It has never been easier getting from 0 to 9 centimeters as it was for me during my fourth birth. I couldn’t believe how comfortable I was at 7, 8, 9 centimeters. I’ve thought a lot about that fact over the past four months, wondering… what made the difference? I can really only speculate, but these changes might at least partially explain the reduction of labor pain I experienced:
1) Prenatal exercise
I was in much better shape starting out this pregnancy than I have ever been in my previous pregnancies. I continued running approximately three mornings a week until about halfway through my pregnancy. Then I walked and hiked to keep myself active, though not as regularly. As I’ve shared before, prenatal exercise has so many benefits, including: reduced need for pain relief, decrease in maternal exhaustion, and shortened labor. It may not be safe for all pregnant women, but I was grateful to be able to exercise through my pregnancies and grateful to have midwives who urged me to keep running and walking.