Labour TENS Resources

In this section you will find useful information related to labour and pain.
Links for brochures and forms plus resources for Hospitals, Obstetricians, GP's & Midwifes.

Special Offers

Forms, Documents, Information & Brochures

Natural ways to induce labour

If you are full term and in danger of being medically induced you may like to try some natural methods to trigger an overdue labour. Also refer to www.naturalbirth.net.au

Home treatments

  1. 1. Nipple stimulation - twiddling the nipples for 15 minutes or more stimulates the release of oxytocin, the hormone responsible for uterine contractions.
  2. 2. Sex - followed by lying on your back with a pillow under your bottom for at least 30 minutes. Semen is rich in prostaglandin which ripens the cervix. Midwives often use a prostin pessery containing prostaglandin to medically induce labour. Also if you're lucky enough to have an orgasm as well, this will often start labour spontaneously.
  3. 3. Spicy curry - This is a purgative and will stimulate the digestive system. Have as hot a curry as you can stand.
  4. 4. Massage cervix - Midwives will often use a membrane sweep. You can try massaging the cervix yourself but be gentle. Method - 2 o'clock spot on cervix, rub for as long as 30 min, slowly and gently.
  5. 5. Homeopathy - take Caulophyllum 30c every 30 minutes until contractions start. Then every hour until established in labour.
  6. 6. Evening primrose oil - use gel capsules, take 3 x daily orally. Or 2-3 capsules high in the vagina and rest. Repeat 2-3 x 24hr intervals to ripen the cervix.
  7. 7. Blowing up balloons - builds up intra-abdominal pressure and can put more pressure on the cervix to move things along.
  8. 8. Eat pineapple - There seems to be general agreement that pineapple and its bromelain components do have a fibrolytic action, perhaps helping to soften the connective tissue of the cervix.
  9. 9. Exercise - walking, running, bouncing on a birthing ball, yoga, swimming and climbing stairs. Also curb walking, I know it sounds funny, but I've women who swear by it! Walk along a curb, one leg up on the curb and one in the gutter, then turn around and go the other way.
  10. 10. Professional treatments as listed below.

Professional treatments - all available at Lotus Centre, phone 02 80076380

  1. 1. Acupuncture
  2. 2. Acupressure massage
  3. 3. Homeopathy
  4. 4. Herbalist
  5. 5. Cranio sacral therapy

Back pain in labour

Back pain seems to be an inevitable part of pregnancy. Is it something to be endured along with tiredness or are there ways to manage or prevent back pain?

Research has suggested that 50 to 80% of all pregnant women are reported to suffer back pain at some time during their pregnancy. This may not be surprising considering the huge changes which occur in a woman’s body. Weight gain, increase in fluid, postural shifts and hormones have all been blamed.

If you’ve had a previous injury, back problem or suffered back pain before you became pregnant you are more at risk of back problems when pregnant. If you do a lot of repetitive lifting or bending, either in your work or when caring for a toddler – this also puts you at a greater risk. Stress caused by physical or emotional problems can also exacerbate pain.

The two most common types of pregnancy related pain are lower back or posterior (back of) pelvis. Activities such as walking and running, rolling over in bed, bending forward, twisting, lifting and climbing stairs can all aggravate pain.

Remember preventing back problems is easier than trying to cure backache once it’s started. Pregnant women’s posture alters significantly as the weight of the baby increases, the mothers centre of gravity alters. Weight at the front tends to make women lean backwards, thrusting their shoulders back and stomach out thus creating an excessive curve in the lower back. This causes significant strain in the lumber spine which can lead to back pain.

Help yourself by:

Hormonal changes during pregnancy cause the ligaments to soften and increase mobility in the joints. The pelvis naturally widens to enable the foetus to pass through the birth canal more easily. This can cause problems as the pelvis is particularly vulnerable to miss-alignment due to the increase in load, and softened ligaments. In conjunction with lengthening of the abdominal muscles, this results in increased joint mobility, pain and decreased stability. There are pregnancy back supports available which may provide an increase in joint stability and alleviate low back and posterior pelvic pain.

