First Stage Labor – How To Cope With Transition
You’ve now reached what can be the toughest part of childbirth, the third phase of first stage, of the labor and delivery process called the transition period, or Transition. Hang in there. It can be intense! But you’re getting so close to the end of your pregnancy. The birth of your baby will happen very soon.
Transition is often the most physically and emotionally challenging part of pregnancy and childbirth. Your contractions are very intense and usually coming every two and a half to three minutes, lasting at least a minute or longer. During this phase of labor, delivery may be a few minutes to a few hours away.
As your baby gets closer to birth, he or she has now descended deeper into your pelvis. You will probably feel pressure, as if you have to have a bowel movement. Many women will begin to feel the urge to bear down, or push.
Women who have had an epidural may or may not feel the same pressure, depending on the amount and type of medication that they received and whether the baby has descended into the pelvis or not.
Coping With Transition
If you decided to go through labor without an epidural, there will come a moment during transition when you’ll feel you can’t continue. If you suddenly lose faith in your ability to do this, it is a very common reaction-a classic sign of transition. You’ve come this far. Don’t give up now! This is the moment during childbirth when you need your birthing partner’s support the most.
Here are some tips on coping through transition:
AÃ¯Â¿Â½ Change positions. It may provide some relief. If you’re feeling strong contractions through your lower back, try getting on your hands and knees and rocking back and forth.
AÃ¯Â¿Â½ Try massage. Your birth partner can either give you a light or more firm massage, depending on what feels good to you. Keep in mind some women prefer not to be touched during childbirth.
AÃ¯Â¿Â½ A cold, wet washcloth on your forehead or a cold pack on your lower back might feel good.
AÃ¯Â¿Â½ Strong counter-pressure of your partner’s fists on both sides of your lower back also can help during contractions.
AÃ¯Â¿Â½ Go sit on the toilet. It may seem like an odd place, but you’ll find it’s easy to let go and can be a great place to labor!
AÃ¯Â¿Â½ Make noise! Moan, groan, hum, sing. Open your mouth and let it all hang out! Make those sounds low-pitched not high. It automatically stimulates your relaxation response, so go for it!
The last thing many women want before birth is a distraction. Music or even other people’s voices can suddenly become very annoying to a woman during the transition phase of labor. Delivery will happen soon, so focus your mind on your baby. You’ve made it through nine months of pregnancy, you are doing a fabulous job. You can make it through transition. You are almost to the finish line. Your pregnancy, labor and delivery are nearly over. Keep going. You’re about to meet your baby!