The uterus is the muscle at the center of labor and the cervix acts as a passageway between the uterus and the vagina. The cervix is like a door that has to open before the baby can move out. Each contraction gently opens the cervix or opens up the door.
The cervix has an easier time opening when the laboring person is relaxed and loose. This isn't easy but important! It's common for laboring people to want to brace or fight against the sensations of labor: squeezing their partner's hand, grabbing onto a railing, clenching their jaw, bum or eyes with a lot of force.
9 Tips on staying Relaxed and Loose for Labor:
1. Relax your jaw by opening your mouth and let lower jaw hang. 2. Shake out your whole body, especially your arms and hands. 3. Blow horse lips-it's impossible to have a clenched jaw or bum when you do this. 4. Use low, deep sounds to help encourage relaxation of your entire body, especially your pelvic floor. 5. Do a body scan or have a support person lead you, noticing and releasing any tension from head to toe. 6. Have support people use phrases like "sink into the bed", "let go" , and "loose, limp". 7. Check in with your pelvic floor, vagina, bum. Relax and Release! 8. Wiggle it out! If any areas of your body seem tight give them a wiggle to release the tension. Your support team can help you by using a rebozo to wiggle and jiggle your bum and belly to let everything go.
9. Water! Get into the bath or shower