Most common pain relieving drugs are unsuitable during pregnancy, or have unwanted side effects.
Try some drug free methods of pain relief such as accupuncture or massage. Heather recommends “a combination of treatments such as massage, accupressure points and yoga to give a holistic approach to a complex problem”.

If back pain persists or you experience sciatica consult your Doctor. You may also like to consult a physiotherapist, chiropractor, Osteopath or acupuncturist for treatment if symptoms persist.

Prenatal yoga for backs

Birth Plans

What is a birth plan?

It is a written communication tool which describes your wishes for labour, birth and afterwards. It lets your midwife and Doctors understand the kind of birth you desire if all goes smoothly. It is a good idea to keep an open mind in case things don’t go to plan. Remember to seek advice from your midwife or doctor when thinking about your options and ask them what choices are available. The medical team are there to ensure you and your baby are safe – it is important to listen to their advice and follow their instructions if complications occur.

Preparation

Before writing your plans go to antenatal classes, or read books about labour and birth to educate yourself on the process and find out your options. Talk to women who have had various kinds of births and ask them about their experiences, the pro’s and con’s. Discus the options with your care givers, partner or birth companion.

What to include in your plan

Place of birth / Home, hospital, birth centre.
Birth companion(s). Who you want with you, when and where. Consider a doula, or private midwife, or family and friends.
Consider whether or not to allow student midwives or doctors to be present. Whether you want photos or filming during labour.

Labour options

First stage:
Environment - Consider lights, music, furnishings, how long you will stay at home.
Options - Consider if you want to be able to move about freely, monitoring, vaginal examinations, enemas, shaving.
Pain management - Labour TENS, hypnobirthing, relaxation, mobility, breathing, bath /shower, birth pool, massage, homeopathics, heat packs, gas and air, pethidine, epidural.
Intervention - Consider hydration options if needed, monitoring options, types of induction and augmentation available, forceps or vauntuse, episiotomy, caesarean.

Delivery:
Consider environment and atmosphere. Choice of positions, squatting, kneeling, supporting legs or stirrups, where the baby is placed immediately afterwards.
After delivery:
Consider your choices about cutting the cord, bathing, placenta delivery – natural or oxytocin injection, vitamin K for baby.

Postpartum:
Consider separation - where you would like your baby during the day and at night, any medications, feeding options breast or bottle.
When you would like to go home.

Special needs for you and baby
Please inform your caregivers of any special considerations such as diet, medications, disabilities, ethical or religious considerations.

Natural Birth Education Classes

If you are considering a Natural birth then natural birth education classes are essential for you and your birth partner. This class will help you feel more confident, more relaxed and in control of the labour and birth process. Natural birth education will empower you to make the right choices for you, and your baby. Heathers birth classes are packed full of practical information, exercises and tips for an active calm birth.

Natural birth education classes cover:

Group classes and private lessons are available at the Lotus Centre on the Northern Beaches, or at your chosen location (this may incur travel fee if more than 10km). PH: 94002709 or visit www.naturalbirth.net.au

The benefits of private lessons are:

The class can be 1 hour or more depending on how much information you require. The price is $95 per couple for 1 hour, $145 for 90 mins. You will probably need between 1-2 hours. Please do not hesitate to contact me for further information on 02 8007 6380 or 0405 821880

Pre and post natal massage

What is prenatal massage?

Prenatal Massage is specially designed to support and nurture pregnant women and their changing bodies. Prenatal Massage will ease aches and pains, relax muscles, improve circulation, reduce swelling in hands and feet, and relieve fatigue.

How do you lie on the table?

Women lie on their back or front supported with pillows if during the early stages of pregnancy. When this becomes uncomfortable women lie semi reclined for face up work and on their side supported by pillows for deep relaxing massage.

