Coping with labor when you HATE being touched.
We welcome Christine Santos, of Sun State Doulas in the Orlando, Florida region, to our blog to discuss some effective techniques to implement when you are planning on laboring naturally…but have no desire for any of the touchy feely that usually goes with it. Tell your support team your preferences Even if you make plans before the big day, telling your support team your labor coping plans can make the actual event flow a lot smoother. It gives them a chance to support you in the way you find most comfortable and soothing. In addition, this allows both you and your team to prepare alternate means of coping with labor pain. Use your voice If you find that you actually do want some counter-pressure or massage, tell your team. It is perfectly okay to change your mind. It is your birth and your body. Speak up for what you need. Change positions frequently Changing positions during labor can be a great hands-off method of relieving discomfort and pain. This can be as simple as moving from hands/knees to side-lying or going for a walk. By moving around, it allows your body and your baby to work together easier. Utilize water therapy Depending on where you are birthing, showers and baths may be a great alternative to massage and touch. The heat from the water can help release tension in the muscles while simultaneously allowing you to relax. Many birthing individuals have reported that floating through their contractions helps them process those waves of pain and discomfort easier. Use a birth ball Various positions using a birth, or yoga, ball can help open your pelvis and provide some relief for the pressure that occurs as the baby moves deeper into the birth canal. Rocking on the ball, laying on the ball while your lower body is in froggy pose, using the ball while in the bed are all options that can provide relief. Just because you don’t enjoy being touched doesn’t mean you want to go through labor without pain coping techniques. It simply means you have to find what works for you and for the situation and environment in which you are birthing. You are in charge of your body. Work with your team to find relief that feels most comfortable to you.
Christine Santos is owner and birth doula with Sun State Doulas, which provides the Orlando, Winter Park and surrounding Florida areas with full service doula, breastfeeding support, placenta encapsulation and photography services as an area agency.
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