

It’s a common reaction to tense your muscles when you feel pain. Unfortunately, that is exactly the opposite of what you should be doing while in labor. Tensing and tightening your muscles can actually cause more discomfort and lengthen your time in labor. Getting into the shower or the tub can counter that response.

Hydrotherapy is the natural epidural. It can relieve a good amount of discomfort during labor. A shower is fine at any stage of labor, however, you want to make sure that you are in (at least) active labor but preferably transition if you get into a tub. (We don’t want the water to slow down or stall your labor pattern.) The water can help relax your muscles and allow your body to open and speed up your labor time.

6. Get a Massage

We know that when you stimulate an area where you feel pain, whether with pressure or with heat, you are softening the pain messages that are being sent to the brain. This is why is it normal to immediately respond by putting your hands and placing pressure on a body party that is in pain. This is why massage during labor is very beneficial.

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It has been proven in a study from the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine that laboring women who received massages during labor reported feeling less pain and anxiety than those who were not massaged. Talk to your partner or doula about massage during labor. Let them know what feels good and what doesn’t. Even if you prefer to not to be touched during certain times in labor, that is normal and okay too.

7. Be Open Minded and Flexible

It is important to mentally and physically prepare yourself for your labor and birth experience. This is why I recommend taking a childbirth class and hiring a doula. However, no one can predict what your labor will be like because it differs from woman to woman and from baby to baby. Your first birth could be completely different from your second birth. This is why I tell all of my clients that yes, it is good to have goals for your birth experience, but it is also good to remain open minded and flexible when it comes to your birth plan. You may not be able to get an epidural like you wanted, or your epidural may not work like you were expecting, or you may need an epidural or a C-section even though you didn’t want or plan for one. Women who remained more relaxed and did what their body told them to and didn’t fight the process had better, easier and more satisfying birth experiences.

8. Keep Breathing

This may seem silly to say that you need to remember to keep breathing, but what I mean is you need to keep a consistent pace of slow, deep breaths during labor. There are times when women hold their breath in labor or begin to hyperventilate because they are not focusing on their breathing pattern. The more oxygen that you are taking in the better. It can help you stay relaxed and remain focused through each contraction.

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9. Remain Calm

This is probably one of the most important points of labor and birthing. Your mindset and emotional state are completely connected to how your body is able to respond to the sensations you’re feeling. If you’re scared, stressed, rushed and/or feeling pressured, it can (and usually will) negatively affect your labor progress. The opposite applies as well. If you feel comfortable and supported during labor, that you’re free to labor at your own pace, and you’re able to focus inward on your body, you’ll have a more successful time at allowing your body and baby to do what they need to do. Keep calm, mama. You will soon meet your baby.

Above all, remember that although there are few certainties when it comes to labor and birth, there is one certainty that you can count on… Every labor will eventually end and you will soon give birth to your baby. By using these nine tips, you should be able to meet your little one a little bit sooner. 😉

About the Author /

Nina is The Baby Chick® & CEO of Baby Chick®. She is a baby planner, birth doula, postpartum doula, childbirth educator, newborn care specialist, and a mother. With over eight years of experience, she has supported hundreds of families during their pregnancies, births, and postpartum journeys.

