Labor Lingo

At our latest laboring class, we learned about different positions and techniques to cope with labor. As I had mentioned before, I’m going to try to go as long as I can without any medication; however, keeping an open mind. Really, I’m not strongly ‘for’ or ‘against’ one or the other. 

I thought our class was pretty interesting because they had us simulate being uncomfortable, as if we were having a contraction. We actually got to experiment with different coping mechanisms in an actual labor room to see what we liked or didn’t like. The instructor played a tape that randomly beeped when there was a “contraction” coming along. She talked in between, giving us different ideas, then all the sudden, the beeping would start. We had to grab crushed ice from a cup and hold it in one of our hands. We weren’t able to let go until the beeping, or “contraction,” stopped. The ice was to simulate how uncomfortable and distracted you can get during a contraction. We had to try different ways to cope through the uncomfortableness. I thought this was a really great simulation, but I was burning up in the room so the ice actually felt a little refreshing. Now, if I were to have had to hold it for another minute, I probably would be telling a different story.

Here are some of the different positions and/or techniques we were given the opportunity to try:

Standing Supported Squat
Pro: Takes advantage of gravity
Con: May be tiring for you and your partner

Sitting on Toilet (for reals. It sounds gross, but our instructor said it was actually one of the most comfortable ways to labor)
Pro: Helps relax perineum
Con: Pressure from the seat may not be comfortable

Sitting/Straddling Chair
Pro: Good for resting
Con: May not be possible if you have high blood pressure (I don’t.)

Squatting with Birth Ball
Pro: May increase pelvis diameter by as much as 2 centimeters
Con: Can be tiring

Pro: Helps get oxygen to the baby
Con: No help from gravity

Pro: Contractions are often less painful
Con: Cannot be used with electronic fetal monitoring (since you need to be next to the machine)

Pro: Contractions are more effective and less painful
Con: Hard for nurses/doctors/midwives to see the baby

Leaning or Kneeling Forward with Support
Pro: Contractions are often less painful and more productive
Con: Hard for nurses/doctors/midwives to help with birth

Pro: Good position to avoid tearing or episiotomy
Con: Hard for you to see what’s going on (this might be a pro for some people, actually)

Things to Try
*Listen to music
*Sitting in shower
*Ice/heat treatment
*Sucking on a lollipop

After each “contraction,” we had to share if we liked the technique we tried (we switched techniques every time). I think it’s hard to decide now what I’m going to like when I’m actually in labor. To me, walking was such a chore and a strain on my body since I’m carrying all this extra weigh around, but it supposedly reduces pain during labor. I won’t really know if I like it until I’m actually in the situation. However, it was really extremely helpful to know all the options we have during labor. 

It was also beneficial because it got B and I talking about what I liked/didn’t like, and how he can be there for me. For instance, I know for sure that I got annoyed when B asked me what he could do. I know he felt like he was “supposed” to do something, but just having him there talking about whoknowswhat to distract me, made me completely forget about the ice. Also, the time I sucked on the lollipop (in a rhythmic/counting pattern) I didn’t even realize I was holding the ice. Gotta go buy me some in bulk! 

**I like to try to respond to each of your comments, but some of y’all don’t have your email set up to do so. I realized I’ve been responding to no-reply-type emails and you’ve never gotten my responses. If you want me to send you a little love back, adjust this feature. Here’s how… or at least I think this is how you do it. Someone PLEASE correct me if I’m wrong! šŸ™‚ Settings tab > Comments tab > scroll down to Comment Notification Email > (add email) > SAVE!


  • Katie

    No, it's under your dashboard, in Edit profile, add your email and then click the button that says something about allowing your email to be shown.

    By the way–

    We did all those things too (with the ice, etc)..but dude, NOT the same as a contraction, haha. Maybe I just suck at labor? Okay, I'm being hard on myself b/c I was a champ. BUT STILL. It was different. Hopefully it will be a piece of cake for you.

    As for the walking…I walked for 3 solid hours and I HATED it but it helped. Everything in my body just wanted to sit down..but it doesnt help labor to progress…thats the only problem! {Well, it wont STOP it but it doesnt speed it up!}

  • Corinne

    I think it's great you got to try out some different scenarios! And even though you may not know now what you'll like, either you or B will be able to say "hey, remember this? let's try it for a while and see how it goes"
    YAY for educating yourself and sharing the love šŸ™‚

  • Ashley

    All these labor posts make me excited to hear your birth story and what you thought about all the coping techniques you liked or didn't like!

    Mostly, I want to hold that little bundle!! šŸ™‚

  • HNW

    The birthing ball and the toilet worked well for us! That, and having B rub my lower back every time I had a contraction.

    And they teach you all of these things, but – ultimately – you're going to do what's most comfortable for you. For me, at times, it was just laying in bed on my side.

  • Vanessa

    Hi! Iā€™m a new follower to your blog and I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading it. Thanks for letting me share your life.


  • Tatiana

    I was just talking about birthing positions with my husband the other day. I know that in a lot of hospitals they just plop you in stirrups and tell you to push. But what if that's not the most comfortable position for me? I really hope that the hospital we're going to will let me "experiment" šŸ™‚

  • Nadine

    He did stay the whole time actually šŸ™‚ He's so good about that stuff. He felt a little out of place at first, but he's such a ham that he usually just ends up being entertainment for everyone, lol! Just think I'm gonna have a mini version running around too šŸ˜‰
    It's become much more accepted to have the daddy there too…it makes sense, he should be able to celebrate his child too, right?! Hopefully your hubby will go…it's so much more fun to have them there! Have fun!!!