I’m a doula & these are the tips I always recommend for a breezy labour – and why the holy comb technique ALWAYS works | The Sun

IT'S pretty normal to feel stressed or anxious going into labour, so anything to help control our nerves would be very much welcome.

As a doula and birthing educator with over 121k followers on social media, Emma Armstrong aka The Naked Doula has a few tricks up her sleeve which will guarantee the ultimate zen experience.


Firstly, Emma reckons it's time to reconsider the age-old birthing position and encourages women to change how they're positioned.

"Laying on your back with legs wide open is frankly outdated,"she told Fabulous."It benefits the caregiver and in no way helps the person giving birth."

Instead try KICO, which stands for knees in, calves out, and this allows further opening of the pelvis.

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"It's a principal of where by bringing the knees in and calves out, or even a slight turn of the feet inwards, opens up the pelvic outlet giving lots of room for baby to be born."

The holy comb

You might have packed a comb to tidy up your hair post-birth but turns out there's another use for it too.

"Holding a comb in the correct way activates the Lao gong pressure point and this instantly reduces cortisol (stress hormone) and releases dopamine," Emma said.

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"It also works alongside the gateway control theory where your brain cannot concentrate on more than one sensation at a time."

Emma, who's also a qualified Hypnobirthing Coach, said: "More and more [people] are using a comb as a method of pain relief all over the world."

Party on!

Who said you can't still party through labour? Certainly not Emma who actually encourages it.

The doula explained how dancing and singing through the first stage of labour can help get the baby into the optimal position, but that's not all it does.

"Dancing and movement are also shown to ease contraction pains, and promote the production of feel-good hormones including oxytocin that drives labour," she said.

And by throwing singing into the mix, "you’re literally stroking that vagus nerve" which is connected to your vocal cords, Emma explained.

"When we sing those vibrations stimulate the nerve which in turn sends a message to your body that it's time to relax and de-stress," she said.

Moo-ve over

If ever you wanted to channel your favourite farm animal, during labour might just be the time.

Mooing (like a cow) during the second stage of labour can help you breath, making the process easier.

"We often see gritted teeth and held breaths. Again, this is outdated and holds no benefits," Emma said.

"Instead, by breathing and using mooing as your outlet or out-breath, you are keeping your face soft and allowing your perineum and vagina to be elasticated reducing tearing and intervention," she explained.

Horse Lips

If there's a small chance mooing doesn't work, try the trusty horse lips instead.

Emma explained: "Keeping your lips soft and mimicking the actions of a horse is a game-changer.

"Not only does this correlate with 'Floppy Face Floppy Fanny' which means 'Relaxed Jaw – Relaxed Pelvic Floor' but it also eases the intensity of contractions, helps with dilation and doubles up as a distraction technique!"

Have a date

Although a romantic candlelit dinner would be nice to take your mind off things, that's not exactly the type of date Emma is referring to.

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Eating dates leading up to labour has been shown to reduce pain, reduce time in labour and strengthen your uterus, according to Emma.

And it's something women have been doing for years, she said.

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