There are a number of PHYSICAL COMFORT measures that you can use during labour. Over the next few days I will talk about different ways to do this. Lets start with MOVEMENT.
Research and instinct have shown that the worst position for both mother and baby during labour is for the mother to be lying flat on her back. The reason for this is that the largest blood vessel in your body runs up and down your back, behind the uterus. As a result, the circulation is interfered with and so is the supply of oxygen and nutrients to your baby. This compression may over time, reduce the blood flow to the placenta resulting in the baby getting less oxygen. This can lead to foetal distress, a common reason for a Caesarean or the use of forceps or ventouse.
During early labour the contractions will be more effective and more comfortable if you keep upright and move around. When you are upright and leaning forward, you help the uterus to do its work without assistance. There is also a much better blood supply to the placenta when you are upright, compared to lying down. An important point to note is that your coccyx or tailbone will move backwards during the last stages of labour and so increases the space for your baby to move through the birth canal. This cannot happen if you are on your back. Changing your position all help relieve discomfort and facilitate the birth by adding the benefits of gravity and changes in the shape of your pelvis. For me, I personally found standing and rocking my hips forward and back really comforting and also a great way to get baby into position. When in the birth pool while labouring being on all fours or kneeling really helped me.
BIRTH PARTNERS.....any sign of an adrenalin blip, remind her to gently move, a birth ball can be a great tool to have in the room also.