All labours are different – each woman deals with them in different ways, so try not to get too anxious about how your labour will be and how you will feel.
Pain relief can be in the form of non-pharmacutical methods such as TENS machine, water immersion or massage. It may include pharmacutical methods for your labour, such as entonox (gas and air) or an epidural.
We are all different and there is no right or wrong way of coping with labour. Whatever feels right for you is the best way.
The Labour Ward is open 24 hours a day and they can give advice on coping with the pain of early labour. Taking paracetamol, if you are able, can be helpful in the early stages. Make sure you read the instructions on the packaging.
Remaining at home as long as possible will help you relax, as you are in a familiar and more comfortable environment. Some women find listening to their favourite music and being with those they love can create a feeling of calm.
Learn more about your pain relief options here.
Remember, most women choose to use several forms of pain relief in labour, so don’t worry if you change your mind from your original birth plan. Discuss the plan with your birth partner antenatally – they can be your advocate and voice when in labour if you are finding it difficult to explain things.
The preparation for your labour starts antenatally when you will be given lots of information about your options for coping with contractions. Being fully informed of all options will help you to decide what you would like to try. Your midwife will be able to support and guide you to make your individual plan for labour, making it personal to you. Making your own decisions helps you to feel good about your labour and birth.
Some women have clear plans of what they do and don’t want in labour. These can change as labour progresses. The midwife caring for you will support you and explain any changes that need to be made to your birth plan. Try to remain open to things changing. Talk things through with the midwife or obstetrician caring for you, so that you understand why the changes are advised.