Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Comfort Measures During Labor

Women take childbirth classes for a variety of reasons. Typically, learning how to deal with the discomfort of contractions is at the top of most womens list. Last week I surveyed my friends (and Bradley Students) on facebook, just curious about what were the most common comfort measures used in labor.

Twenty two women responded, here are the results.

Hydrotherapy: (they were to check all that applied)
    72 % used the tub, followed by 52 % who stood in the shower.
    Only 22% used cool compresses, followed by 27% who used warm compresses.

Touch Therapy:
    Counterpressure 87% , 43% for effleurage of light stroking, 31% liked the double hip squeeze and  only            4% used accupressure points.

Support person:
       Interesting statistic: exactly 50% used a doula other than their partner/spouse.

Pain Meds:
       Of the 22 that answered the survey, 68 % used no pain meds. Edpidurals only followed at 22%      and          only 9 % said they needed both the epidural and pain meds in the I.V.

  When asked to write about what was most helpful, most women mentioned a support person, such as a doula, their husband or friend. Breathing, working with their bodies, giving in to the contractions, changing positions and being in the tub were common responses.

I think it is important for women to know before they go into labor that they have these options, that a trained support person can help them, and that they don't have to figure it all out by themselves.

Many thanks to my friends and students (a.k.a. friends acquired through teaching!) for answering the survey! It is my pleasure and privilege to know each one of you.

Bright Blessings to you all!

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