Friday, January 7, 2011

Homework for Labor and Delivery

Somethings need to be repeated, year after year. I always teach labor and delivery with a few homework assignments thrown in for added emphasis and also, of course, because these skills are necessary ( in my opinion ) to have a chance at the experience we all are after. We want a favorable outcome and an easy vaginal delivery. There are no guarantees since every labor and delivery is unique and so much depends on the moment ( not to mention your provider's expertise and judgement ). But, it really helps to remember to practice some well- proven and useful exercises long before you know that you are in labor.

Do Kegel exercises everyday. I have blogged about Kegel's before and it's still important. Want to have a perineum favorable for massage's effects, a tight pelvic floor for the future's ability to eliminate the drips? Do Kegel's.

Do pelvic tilts. You can use a hula- hoop, a yoga position or anything else you like to relax and help that bony pelvis open up for childbirth. Stand with feet apart, shoulder width, and from the hips just rock back and forth. It is good for a bad back and great for delivering a baby.

Practice a visualization scenario. Make it real, the same every time, with tastes and smells and sounds and feels. Sit in a chair and ground your feet to the floor. Take a few cleansing breaths as you relax your eyes by closing them or gazing downward. Take yourself on your guided tour of your safest place. Do it everyday, the same place with the same folks and all the same sights and sounds. Great way to meditate.

Start perineal massage at about thirty-five weeks gestation. After a warm shower or bath and don't forget the lubricant. Three times a week for a minute or so is good enough. You can do it more and you can do it less. And you can be sure that your provider will do it as your baby is being born. Sure beats an episiotomy and well worth the inconvenience. Your partner can do it for you, if you are so inclined.

Do your homework.