Pregnancy

Delivering without an epidural: how to manage pain?

Accoucher sans péridurale : comment gérer la douleur ?

Managing pain before and during childbirth can be learned, especially when you have chosen to give birth without an epidural. Interview with Corinne Adler, midwife.

If the majority of women who want to give birth without an epidural change their mind at the last moment, you have made up your mind to give birth without one. Because yes, you are sure to hold on. However, it is essential to prepare well for manage pain, thanks to adequate preparation. Interview with Corinne Adler, midwife at the Bluets maternity ward in Paris and as a liberal.

Corinne Adler: There are several cases. Women can decidegive birth without an epidural because they want more freedom of movement, especially if they want to be in the water during work, even childbirth … Others will want to feel everything: the contractions, the descent and the exit of the baby. So, they want manage the pain of contractions themselves. Some women wish to have the most natural birth possible without technicization because they prefer to avoid any injection of drugs in their body. Childbirth without an epidural also concerns women who want give birth at home or in a birthing center. In this case, the midwife works in partnership with a maternity to which the future mother and her baby can be transferred in case of complications.

Future mothers should be attentive to their breathing. If they breathe the right way, they will succeed in relaxing their bodies. The human reflex is to tense up in the event of pain, but that only amplifies it. To achieve relaxation, therefore, pregnant women need to be very focused and train to breathe and relax their bodies, and this a few weeks or even a few months before giving birth. For this, childbirth classes in which midwives teach future mothers how to breathe are essential. During these courses, different positions are also shown to pregnant women. They can thus choose the one they prefer to adopt according to the evolution of the work. I also advise pregnant women to get a back massage, use heat sources (bath, hot water bottle), stretch and use the sound vibrations of the voice. They can also take courses in sophrology for relaxation, but also for yoga, haptonomy or even ’acupuncture. These are additional techniques to lessons that can be particularly useful during childbirth.

It is actually preferable for the partner to be able to attend lessons with the expectant mother. He too must succeed in breathing well, relaxing, relaxing, etc., in order to transmit his serenity to his partner. He can also give her massages, keep her hot water bottle, give her position advice, be at the origin of initiatives… Then, even if this is not always possible, it is better for the partner to be there at the time of delivery, next to his partner. He can thus encourage her if she wishes, hold her head, allow her to stretch for example. In addition to being flexible and adaptable to the mother, the partner must serve as moral and physical support.

It is important to tell expectant mothers that life is made up of unexpected events, that we do not know what day we are going to give birth to or how the delivery will be. We must explain to them the reason and the procedure of a cesarean section but also why instruments like suction cups or forceps, can sometimes be useful for the baby and / or the mother. It is indeed essential that they know that a cesarean or instruments are never performed without medical reason. In any case, you have to reassure them that it is always their birth even if it is not their initial plan.

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