coping strategies, pain management and q&a for labor
Watch Jada Shapiro, doula & boober founder, in conversation with Jill Blakeway, a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, a licensed and board-certified acupuncturist, and clinical herbalist and founder of the Yinova Center. New York Times described her as a “fertility goddess” and named her as one of Manhattan’s top acupuncturists. They cover various pain perception and management techniques during pregnancy and labor including breathwork (including tips for coping with required mask use), acupressure points, and positions that can help. Acupuncture, visualization, and doula care (both in-person and virtual) are discussed.
Pain-coping skills are life skills, not just labor skills. The more they are practiced, the more easily they can be accessed and used during labor.
Acupressure requires physical pressure to be applied to points that run along the body’s meridian system. A number of recent studies have shown the ancient medicine’s effectiveness for making labor a little shorter and reducing pain. Breathing techniques during labor are typically used to bring the birthing person’s focus away from the sensation, or pain that they are experiencing and to bring focus toward their breath, which seems to allow our brains to better experience our labor. Getting used to wearing a mask prior to childbirth can help parents who are laboring during the pandemic.
When it comes to visualization, by shifting our focus, our brains may experience labor sensations less painfully or uncomfortably. Shifting focus can also reduce anxiety and bring a greater sense of calm during labor.