Birth Options Series – Natural Birth & Non Medicated Methods Of Pain Relief

Welcome and thank you for listening!

​​Ruwaida Moola trained as a General, Community, midwifery & Psychiatric nurse at Coronationville Nursing College and later did advanced Midwifery & neonatology and Nursing Education at the University of Johannesburg.

Ruwaida, mother of two, has been practising midwifery since 1999, working in various provincial and private hospitals, clinics and maternity units. Witnessing childbirth in her schooling years was a revelation that she would remain in that miraculous field of midwifery. Her passion was further strengthened during her  midwifery training, where she was able to facilitate labour, offer support and be a part of labour and birth. She now has the privilege to impart knowledge to nursing students as a guest lecturer.

After her first son needed an exchange transfusion for neonatal jaundice, she also developed a special interest in jaundice and home phototherapy.

Her Independent practice, Miracle Births, was established after the birth of her second son. Whilst continuing with her practice she also worked as a senior fertility sister in a fertility clinic where she had the privilege of being a part of a couple’s lives from preconception to birth.

Ruwaida specialises in low risk pregnancies and birth, certified in aromatherapy & massage and has also worked in a pain clinic. She mentions that she has seen phenomenal success in the use of non pharmacological methods of pain relief during labour.

Ruwaida tries to reach out to communities through television and radio talks. She is also a columnist for various pregnancy magazines.

Empowered birth

What if you felt excited, rather than fearful, about your birth experience? 

In our society today, it’s a sad thing that so few women speak about looking forward to their birth. The excitement they express about ‘having a baby’ often refers to holding the baby after birth – not the birth itself. Commonly, labour and birth are spoken about as ‘scary’, ‘painful’, or something a mom just has to ‘get through’. But what if you thought about birth differently? 

Fear of the unknown

Many first-time moms fear birth because they don’t know what to expect. This is, in fact, just the first of many times on your parenting journey that you will have to accept your inability to control things. Still, there is a lot you can do to prepare yourself for what your birth may be like. 

While there are many bad birth stories, there are many more empowering stories about birth. Women have taken to sharing these stories online, on blogs and social media, and often include beautiful birth photographs. There are also many videos on YouTube that show what birth is like. Witnessing others’ experiences of birth can help you prepare for your own. After all, knowledge is power!

Fear of pain

Labour is hard work for most women and yes, it can hurt – there’s no getting around this. Contraction of the uterine muscle, when Baby lies in a posterior position, and the stretching of the perineum as Baby is pushed out into the world inevitably are accompanied by discomfort, but there are so many things you can do to reduce the pain. 

Natural birth is actually far less painful than you’d think, because birth hormones are designed to make contractions manageable. Implementing the many tips for natural pain relief will help you cope well. The chief cause of unbearable pain is, in fact, anxiety itself.

Labour does hurt – there’s no getting around this. But there are so many things you can do to reduce the pain to a point where you can handle it easily: 

  •     Relax; anxiety makes birth more difficult by suppressing the hormones that make labour easier.
  •     Walk, rotate your hips and squat during labour. This stretches the pelvis by up to 30%, and helps move Baby downwards. 
  •     Concentrate on the rhythm of your breathing, play music you love and dim the lighting.
  •     Wrap towels soaked in warm water around your belly, or relax in a deep warm bath.
  •     Encouragement from your partner, doula or midwife will help lower pain levels.
  •     Take a homeopathic labour and birth remedy.
  •     Special techniques like visualisation and medical hypnosis help some women.
  •     Touch therapies like massage, reflexology and acupuncture support the body’s natural painkillers.

All of these tips will also help prevent an episiotomy, tear or intervention.

Trust your body

During pregnancy, you trusted your body to look after your developing baby. So why should birth be any different? Trusting in yourself will not only make your birth easier, as you’ll be less anxious, but is the key to an enjoyable and empowering experience.