It’s never too early to start preparing for the birth of your child. Birth support is one aspect you may not have thought about, but it can be critical during labor and delivery. In this blog post, we’re going to cover all about birth support.
What is birth support?
Birth support is equipment and techniques used to help you during labor. This can be anything from a birthing ball, an epidural, or even pain medication like Tylenol. Birthing balls are often referred to as physical birth supports because they provide stability and comfort by allowing mom to relax into them; this reduces stress on the pelvic floor muscles that may cause them to spasm (the involuntary tightening of the pelvic muscles). The Maple Hollow Birth Doula Team highly recommends using birth support.
How do birth support systems work?
- Birthing balls:
Birthing balls are large, round, and firm rubber balls that allow you to sit on them. They come in various sizes and colors, but the standard size is 65 cm (25 inches) across. The best birthing ball for you will be one that gives your hips a slight bend at the knee when sitting with your knees apart; this allows room for both mom’s legs as well as her belly.
- TENS Unit:
Tens units are electronic devices used to block pain signals from the spinal cord to the brain. They work by transmitting small electrical pulses that interfere with pain messages traveling through nerves. You can use them at any time during labor, but try not to place them directly on your belly as this may cause fetal distress (when the baby’s heart rate becomes unstable because of inadequate blood flow). Be sure to talk with your doctor or midwife about how best to utilize a tens unit during birth support!
Epidurals are a type of pain relief medication given through an IV line placed in the back. It works by numbing all sensations from the waist down, allowing mom to rest and conserve her energy for pushing during birth! There is a small risk that it may slow or stop fetal heart rate, so be sure to talk with your doctor about how best to utilize epidural during labor support.
- Pain medication:
Pain medications are drugs given orally, through an IV line, or as a shot. They work by blocking pain messages traveling along nerves to the brain. Talk with your doctor about how best to utilize these during labor support!
Why is birth support important?
Birth support can be essential for many reasons, including but not limited to: – It reduces stress on pelvic floor muscles, which may cause them to spasm (the involuntary tightening of vaginal/pelvic muscles). For example, birthing balls help relax these muscles, so you’re less likely to experience muscle fatigue and discomfort later in labor- it also helps reduce backaches that commonly occur due to poor posture when standing without proper support.
Helps mom rest between contractions and conserve her energy for pushing during labor – Helps mom maintain a more comfortable and upright position conducive to the birthing process. For example, sitting on a ball allows you to shift your weight around as needed while keeping your hips in an optimal birth position.