Is it possible to take a nap while giving birth?
During childbirth, the body secretes several important hormones. We often talk about oxytocin and endorphins but we often forget to name melatonin! This hormone in charge of our sleep comes to appear during the period of active labor of childbirth.
But why does our body try to fall asleep when all the books tell us to move, walk and dance?
Simply because your body needs to take breaks. Without the epidural, it is impossible to think of taking a nap for an hour without interruption when going through big contractions. On the other hand, the interspersed nap is possible.
Between contractions, it's not uncommon to close your eyes and fall asleep for a few minutes. Even if you don't sleep continuously, your body takes this time to rest. After about 30 minutes of sleep interspersed with contractions, we often observe a return of energy and motivation to move.
The idea is to find a position in which a nap is possible and safe.
How to do?
In this photo kindly offered by our customers, you can observe the two very tired parents, taking a deserved break. The mother is on her ball, which allows her to keep mobility in the pelvis. She can thus move with her sensations when the contraction arrives.
The father stays close to her, on a chair. He also rests and does not stay far to offer support during the contractions.
Understanding how a hospital bed works, we notice that it is made up of three pieces: the backrest, the middle and the foot of the bed. The foot of the bed is removable and can be removed as needed. This is what is done in this photo.
This allows the mother to be able to move her legs almost under the bed without the metal frame hitting against her knees. They also pushed aside the metal rods that hold the calipers. This is what the father laid his arm on.
Don't hesitate to ask your nurse to remove the bottom of the bed if you need the space. Then, just raise the bed to the right height and put pillows on the bed to sit comfortably. Between contractions, you can now rest while respecting the physiology of childbirth!
The power of hot water
If you want to take a bath during labor, it can be a great place to take a nap. Most hospitals and birthing centers give you access to a bath. Hot water helps decrease the intensity of contractions and it relieves a lot.
You may want to keep your eyes closed between contractions. You can always lie on your side or on your back. Put a few towels under your neck for comfort. The lying position is not against physiology since in water gravity does not work in the same way. Relaxing your body with hot water helps just as much, if not more.
Because part of your body remains outside of the water, take an extra towel with you in the water. Wet it with hot water and spread it over the part of your body that remains outside of the water. Your partner or doula can warm it up with every 3-4 contractions so that you don't lose heat.
The cherry on the sundae
Whether you are in the bedroom or in the bath, you can now take a nap. The secret to an effective nap? Close the lights and curtains. Put on some music or listen to a guided meditation. Turn on the essential oil diffuser and dive into your bubble.
You can also ask your birth team not to disturb you for the next few minutes. You will be able to meet the needs of your body and recharge your batteries for the future.
Have a good sleep and have a good delivery!