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  • Writer's pictureSarah Taylor

Empowering Women: The Top 3 Things I Encourage During Labour as a Doula

Having a successful labour and birth is so important. 3 things I have learned and encourage during labour and birth with my clients. 

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Rest and Movement Balance

  • Rest is essential during labour to ensure that there is enough energy to get through every stage of labour and delivery. Early labour can be very long especially if it is the first baby, often getting excited and swept up in the anticipation of baby’s arrival can cause you  to run out of steam. As you get closer to delivering baby, having rests between contractions - no matter how short of time - helps to store energy for when it is time to push. Standing/squatting while leaning on a support person, ball or over the head of the bed uses gravity to support baby in coming down and also allows you to rest between contractions.

  • Movement is equally important during labour, using different movements and/or techniques - even walking can help baby to wiggle down and puts pressure on the cervix.  It can also help with pain and discomfort by releasing endorphins - which naturally help with pain relief.

Support from a partner, doula or healthcare provider can help you navigate finding a balance, as well as what is more appropriate for each stage of labour.

Fluids during labour

  • Fluid intake is essential for maintaining hydration and helping give you energy during labour.  Labour is A LOT of work! Your uterus is doing the most work it has ever done or will do in such a short period of time - to work efficiently it needs to stay well hydrated.

Taking in all those fluids also means getting rid of fluids too! Emptying your bladder frequently keeps everything moving and also gives space for baby to wiggle down. Bonus - sitting on the toilet is helpful for relaxation of pelvic area and dilation of cervix - so take your time, have a couple contractions while you’re there or more!

You having a voice and being heard.

  • During pregnancy it is important to go over what you’re wanting for your labour, delivery and immediate postpartum as well as let your birthing team know what you are wanting and potentially what you may need. At any time these things can change depending on the circumstances of your labour.  Knowing ahead of time what the options could be and what you are comfortable with is important to make informed choices and so you have an idea of what could happen. Creating a birthing plan or birth wish list ahead of time so you know what your goals and expectations also helps you to be informed about what your options are. 

  • During labour it is important to be informed about what is happening to you and your baby. Asking questions, taking time to go over the benefits and risks of each procedure and making informed decisions are all beneficial to having the best birth outcome even if things go a different way than planned.


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