How can prenatal massage help me?

Pregnancy causes changes your posture and centre of gravity. This puts a lot of stress on your back, neck, abdominal muscles, and shoulders. Pregnancy also relaxes your ligaments, so that your pelvic joints are less stable, and your pelvis may shift and forward. The extra weight you're carrying plus postural shifts often cause aching lower back, neck and shoulders. As trained prenatal massage therapist Heather knows where a pregnant woman's sore spots are likely to be. Prenatal massage treatment is also deeply relaxing and calms the body and mind. Acupressure massage can also help to induce labour when women are full term .

Benefits of Pregnancy Massage include:

Also refer to www.naturalbirth.net.au

Hypnotherapy for childbirth

Hypnotherapy is widely used for childbirth to eliminate the Fear-Tension-Pain syndrome. Self hypnosis is easy to learn and everyone is capable of relaxing and hypnotising themselves. Birthing is a natural process that your body understands how to do. Unfortunately we have recently turned birthing into a medical procedure and women are now in fear, anticipating the worst.

The Fear-Tension-Pain cycle theory was discovered by Dr Dick-Read. He found that labour itself was not inherently painful. He believed the pain in labour was largely due to fear of labour prevalent in today’s culture. Stress or fear produces the fight or flight response obstructing the birth canal to stop labour progressing. Unlike wild animals we no longer need this safety mechanism as we rarely encounter a threat, so stress causes labour to become dysfunctional. As the stress and pain increase more stress hormones (catecholamine) are released which cycles back to increase her pain and fear.

The stress hormone catecholamine decreases blood flow to the uterus and placenta, reducing uterine contractions, and decreasing oxygen to the baby. According to the Fear-Tension-Pain theory of childbirth, the pain of labour can be lessened by stopping the cycle at any point. To stop the cycle at the fear point, experts recommend preparing for labour through self hypnosis or relaxation and breathing education, visualisation and emotional release work.

Hypnotherapy uses deep relaxation and the power of visualisation and suggestion to enhance your pregnancy and birth experience. Hypnosis is a natural state which uses the subconscious mind to overcome fear and pain. The subconscious is responsible for regulating all your bodily functions including your heart rate, hormone production as well as the emotions. Hypnosis can help you to deal with, and overcome fear and anxiety and to increase self confidence and trust in your body’s natural ability to birth.

The body reacts to reality and imagination in the same way, it cannot distinguish between the two. Hypnosis using guided visualisation gives you the opportunity to practice and experience your preferred birth over and over again in your mind. Now your body is familiar and comfortable with the rehearsed responses and so reacts accordingly during the actual birth. You remain relaxed, in control, and aware of the birth experience. You will flow easily through the uterine surges and sensations using deep relaxation, breathing and visualisations which tap into your bodies own pain killers (endorphins).

Hypnosis enables you to enjoy the experience in a calm and relaxed way leaving no room for tension and fear which are the main causes of pain.

Learn hypnosis for childbirth in Sydney by attending a group or private classes. It is recommended that you take a course of three sessions and practice with the free CD provided.

Why use Hypnosis?

You will learn

Courses:
Group sessions of two or three couples $270 per couple. Consists of three sessions of 90 minutes.

Private classes:
$120 per hour or $150 for 90 minutes

Private courses (booked in advance):
$150 (first appointment 90 minutes) follow up $100 per hour
$330 for three sessions (1x 90 min, 2 x 1 hour)
$470 for 2 x 2.5 hours hypnotherapy and natural birth class.

Heather’s story

With both my pregnancies I experience tremendous back pain resulting from sacroiliac joint miss-alignment. I tried everything as I couldn’t even walk by the last trimester. The best relief for me was a combination of TENS, massage, yoga and a maternity support belt. Pregnant women are so relieved when they discover the magic of TENS for relieving backache. I see pregnant mums in my yoga class also gaining strength and movement through these simple exercises.