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Labor Pains

The pain of childbirth is a time honored and inevitable part of the human existence, and all pain even the extreme ones are a normal, when giving birth to a baby. The fear and nervousness generated by the process can be allayed through education and the acceptance of the pain, allowing a woman to cope with the expected birth. The pain during labor is a fluctuating cycle of pain, appearing in waves, first peaking and then subsiding in turn, the frequency of this cycle however increases as time passes and the time for delivery nears. The pain of labor has a practical and evolutionary benefit, as they concentrate all the mothers' energies on the event.

The dilation of the cervix is the cause of the pain during labor. The pain and the fear in the woman can be controlled and alleviated by involving the mother in learning breathing techniques practiced at prenatal classes. The process of the baby's birth and its arrival to the exterior is also helped along through the action of strong abdominal and pelvic muscles. The vaginal muscles also stay in a relaxed state by keeping the mouth relaxed, and the tension of birth can be dissipated.

An anesthetic called an epidural that eliminates all painful sensations during the delivery process is sometimes used. And some women who cannot bear the pain prefer this. Complications can be caused by the use of this epidural as an anesthetic. A forceps delivery may result as the anesthetic interferes with the muscular contractions and it's pushing motions. If expectations about the birth and performance related judgments are made before the labor begins, guilt and feelings of inadequacy may come about in the woman. The occurrence anxiety and tension can be dealt with using a person, close to the woman to provide encouragement and support during the process of delivering the child. Because humans cope much better with pain, anxieties and roiling emotions if they are allowed to express it.

Supplements and herbs

At the onset of the contraction of labor take calcium to ease the pain of delivery. Delivery can also be hastened using vitamin E, which improves the elasticity of tissues and gives muscle strength. The essential fatty acids and the mineral magnesium permit the delivery process to take place smoothly. The normal and the timely contractions of the muscles are promoted by the action of the mineral magnesium. The nervous system and its nerve impulses and the prostaglandin's, both of which regulate pain are regulated by many of the essential fatty acids in the body and hence they are good as supplements. Good sources for the essential fatty acids include the oils of the evening primrose and the flax seed.

By preparing for the delivery of the baby, by following an herbal therapy program during pregnancy will greatly help alleviate some of the anxiety and the pain felt in labor.

The root of the devil's claw as an herbal tea is regularly used by South African women several days before the due date of childbirth to help relieve labor pain and hasten the delivery process. A combination formula of leaves of the raspberry along with blue or black cohosh can be used as a tea drunk when contractions start, this promotes uterine contractions eventually speeding up the delivery, and bringing on a shortened sensation and feeling of pain. During the labor process, rose petals and wood betony can be added to the raspberry tea. Some of the early pressure felt in the early process of labor can be taken off by tincture made from the motherwort herb; this herb must be used as soon as something resembling the pain of menstrual cramps appears, as labor pains often resemble it. The dose of the herb can vary and 3-5 drops mixed in water will be sufficient. Soak the woman in a warm ginger bath if there is the appearance of some discomfort mixed with pinching and cramping sensations. Bath water can be fortified using this liquid prepared by slicing a medium sized root of ginger into small pieces and boiling this in a qt. of water for ten minutes or so. The resulting mix can be added to the bath water and this can be used to soak the woman. Two capsules of the herbs like the false unicorn and lobelia or Siberian ginseng taken every two or three hours will preclude the occurrence of premature labor. The other properties of the oil of St. John's wort such as its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, its healing and its astringent abilities can be made use of during labor applying it to tears and injuries. By combining it with a cup of strong chamomile infusion or a tsp. of lavender and calendula oils, bath water can be prepared for the woman. The scarring is minimized and the healing is speeded using chamomile as a supplement. This can be used as an infusion in bath water, as topical oil or as a cream. Regular and gentle massage to the perineum using olive oil and applying warm compresses will prevent an episiotomy. Healing and recovery after episiotomy can be achieved using the gotu kola herb. A rigid and immovable cervical opening can be loosened up by drinking the tea made from the lady's slipper; dosage is about three cups daily.

After labor
A cup of red raspberry leaf tea, sweetened with some honey can be used if the placenta is not expelled even after a long period of labor. To expel the placenta tea made from the ground ivy, the catnip, herbs like basil, motherwort or dong quai can be drunk to speed things up. Into a cup of diluted grape juice squirt some amount of cayenne tincture and lobelia tincture into and drink as needed. Onto the affected area, cayenne can be used as a heating balm. For quick recovery it is advisable to stay and rest in bed.

Additional things you may do

The pain and the nervousness felt by the woman, including fear could be controlled and minimized through breathing techniques. The woman must make sure that she becomes familiar with these techniques and that she gets to practice them at prenatal classes or from books. Fear and anxiety can be relieved by thorough knowledge and preparation and an understanding of the process goes a long way, additionally other women have benefited from the following practical measures which have proved beneficial in dealing with the pain of labor.

During the second stage of the delivery process it is not advisable to rush or to push forcefully. To prevent the tearing of tissue, one must allow some time for the perineum to expand. The perineum can also be soothes by placing a warm towel on it. This relaxes the tissues and will increase the circulation of blood in the area.

Labor pains
For soothing relief and for comfort, place a hand across the lower spine for comfort during contractions and massage the coccyx or tailbone area. For one minute, and on the inner heel area of each foot apply some pressure using your thumbs.

Afterbirth
The expulsion of the placenta can be eased and its likelihood increase by nursing the baby or stimulating the nipples which increases the speed of contractions. To expel the placenta, the bones of the ankle on the left foot should be pressed.

Usual dosage

  • Evening primrose oil, 1-2 500 mg capsules thrice a day.
  • Vitamin E, with mixed tocopherols, 400 IU.
  • Calcium, 2,000 mg.
  • Magnesium, 250 mg two times a day.
  • Flax seed oil, 1 tsp.

Other beneficial herbs

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