It’s no surprise that stress is one of the major factors stopping labour progress. It can make it stop completely. We definitely experienced this with our first born which led to an uncomfortable and scary labour for us. It was only after the event that we realised these triggers could have been avoided. Here are the top 5 to be aware of:
Preparation is key. Learn as much as you can prior to labour and you won’t be facing the fear of the unknown. Enrol in antenatal classes, read up on the stages of labour and understand how pregnancy and the body works. Find out about the cesarean procedure even if you don’t have an elective one planned, it will all help with eliminating the fear factor.
Check the room
Consider the right environment, it can be a major stress trigger during birth. It doesn’t matter if you are planning a birth at home or at hospital you can still be exposed to overstimulation which will kick start the stress hormones. Dim the lights and be aware of unnecessary distracting conversations. Bring layers of clothing in case you and your partner feel cold.
Dehydration & hunger
Remember to eat and drink enough before established labour begins. You are going to need the extra energy to fuel your way through the birth. Have light snacks and water on hand, if you receive drugs like morphine or pethidine or are prepped for a c-section, it will be nil by mouth until the baby is born.
Too many people
Don’t be afraid to ask people to leave if they are overwhelming you. It’s a good idea to have a chat with the midwife or doctor beforehand about who you want present in the room during this time to avoid unnecessary stress.
Feeling unable to relax
Things can move pretty quick once contractions start and sometimes they can be stronger than you expect which leads to a feeling of overwhelm. It is important to remain calm and try to remain in a relaxed state. Easier said than done when you are in the throes of labour! Once again preparing for this is key. Practice mindfulness, mediation or simply reading up on what to expect can assist you during the event. Being prepared for the unexpected can greatly reduce the stress on the day.