“I’m glad I had a normal delivery. I looked for it, hoped for it, worked as much as I could for it and I’m glad that finally I’ve got it.”
When Aditi Lamba learned she was pregnant, one of the first steps she took was to look for a hospital that encouraged normal deliveries. “I knew from the beginning that I wanted a normal delivery,” is what she told us after she had her baby.
The story of a woman consciously seeking a normal delivery, particularly among the educated urban sections of society, seems uncommon these days, but at Sitaram Bhartia, we’re seeing more and more women step forward for one. And that’s how it should be.
Birth is a natural process and a normal delivery is generally safe for both mother and the baby. So it would be natural to expect women to deliver their babies without medical intervention as far as possible.
Culturally, a fear of going into labour seems to have settled into our bones.
And just the anticipation of labour pain can often fill women with feelings of anxiety.
But labour pain can be managed successfully without medical intervention and Sitaram Bhartia’s numbers confirm this – approximately 75% of labouring women at our hospital deliver without any pain relief medications. And only 5 to 10% require an epidural analgesia, i.e., an injection given at the back by an anaesthetist for pain relief.
Managing Labour Pain
Often times, managing labour pain is a matter of being prepared with the right information and techniques ahead of time, a strategy that helped Aditi immensely.
“I attended antenatal workshops. I read as much as I could read.” Aditi also says the antenatal workshops helped her recognize her symptoms of labour and she wasn’t scared when she reached the hospital. “I was mentally prepared for what was coming.”
The Right Labour Support at the Right Time
One of the more invaluable sources of strength in labour is having the right partner by your side, who may or may not be your husband. According to Dr. Rinku Sengupta, “it is very important to have a positive support partner who believes you can do it and give you continuous positive reinforcement.”
Aditi found her strength in her husband as a labour support partner. “Towards the last 4 or 6 hours, I was really tired and I had to go lay down again. I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore. But I don’t know how I would have (delivered) if he wasn’t there.”
Preparing yourself beforehand with the right information, finding the right labour support partner and working through labour with the right exercises goes a long way in relieving labour pain.
At the end of the day, while labour pain can be daunting, it’s not something women can’t handle.
After all, it’s how nature intended birth to be.