Monthly archives:January 2015

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    If you are reading this right now it is likely that you are heading into the final months of pregnancy and an unforgiving Australian summer and chances are you have thought on more than one occasion, to check whether the air-conditioner is set on the heat or cooling setting, just to be sure. You may be feeling hotter than usual and more than a bit bothered by this stage so here are a few ideas that will help you breeze through the coming weeks, and labour without having to permanently prop open the freezer door or install multiple air-conditioners.

    1. Have an ice pole. Obviously!

    Ice poles are also great relief during labour. If you are labouring at home, then just grab one out of the freezer. If you are going to a birthing centre or hospital take an esky with you to keep them cold or ask staff to put them in the freezer for you. While you may not feel hungry during labour, your body is working hard and is using a lot of energy. Suck on an ice pole in the early stages of labour or between surges. If you are looking at combating dehydration and fatigue during longer labours try substituting regular fruit juice style ice poles with electrolyte rehydration ice blocks available from your local pharmacy.

    Ice poles are by far one of the most fun ways of keeping cool, and one of the simplest. Stock your freezer full of them and when you have one, use it as an opportunity to stop whatever you are doing, put your feet up and relax in this mini moment of bliss. If you are looking after small children while you are doing this, giving them one too will give you a better chance at actually achieving this.

    2. Drink water.

    It may seem obvious but as your baby grows and puts more pressure on your bladder, you might start to do the maths on trips to the toilet verses water intake and avoid drinking altogether at certain times of day. Keeping up water intake during pregnancy is important and will also help you avoid lethargy and headaches.

    3. Be in the water during labour. Pregnant lady belly picture

    Water can have many benefits during labour. If you have been in the pool, beach or bath during pregnancy you will know the feeling of weightlessness is unparalleled by any other during pregnancy. Being in water promotes relaxation and can be fantastic for pain relief and staying calm. Being in a birth pool during labour can allow you to get into positions that are comfortable for birth and can assist with optimal foetal positioning. Alan Watts, a British-born Philosopher, says it best.

    “To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.” Alan Watts.

    4. Attend a preparation for birth workshop.

    Information is power. Learning about what to expect from pregnancy, birth and early parenting can answer the many questions you may have and leave you feeling informed, empowered and ready to bring your baby into the world. You will also learn relaxation techniques that can assist you through labour pain, keep your mind focused and your blood pressure and from skyrocketing. Also, it is highly likely that your venue will have air-conditioning (that is definitely switched to the cold setting) and may be willing to give you a shoulder massage if requested.

    5. Mind over matter.

    When all else fails, ask your partner, a friend or a very understanding work colleague to fan a folded up newspaper in front of your face while you wedge an icepack under the collar of your shirt, and focus on how infinitely unimportant this will all seem, when you finally get to hold your baby in your hot, sweaty arms for the very first time.

    Thinking about situations that are cool and refreshing can be of comfort. Close your eyes and imagine you are walking bare foot through the snow, or standing under a cool waterfall (when in fact you may be barefoot on your kitchen tiles or standing in the shower). At worst it will distract you for a little while and at best it will remind you that your mind is as powerful as your body during pregnancy and labour.

    Reference: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alanwatts253006.html, accessed 12/01/2015.