It's not picturesque. Some may find it a little gross to think about, but let's dive into this space.
We may have memories of being comforted from scrapes and bruises. We may have memories of resting on the cool floor with a stomach bug. And of course a warm shower or bath to wash the stress of the day away.
It is this place where we have been taught from a very young age to relax and let go. (Potty training, anyone?!) And the reflex that has been engrained for years and years in us can now also help you when it's time to labor your baby down.
If you are pregnant, it's no surprise you have to use the restroom often. When you are in labor, it is important to empty your bladder not just for comfort, but it also allows more space for baby to move down.
The physical motions of walking, sitting, and getting back to your bed help to open your pelvis and make more space, and the reflex to relax your bottom when you are sitting on the toilet helps progress labor, encourages your cervix to continue to dilate, and can give you a calm head space that can restore your resolve.
The other benefit of being in the bathroom is simple: you can shut the door on the medical world that you are surrounded by.
You can make it dark. You can make it quiet. You can be there, with your partner or doula, and go about the business of birth with fewer distractions.
The bathroom in your hospital room can turn into a very effective place for your body to work through contractions, and all this even before using water therapy through a bath or shower.
So why should you go to the bathroom?
- movement from bed to bathroom can ease pain and help baby move into favorable postions
- physical act of emptying your bladder opens your pelvis, relives pressure, and increases space in your womb
- bathroom can easily become a dark, comfortable space where you can close the door and be supported by those you feel most comfortable with
- If able, hop in the shower or tub to relax your body further, encouraging your body to dilate and progress, and possible ease the pain of contractions
Authored by A Swift Doula