For most women expecting a baby one of their main concerns are, how they will cope with the sensations they feel in birth, and how they will deal with the fear of the P word – pain?
It is absolutely normal to feel sensations in birth; you are having a baby after all. However how these sensations are experienced are totally subjective. For some women they describe their experience as unusual and intense but not pain as they know it and for others it can be experienced as really intense and overwhelming.
It may be helpful to understand why and what these sensations are, hopefully lessening the unknown factor, by understanding the wisdom of your body when you birth your baby.
The sensations being felt are the:
· Stretching and expanding of your tissues and joints
· Pressure of baby and movement
· Softening and opening of muscle fibres
· Baby moving against the bowel.
· These sensations can be experienced as pain however it is not something bad; it is the body working beautifully.
The positive reasons for these sensations known as surges or contractions are:
· You need them to birth your baby
· With every surge you are one step closer to meeting your baby
· They come and go
· They gradually build up – so the body becomes used to them.
The physical benefits of surges/contractions are:
· They make you move around and bring baby down
· Movement expands the pelvis
· Promotes breathing – providing oxygen for all the muscles
· Sensations are diagnostic – this lets your care providers know what’s going on in your labour.
· Sound can tell you what’s going on in labour
· Surges help you get into the zone by stimulating oxytocin and endorphins.
It can be really helpful, if you feel totally overwhelmed and frightened, that the sensations you are experiencing is your body working really well at birthing your baby and for your birth partner to remind you of how brilliant you are – this really, really helps.
You have created a baby, you have grown a baby, and you can totally birth your baby in the way you choose too.