Saturday, 14 May 2011

Relax with progressive muscle relaxation

For my two pain free labours I used progressive muscle relaxation as a technique to ensure that I did not secrete adrenalin. I was sat up on a comfortable padded chair with my eyes closed to begin relaxing. I focused on my feet, making them feel heavy and imagining the tension in them drifting away like a mist. When my feet felt very relaxed I then moved on to my legs then chest then arms and hands. The shoulders and neck should be given extra time to relax as most of our tension is found there. Just take a few extra minutes to feel them relax and imagine all that tension and stress drifting away. The head is next followed by the face. There are a lot of little muscles in the face so it is best to do the muscle relaxing there in stages. First the forehead, then the area around the eyes, and finally the jaw and mouth area.
Once you are fully relaxed, you have to keep going back to check that no tension has crept back into bits of your body, especially the shoulders. If a contraction occurs while relaxing it should be ignored with the mind focusing on relaxing the neck and shoulders. Your chosen method of relaxing should be practiced in pregnancy so that when labour day arrives you can start to relax easily and quickly before each contraction.
Of course, there are people who are incapable of relaxing. Coffee drinkers are adrenalin junkies and find it difficult to sit still for 5 minutes let alone relax and become tension free for a whole labour. Any caffeinated drinks are therefore not desirable as refreshments in labour.
Having a good social support system in place is beneficial as it will stop you stressing about other children or dependants. Being organised by having your bags packed and ready will reduce stress levels, you would be amazed at the amount of women who turn up in labour with a half packed bag. You've had nine months for goodness sake.
And finally, it is essential that your birth attendants are calm capable people who know exactly what your birth plan is so that they can negotiate with hospital staff instead of you risking getting stressed. Better still, stay at home and organise a home water birth. What better way to relax than to be in your own home, eating your own food and watching your own TV programmes. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ This technique is also fabulous for getting to sleep at night.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing such wonderful information! In my opinion, Keep a healthy life by consuming healthy food and doing exercise regularly is the best healthy formula.

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