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Picture a woman in labor. Is she panting, sweating or yelling out in pain like in the movies?
Many expectant moms worry about how they will cope with labor pain, and the images we see in the media don’t help.
When you start to panic about how you will actually get this baby out of you, remind yourself that your body was made to grow and birth a baby. It’s a natural process that women have been doing for centuries.
Also, take steps ahead of time so you know what to expect during labor and you can feel empowered about it. Educate yourself through reading, attending childbirth classes, and/or going on a hospital tour.
Then, pick the right place to have your baby. Choose a hospital that meets your needs, with a balance of expertise and amenities, such as private birthing suites and pain relief/alternative comfort measures, as well as prompt access to anesthesia services if necessary.
Most importantly, plan to have someone there for support. Continuous emotional and physical support during labor, such as by a spouse or partner, family member, friend or doula, is associated with improved outcomes.
Support by a certified nurse midwife (CNM) can offer significant benefits for expectant moms who want a positive, comfortable experience. As advanced practice nurses, CNMs are trained and licensed in ways to help laboring women have a healthy birth using their own natural physiology, while avoiding unnecessary procedures that may interfere with that process.
When the big day arrives, there are a number of ways — both pharmacological and natural — to reduce pain and improve your experience.
Ask your obstetrician or certified nurse midwife about these 8 comfort options during labor:
Keep in mind, having continuous support is key to comfort in labor. The more personal attention and nurturing you can get, the more positive your experience will be and the better your chances for a safe, healthy birth.
Learn more about pregnancy and baby services at Edward-Elmhurst Health.
Learn more about the benefits of a certified nurse midwife.
Find an OB-GYN or midwife.
Read related blogs:
Demystifying c-sections: what every expectant mom should know
Overdue and overeager? Learn natural ways to induce labor
Midwives: delivering another option for moms-to-be
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