Happy Labor Day, moms-to-be! Perhaps the labor you’re about to experience isn’t the intended way to honor this holiday, but your upcoming childbirth entails a lot of “labor” nonetheless. And when there is hard work involved, you deserve to be as comfortable as possible. Our tips and maternity bras and nursing bras are designed to ease the fears and pain during labor so you’re prepared for the arrival of your most precious baby.
Selecting your support system of midwives, doulas, family or friends who will help you during labor is an important task. These caring souls will become your coaches and help keep you calm and comfortable. They should be people with whom you can share your fears about childbirth, but also who have the skills to relax your nerves at this critical time. Think carefully about who is up for the job.
Rocking, swaying, walking, and bouncing are excellent ways to subdue labor pains. You may employ all of these and more throughout your labor. The constant shifting of position is known to somewhat counteract the movement and pressure of contractions as your baby descending into the birth canal.
Whether you’re an avid meditator and yogi, or just a dabbler in these techniques, breathing, visualizations and meditation can focus your mind away from pain. Breathing is naturally relaxing and using visualizations and meditation to concentrate on breathing can be an excellent distraction.
As with the rest of your pregnancy, what you wear sets the tone for your comfort. Labor is a time for ultimate comfort with soft, stretchy, breathable fabrics. Maternity bras or maternity tank tops that transitions into a nursing bras or nursing tank tops offer gentle support and are perfect for the occasion. During delivery you’ll likely remove all your clothes but shortly after birth you can get dressed and be ready for your first responsibility as a mom: breastfeeding. In fact, pack several nursing bras, nursing sleep bras and nursing tank tops in your hospital bag so you’ll have lots of options for breastfeeding around the clock.
A warm bath, a cool shower or alternating compresses are calming sensations during labor. Similar to using hot and cold to relieve sore muscles and other aches and pains, this method may ease tension to relax your entire body.
Music is powerful and can help you transcend your pain. Some women find soft, rhythmic sounds soothing, while others want their favorite jams to keep their minds off discomfort. Download tunes prior to your due date so you have options when the big day arrives.
Asking your support system – those you’ve carefully selected to help during labor – for a gentle massage can further relieve tension. While the contractions may last for a while, stiffening the rest of your body is a normal response that often leads to more pain. A light massage can keep you cool, clam and relaxed.
You’ve probably come to love your maternity support band or maternity belt during pregnancy. It can be helpful during early labor as well by giving you extra support and security. Then, once your baby is born and you get the OK from your physician, your pregnancy band can be worn to help stabilize and smooth your postpartum belly.