dealing with contractions

Tips for dealing with contractions

There are several ways to deal with the pain and to feel as comfortable as possible. With and without medication. Do what you think suits you best.

Try to relax

Maybe you are, like many women, dreading the birth a bit? That’s understandable, however, try not to give in to those feelings too much, because it makes you tense. Due to the tension, you will have more problems with pain and contractions will not be able to progress properly. It can help to talk with your midwife.

Look for distractions

At the beginning of the delivery, do not pay too much attention to the pain. The contractions are usually still very tolerable at that stage. Continue as long as possible with what you are doing. Look for distractions, for example by watching TV, doing something in the house or listening to music.

Rest between contractions

Between contractions, you always have a break. Use that time to relax and prepare for the next contraction. Make sure that you do not tense up or hold your breath when the pain comes again. Try to let go of all the tension and keep breathing calmly. Then you feel the pain less.

Count them down: each contraction is one less to go

Think positive. Believe that you can handle this. Remember: this contraction is over and will never return. Do not get angry at yourself if this doesn’t always work. There will be times when the pain washes over you and when you think you cannot handle it anymore. Let yourself be encouraged by the midwife or someone else who is with you. Then just get going again.
With every contractions, think that you are that much closer to the end of the delivery. Count down instead of up. Think of the moment after the delivery, when you are holding your baby.

Concentrate on your breathing

If you follow the rhythm of your breathing, you are less focused on the pain. That helps you to relax and to better cope with the contractions. So keep breathing calmly. Inhale and exhale slowly, counting to four.

Make sure you are nice and warm

Warmth helps you to relax. So make sure that the temperature in the room is pleasant. Put on warm clothes you feel comfortable in.

When you are laying down, put hot water bottles against your abdomen and back. Many women enloy sitting in the shower, with warm water from the shower head flowing on their stomach or back.

Text from the Brochure 'How to deal with pain'