A midwife’s labour tips
Well known parenting expert Sister Lilian advises on getting through the birth and caring for your body afterwards.
Sister Lilian’s favourite labour tips
9 tips for new moms
- Pace yourself through early labour by either sleeping a little longer, resting and reading or keeping busy with easy activities – this will make labour seem a lot shorter.
- If labour wakes you in the middle of the night, go back to sleep or at least rest between contractions. Most labours take many hours to develop and you’re going to need your sleep to see you through.
- Once the sun is up, move about as much as possible between contractions. This helps baby to move down faster and stretches the pelvis for birth.
- Take a small music system with some of your favourite music to the labour room. It’s a comfort aid and helps stimulate oxytocin release in the body – this hormone is responsible for relaxation of both mind and body.
- Keep your bladder empty in labour so it doesn’t impede baby’s downward movement.
- Wear snug, non-restrictive socks to keep your feet warm, as they’re often freezing cold during labour.
- While pushing, touch your baby’s almost crowning head, to encourage yourself as you feel the progress.
Tissue salts for mom after birth
- Apply an ice poultice or pad to the perineum to treat swelling and pain on day one and two.
- Add a handful of coarse salt to your daily bath to help prevent infection.
- From about the third day, warmth is more suited to soothing the perineal area, and both infra-red lamp therapy and direct sunlight for about 10 minutes at a time, twice daily, are beneficial.
- Sit on a semi-inflated and covered swimming ring to ease pressure on the area. This is especially good when feeding baby or you have visitors.
- To help speed recovery, soothe aching muscles and ensure bruising dissipates soon, take arnica tablets two-hourly for the first day or two after birth and then four-hourly for a week.
- Sit facing the cistern for the first few days when passing urine and pour lukewarm water from a jug over the pelvic floor area. This prevents severe, burning discomfort.
- Expect contractions of your womb every time your baby starts feeding for the first three days – these are a little painful but don’t last for the whole feed and serve the very useful purpose of contracting the womb to help reduce bleeding.
- After a Caesarean, interlace your fingers and support your wound when coughing, laughing or moving to reduce discomfort.
- If your nipples are tender, ask for help with latching. Moisten a Rooibos teabag with two teaspoons boiling water, cool and place over sore nipple to ease the pain – wear inside your breast pad until the next feed.
- Ferrum phos is an anti-inflammatory, prevents prolapse of the womb and treats anaemia.
- Kali phos is used for nerve repair, healing and maternal anxiety.
- Nat mur helps with third-day blues, postnatal depression and swelling.
- Nat sulph assists with swelling of the legs and hands (common after birth).
For more advice on natural remedies visit sisterlilianremedies.co.za