We are all different and there is no right or wrong way to cope with labour. Being fully informed about your options will help you decide what approach to take, and your midwife will help you make your individual plan for labour.
Choosing coping methods and pain relief is very personal. Most women will use some pain relief to help cope with labour, and it is good to talk to your midwife. Friends and family members who have had positive birth experiences can share their perspectives on what worked for them.
Some women want to do everything they can to work with their body’s own processes and avoid intervention. They know that the sensations of labour can be challenging, but that with the right frame of mind and support they will cope. For example, an athlete would expect challenging sensations when running a race, or a dancer might when giving a long performance. Hypnobirthing and birth partner support can help with this.
Other women will choose pain relieving injections or epidural anaesthesia, which is how they will feel most in control and ready to meet their baby.
For some, keeping options open will be the most important thing, with a plan to make choices as labour unfolds. When labour does not unfold as expected, plan B pain relief choices can allow for a more positive experience overall.
It is common to be somewhat anxious about how your labour will be and how you will feel. Speak to your midwife, however, if your worries are affecting you. Your midwife will want to support you so that you can enjoy the excitement of the pregnancy and birth and not feel overwhelmed.
Talk to your birth partner about your wishes beforehand so they can speak on your behalf. You may find you need your focus for labour when the time comes.