For the same reason, you might want your birth partner to give you a massage or back rub. Movement and massage help your brain release its own pain-relieving chemicals, called endorphins, and being upright helps push the baby downwards.
Sitting on an exercise or birth ball might also help. You can use a birth ball and other drug-free methods of pain relief, such as gas and air.
If you are interested in a water birth tell the midwife this when you come in. Water can help with pain relief.
If you are having a water birth you will not be able to have an epidural but you will be able to use gas and air.
You will be moved to a birthing pool if there is one free. The midwives can still check the baby’s heartbeat using waterproof equipment.
Good positions to try during labour
There are lots of positions you can get into that can help you cope with labour. These may change depending on how far along you are. Do whatever feels right for you - these are some ideas to try:
- Lean on a wall, bed or bean bag.
- Rock on all fours.
- Kneel, holding onto your birth partner or the head of the bed.
- Lean over a chair or onto the bed.
- Rock your pelvis in whatever position is comfortable.
- Sit, leaning back against your birth partner.
- Walk around.
- Bounce or rock your hips on a birth ball.
Rest when you need to and don't worry about what you look like. The midwives have seen it all before so do what feels good for you!
Manage your anxieties about giving birth, with some helpful advice from mums who’ve been there.
The latent phase of labour… so what does this mean? Am I in labour or not?!
As well as your bags for the hospital, you need to have a few things at home for when your baby arrives.
At the end of your pregnancy, you may have some signs that your baby will arrive very soon, even though you may not go into labour for a little while yet.
Only a very small number of babies actually arrive on their due date and the membrane sweep is a drug-free way of helping to bring on labour.
The moment has arrived. Your contractions are regular and building up, and your baby is really on his or her way…
ℹLast reviewed on February 2nd, 2015. Next review date September 2nd, 2016.