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What triggers labor pains and what helps with pain?

Labor pains, as the name suggests, initiate the birth of a baby. But what exactly triggers these contractions? Is it possible to help it along? And how can the pain be mitigated? Tikbow talked about this with a specialist in gynecology and obstetrics.

How labor pains occur

A birth announces itself with contractions. However, the first contractions are usually not yet labor pains. "The difference from previous contractions is that labor pains open the cervix, i.e. the entrance to the womb," explains Mandy Mangler, M.D., chief physician for gynecology and obstetrics at the Vivantes Auguste Viktoria Clinic in Berlin. "Labor pains result from a complex interaction of many different factors. Hormones trigger labor pains just as much as irritation, for example when the baby exerts downward pressure;

Inducing labor pains yourself

The due date has long since passed and the baby is still not making any effort to be born. So-called labor cocktails can help to induce labor pains. Common ingredients are castor oil and apricot juice. "But that usually helps only a little", Mangler says. "Much better is physical activity such as climbing stairs or having sex. Numerous studies have shown that. Sperm contains prostaglandins. These are hormones that can trigger contractions;

Relieve pain

Geburtswehen sind schmerzhafter als andere Wehen und können im ganzen Bauch- und Rückenbereich spürbar sein. Viele Frauen vergleichen es mit den krampf­ar­ti­gen Schmer­zen wäh­rend der Pe­ri­ode – nur wesentlich intensiver. Jede Frau empfindet die Schmerzen aber anders. Und genauso unterschiedlich fallen auch die Maßnahmen aus, die sie lindern. "Ich rate jeder Frau, gut in sich hineinzuhorchen und zu erspüren, was der Körper gerade möchte", sagt Dr. med. Mandy Mangler. "Oft sind es bestimmte Bewegungen oder Positionen, die Entlastung bringen." Die Chefärztin für Gynäkologie und Geburtsmedizin hält die klassische Geburt, bei der die Frau auf dem Rücken liegt, für längst überholt. "Ich glaube, dass die Geburt der Zukunft eine Geburt in Bewegung und in verschiedenen Positionen ist", so Mangler. "Viele Frauen finden es beispielsweise angenehm, sich über etwas beugen zu können. Andere laufen während der Geburt oder hocken sich hin. Das alles kann Relieve pain."

Of course, if labor pains are unbearable, you can also resort to various medications.

Labor pains after delivery

If contractions occur every five to ten minutes for at least a minute, you should be on your way to the hospital. After delivery, however, labor contractions don’t stop there. These contractions cause the mother to contract,” explains Mandy Mangler, MD. The uterus has to return to its original size from the size it assumed during pregnancy. So these contractions have a very important function, but they can also be very painful;