Friday, 27 February 2015

Hazards To A Pain Free Labour/Labor - 7

Reflecting on recent experiences I would like to add a hazard to the list that may interfere with your pain free first stage of labour.
A precipitate labour is a very quick labour and usually causes contraction pain. These labours are usually the result of a woman's body deciding that it really must get this baby out NOW as there is a risk factor that could damage the baby, this is usually high blood pressure.
The contractions come much closer together than a normal labour and are quite intense and strong. This means that the uterine smooth muscle will not be able to get enough oxygen from the blood and so produce lactic acid leading to a message being sent to the brain to experience PAIN.
Women with very high blood pressure can have precipitate labours and I have noticed that women who have small for dates babies often labour very quickly as the placenta is failing.
A big help with these fast labours is entonox (gas and air). This is because it contains 50% oxygen which is 30% more than the air that we breath normally and so can help pay back the oxygen debt that is causing the contraction pain. Getting in a warm pool is also desirable but if you have risk factors then the hospital will want you to be monitored on a CTG machine.
Essential for a more comfortable labour is staying upright on a birth ball or chair or mobilising. Do not let them make you lie down on a bed in labour in order to monitor your baby's heart beat. This can easily be done in any of the positions mentioned which means the contractions will not get any stronger. In a lying down position the uterus is pushing baby uphill, very hard. In an upright position the uterus is pushing baby downhill, easy.
Never forget that whatever kind of health care you choose for your birth, you are the boss and hospital staff are there to offer you care that suits your needs. You are not there for their convenience. Never be afraid to ask for what you need to keep you more comfortable in labour.

Pain Free Labour books now available from Amazon.