Heres my "experiments"
- Ive been drinking 2-3 large cups of red raspberry leaf tea, occasionally mixed with equal amount of partridge berry, everyday for the last two or three months. According to my sources (the book Labor Pain by Nicky Wesson) the Cherokee Indians drank partridge berry tea to hasten labor and ease delivery. The raspberry leaf is a fairly well-known woman friendly herb. It tones the uterus and is said to make labor easier. WE WILL SEE ABOUT THAT!
- I have made a tincture of skullcap and blue cohosh which I will use during labor because its an antispasmodic and helps to calm the nerves. It also is said to make people drowsy and taste like ass. Risky business.
- Hot compresses made of water mixed with drops of clary sage oil placed over the pubic bone are said to be helpful for pain relief. I have the oil, a crock pot and some rags all ready to go. I was also thinking with this one that I would get some base oil (like grape seed or sweet almond) and make a clary sage massage oil to use during labor. Your skin can absorb it right into your blood stream so perhaps a massage oil would be more effective than a compress. Clary sage oil is a sedative that is particular for labor but you cant use it during pregnancy - interesting.
- Water. Good ole water. I was thinking about laboring in a tub depending on if I could find one that is comfortable enough and able to keep it at a temperature that I find appealing (Im picky about water temp). I heard showers are good too but something about being IN water sounds better to me.
- On that note, Ive been considering taking a water aerobics class now that Im getting pregnant enough that walking and working out has lost its appeal. I was sitting at a football game last night and my feet just blew up because the weight of my uterus is no longer letting blood flow to my legs. I would bet that floating in water would not only feel like instantly relief, but would also promote better circulation. Besides, several people (both friends and strangers) have told me or related stories that implied water aerobics helped with having an easier delivery.
- Ive been taking a yoga class once a week to practice breathing and relaxing and stretching and such. I feel like Im going to be a noisy laborer. Not necessarily a panicked "oh my god Im going to die" kind of noisy, but that since Im an expressive person my labor would be...well...expressive. Hopefully my dedication to staying physically active will pay off when it comes time to squeeze this boy out!
- Im almost embarrassed to admit this one, I have tried talking to the baby and coming to some sort of agreement with him. I try to visualize labor and delivery and I either directly or indirectly ask the baby to not hurt me too much, get stuck, be huge or anything like that. It almost sounds too wacky for words but its been offering me a surprising amount of comfort and hope. I guess my thought are that if I spend the next few weeks dreading labor and being totally focused on what a nightmare its going to be, it probably will end up feeling that way irregardless.
- I read a book by Grantly Dick-Read that was my grandmothers (read: its an antique) and even though the language is practically archaic I thought it was one of the more helpful books I have read. He doesnt necessarily suggest brokering a deal with your fetus, but he does point out that the more you are freaked out about labor the harder its going to end up being.
- I dont know how much a persons diet affects their labor and delivery but I would imagine there is a correlation there somewhere. I have been what I would consider "OK" about eating well throughout this whole process. Now that we are in the stages of preparing for the main event Ive been trying to take more B-complex, calcium, and protein. But especially Ive been bulking up on iron and omega fatty acids.
The things I havent done are things like taking a birth class, learning any kind of specific breathing exercises ("hee hee hee hoooo" type stuff), practicing mediation/relaxation techniques, or rehearsing pain relieving positions. For some reason these are all things that I think I will either figure out instinctively or my midwife can just show me in the moment.
Again, I have no idea if any of this stuff will work and even if it does work I will have no way of letting you know what worked and what didnt. This is how Im preparing for labor and delivery. This is my wacky science experiment!