segunda-feira, 28 de novembro de 2011

A não resistência

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Realxing Through Contractions

Posted on November 25, 2011 by Dr. Nancy

“Could you please explain more on what you mean by “not resisting” and what you said regarding “getting into” the contraction. I would love to know so that I could explain it to my clients and cope through it myself when my own time comes. Thanks in advance -Danielle ”
What do you mean by not resisting contractions?
We have been taught that contractions are a negative feeling and to expect them to be painful. This expectation leads us to tensing our body and resisting the sensation because we are afraid to feel the pain. This resistance is what creates pain.
Ina May Gaskin described contractions in a way that really helped me. She said something to the effect of: “Contractions are an intense sensation that takes all of you to stay on top of.”
When I say childbirth does not need to be painful it doesn’t mean that it is not intense, it just doesn’t have to hurt. It is all consuming, something that takes over all of who you are in that moment.
When you are in labor your contractions build and subside like a wave with a peak in the middle. It isn’t full intensity the whole time. Often when you feel the sensation of a contraction coming on the initial response is to tighten up because of the fear of the intensity at the peak. In an attempt to control it we actually create the discomfort we are afraid of.
The reaction could be tensing your mouth, forehead, shoulders, hands, or pelvic floor. When you feel yourself doing that, consciously try to let that tension go and let everything be loose.
I felt this in my third birth as needing to hang on my husband and let my bottom be heavy. That is the best way I can describe it. I needed to hang, let my bum drop without using my pelvic muscle. I needed to do that to relax all those muscles and not resist the sensations. This is why freedom of movement and positioning is so important to keep childbirth pain free.
The lead up to the full intensity of the contraction gives us the opportunity to have that initial reaction and to let go of it before the intensity builds. If we are successful in letting go of that tension, letting the sensation take over without reacting to it, we will be relaxed as the intensity of the contraction passes over us. The key is letting it wash over you and accepting the sensation instead of trying to control it.  When you are relaxed through the peak of the contraction the sensation is manageable.
Visualization helps. I used a couple of visualizations while I was in labor. I love swimming in the ocean when there are big waves. I love to dive into the wave so that I can feel the wave wash over my body head to toe and can feel the wave ripple over me. I found that when I relaxed into my contractions it felt very much like having that wave ripple through my body from top to bottom and then it would be gone until the next wave came.
When I reached pushing stages I visualized getting out of the way. The baby knows how to get out and I had to not stop it. I focused on my baby moving through and seeing myself expand and get out of the baby’s path. I saw in my mind my pelvic bones expanding and getting out of the way. I was trying to take myself out of the equation. Get out of the way, get out of the way, was what I would say in my head.
Labor is a fine dance between control and surrender. Controlling the reaction to tense up so you can surrender to whatever sensation that moment will bring. Vocalization also helps to release tension and an open mouth leads to an open pelvis.
If you are the support person and you see a laboring mom tensing any part of her body, gently remind her to release the tension in that area without bringing her into conscious thinking. This may mean touching her in the location, so just placing your hands on her shoulders or saying something like “let your shoulders melt”. Always phrase things as what you want her to do, not as a question or in the negative because this will require conscious thought to process. Say “relax your forehead” instead of don’t tense your forehead. “Open your hands”, “drop your jaw”. Speaking in tones that are calm and rhythmical can help. I liked my husband almost chanting, “relax your forehead, relax you jaw, relax your shoulders, relax your forehead, relax your jaw….” Until I was obviously relaxed all over. This talking needs to almost become like background music where she can choose to tune in or not, this is not a conversation in her conscious mind, not an abrupt shouting of instructions.
What I like to remind women of is that labor cannot be bigger than you because YOU created it. It is YOUR power that you are experiencing.

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