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Pain management strategies

You can adopt different strategies for managing pain in the various stages of labor. Speaking in general terms, imagine:

  • During the latent stage, you can choose to ignore the pain
  • When the pain increases, you may need to try distraction
  • When that no longer works, an option is to accept the pain as an aid
  • Toward the end of active labor and the expulsion stage, you need to have the courage to face it

When the pain increases, many women turn inward in order to devote all their energy to managing the pain. If you can understand the pain, it becomes manageable and perhaps even meaningful. You may become more emotional than usual. This can present itself in a variety of ways. You may act in a way that your partner has never experienced before or recognizes. It is also common that all senses—touch, hearing, sight and smell—intensify. Our perspective of time changes also.

Some women react with resignation when the pain becomes too strong, particularly at the end of active labor. Emotions take over, and a sense of frustration, fatigue and the feeling that “I can’t do this” arises. At this point, it is important that you feel respected and that you receive maximum support from those around you. You need to be taken seriously, and get all the affirmation and encouragement the people in the room can give. However you may react, it is important that those around you respect how you express your feeling and show that they trust that you can give birth to your baby.

Energy and fluids are necessary to better manage the pain and concentration. The uterus also needs energy to perform the enormous task necessary to birth your baby.

Your intake needs to be balanced, and include both salt and sugar. Food should be easily digested so that your body can quickly put it to good use.

Sources: - Abascal, G., & Huss, M. S. (2018). Att föda. Bonnier Fakta.