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Instagram post 18074272528164523 @debiandbebi wrote these words when she was a new mom and struggled with #postpartumdepression. She hopes to remind everyone that it is okay to struggle with being a new mom and that does not mean you don't love your baby. ❤️⁠
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Instagram post 17862171103601373 All of these things make me happy. What would you add to your self care toolbox?⁠
I'm seriously needing some of these things tonight to start a new week. Hoping you mamas get some self care time too! 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #selfcare #selfcaretoolbox #mumlife #mommylife #metime #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17974795027288980 Was he dreaming he was riding a bike last night escaping from wild animals?! OUCH! 🤕🚲⁠
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Instagram post 18081610903134401 Praying that your toddler let's you get to sleep this weekend. 🙏💤⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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Instagram post 17866776847554303 Above all else, let us teach them to be kind. 💗⁠
(quote: @mommywinetime)⁠
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Instagram post 17853200368708392 SURPRISE! A little shocked, a little tired, and a LOT BLESSED. Congrats, @sarah_lit! ❤️⁠
📷: @sarah_lit⁠
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#babyannouncement #pregnancyannouncement #pregnancy #pregnant #momtobe #pregnancylife #mamatobe #babybump #pregnancyjourney #bumpie #preggo #maternity #motherhood #momlife #expecting #mumlife #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #mommychick #babychick #babyonboard #mumtobe
Instagram post 17864808397574241 Pregnant and hungry all the time? Here are some great ideas to keep in the fridge when the hunger pains kick in! 🤰👍⁠
📷: @juna.moms⁠
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Instagram post 18073051357163780 When it comes to clamping the cord, our mottos is "what's the rush?" The blood volume in the placenta and cord at the time of birth is BABY'S blood. It's simply mid-circulation in the placenta at the time of birth. It just makes sense to leave it be and let it finish its job.⁠
No, the blood won't drain out of baby and go backwards into the placenta.⁠
No, your baby is not more likely to get sick from jaundice.⁠
Yes, your baby will still be getting oxygen while they figure out breathing, especially important if they need resuscitation.⁠
Yes, your baby will have better iron levels for the first year of their life.⁠
Look at how thick and engorged this cord still is at 4 and 18 minutes after baby was born. Just imagine how much blood baby would have lost if the cord had been clamped immediately, or at 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or 3 minutes! The placenta was expelled immediately before the 18 minute photo was taken. The pulse in the cord could still be felt even AFTER THE PLACENTA HAD BEEN DELIVERED! The cord was finally clamped and cut more than an hour after birth at 73 minutes. ❤️⁠
📷: @lawrenrosephotography⁠
Informative post and words by @bundleborn⁠
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#placenta #lotusbirth #homebirth #midwife #midwifery #phsiologicThirdStage #delayedcordclamping #optimalcordclamping #waitforwhite #whatstherush #postpartum #birth #laboranddelivery #babychick #mommychick
Instagram post 17866964371538725 Stacks on stacks . . . of diapers. 😂 Can you relate?⁠
📷: @krayons.n.tequila⁠
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Instagram post 17852665306696124 With the holiday season upon us and moms trying to make everything magical for their families, remember to stop and take a moment to take care of you. ❤️ Have a hot cup of coffee, a long warm shower and some alone time. Communicate this with your partner not as a wish but as a necessity. We must take the time to take care of ourselves to better take care of them. 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 18095239591099259 After holiday feasting . . . this baby gets me.⁠ 🤣
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Instagram post 17844162355818683 I think I had a little too much turkey . . . and pie. 😬🍗🥧 #leggingsforlife⁠
📷: @hallmarkbaby⁠
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Instagram post 17990835490280335 I totally felt this way when I was pregnant. And kinda feel this way after all that turkey. 🤣🦃 Happy turkey day to all you expecting mamas!!⁠
📷: @madiford2 via Twitter⁠
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#pregnancy #pregnant #funnypregnancy #momtobe #pregnancylife #thanksgiving #mamatobe #turkeymama #babybump #pregnancyjourney #bumpie #thirdtrimester #preggo #pregnancyhelp #maternity #motherhood #momlife #expecting #mumlife #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #mommychick #babychick
Instagram post 18094211479105476 I spy with my little eye the cutest turkey ever. 😍 Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Hope it's filled with love, laughter, and cuteness like this. ❤️⁠
📷: @emilyshapaka⁠
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Instagram post 17852562805720320 Loneliness is a real thing in new motherhood and I want to be sure we talk about this. It's okay to say, "I feel lonely." We normalize one another's experiences when we share the reality of our journey. It can be so isolating when we bring our small human home and our lives revolve around his/her care. We feel detached from the outside world. The monotony of new motherhood can be heavy.⁠
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Here are some tips to combat isolation:⁠
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1️⃣ Get outside when possible.⁠
2️⃣ Video chat with friends/family.⁠
3️⃣ Join a virtual group.⁠
4️⃣ Invite someone to come over.⁠
5️⃣ Find a local mom's group.⁠
6️⃣ Listen to the radio or a podcast (it's interesting how this can make us feel connected with others)⁠
7️⃣ Run an errand--even grabbing a coffee via drive-thru can feel good.⁠
8️⃣ Get to know your neighbors.⁠
What would you add to the list?⁠
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Repost: words and 📷 by @psychedmommy⁠
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Instagram post 17867282176536875 ⁠For the week of Thanksgiving (and longer if you can!) let's focus on what we DO have instead of what we lack. The more we express gratitude and appreciate our blessings the more we recognize all of our blessings and everything we should be thankful for. 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #gratitude #thankful #mumlife #mommylife #mommychick #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #thanksgiving #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17855722339639264 ✈️ Tips to Survive a Plane Ride with Kids ✈️⁠
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Flying on a plane with your little one for the first time can be terrifying. Are they going to cry the whole time? How will they handle the airport, the turbulence and the landing? Well we have some tips that will help prepare you for your flight with your kids. Here's what to do to have a more enjoyable experience 😊 {Link in bio!}⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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#flyingwithkids #travelwithkids #familytravel #travelingwithkids #kidsonplanes #travelpic #airplane #familyholiday #parenting #parenthood #firstflight #babytravels #motherhood #momlife #mumlife #mommychick #babychick #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣
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📷: Martiza Elizabeth on FB
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