Enduring Labour-pain without the Pain-killers!
(Written on 18th November, 2009. Edited on 15th April,2013)
QUESTION: Asalaamu ‘alaikum sister. I’ve read that you went through labour 3 times naturally, mashaallah. I’m a mother of 1, Alhamdulillah, however I didn’t go the natural way, I wanted to, I really wanted to, but when I felt that pain, ya Allah I asked for something for the pain, I was given a sedative. This time, inshaAllah I want to go natural. My question is, since you went through this 3 times, does the duration of labour decrease with the number of pregnancies? Like lets say, first labour last 20 hours, would labour be less for the second baby, and even more less for the third and so on? Or it is different for everyone? what was your experience? I really admire you, barakillahu feek ma’a salaama.[Anxious Mummy, Trinidad (Wednesday, 18 November 2009 12:31 AM)]
Wa Alaikumu Salaam,
So by ‘This time’, I take it that you are pregnant with your second bundle of joy!? Masha Allah! Congrats! Children are such a joy and such a blessing. Alhamdulillah…
Yes I’ve endured labour naturally five times, and yes it is the worst pain I think I’ve ever experienced. Some say passing a kidney stone is the closest men can get to labour pain, but I really doubt it!?! The thing is, knowing that there are options to help you with the pain, tends to weaken your will to endure the pain. Now don’t get me wrong here, there ARE situations where some women physically cannot handle the pain due to other circumstances. Like they may start to blackout, don’t have the energy, pre-existing medical conditions, etc. But this is something the doctor or even you will sometimes be able to detect, as no one knows your body better than you do.
Trust me, there was time I was tempted to take the painkillers that they were offering me, but I knew my body could handle it. There were six things that gave me this ability to go naturally:-
1) Faith in Allah(swt) – He has promised us that He would not give us burdens more than we can bear. Make dhikr between contractions. It really really really works and takes your mind off of the pain. There is also a ‘Dua for ease’: “Allahumma laa sahla illa maa ja’altahu sahlan, wa anta taj’alul hazna, ithaa shi’ta sahla.”(Thank you again Ummu Yahya for supplying me with the transliteration for this dua. Always such a supportive sister mashaa Allah;))
2) I made up my mind at the beginning of each pregnancy, that I would do nothing to harm my baby in any way or take any medications that could hinder my ability to deliver them naturally. And when I make up my mind about something, it’s very hard to sway me to do otherwise. This is both my best and worst personality trait…You see, the pain gives your body an instinctive signal of when to push. If you don’t have the pain, and you can’t feel the pain, how will you know this feeling without the doctors’ help? And much like what happened to me, the doctor had not arrived at the hospital as yet when I had started feeling the urge to push, and the nurses were telling me ‘DON’T PUSH YET!’. But, I KNEW the baby was ready and in 10 seconds I pushed him out right there on the bed. Didn’t even make it to the delivery room!
3) My husband was there and I knew he’d be there. The constant back-rubs, comforting, him stroking my hair and forehead, holding my hand through contractions and his re-assuring words are all so very crucial to any woman getting through such an intense ordeal.
4) I had a good doctor with a good reputation. So even though the doctor had not yet arrived, I knew I was being looked after, as the nurses were required to keep the doctor informed by phone of what was going on and they received instructions of what to do.
5) Carry a comfort item. For me it was my big comfy pillow! I love that pillow and we called it ‘squishy pillow’ and I carried that pillow for every delivery.
6) Take a short (but sweet) nap between contractions and breathe (in and out) during contractions. Just blow that pain away!
7) Take little walks – If your hospital permits it, walk a little between the initial bearable contractions. This helps to speed things along, Also leaning over while standing and resting your palms on the bed while swaying your hips during contractions is a really great form on natural pain relief. In my experience, lying on your back during labor is the most painful position.
As for your second question regarding the duration. Every pregnancy is different. For me personally, labour was quicker each time. For the first it was 8 hours (2 hours painful labour), the second was 6 hours (2 hours painful labour) & the third was 5 1/2- 6 hours (1 1/2 hours painful labour), etc. So I was fortunate , Alhamdulillah, as the actually delivery part of it was definitely quicker each time (fewer pushes each time to get baby out).
But remember this is in an IDEAL scenario. Some deliveries include complications that may lead to a C-section/caesarean (I will be interviewing a sister on this topic soon Inshaa Allah, so look out for it!). But May Allah(swt) grant you a natural, safe and fulfilling delivery for your little one…Ameen. I hope this was helpful..let me know insha Allah! 🙂
Sisters, write me anytime and let me know if this article was helpful to you and yours!!!