One reader asked about my use of liquid calcium during labor.
I first discovered liquid calcium when I had my wisdom teeth pulled. I don’t remember how I found out about it, but the theory is that it helps you to relax and makes you less sensitive to pain. Since I had heard plenty of horror stories about having wisdom teeth extracted, I was looking for something to help me relax. Lower pain sensitivity sounded good too.
I took several tablespoons of the nasty chalky stuff, went in to have the first 2 teeth pulled, and came out pleasantly surprised. It was not at all scary or traumatic, and I had absolutely no pain afterward.
In fact, it was so easy that I forgot all about the calcium when I went back for the next two extractions.
I was far more tense this time; I jumped; I squeaked when he tugged and twisted; and I dug into the arms of the chair with an iron grip. The difference was so marked that my dentist noticed and expressed concern: “Am I being too rough this time? You seem awfully tense. Am I hurting you?”
It wasn’t until I got home that I realized I had forgotten to take calcium this time. Sure, it’s anecdotal evidence and we all knows how much that means, but I was sold.
I don’t remember exactly when I started taking liquid calcium for labor, but I do remember when it rose to a prominent place on my list of Labor Necessities.
With our 5th daughter, I had a long slow labor, 30 hours in all. Don’t pity me; the first 28 hours were very easy; I slept well during the night, and enjoyed normal activity during the day. But it was steady labor nonetheless. After she was born, I had the most nightmarish afterpains of my life – they rivalled labor itself, left me shaking too badly to hold a glass or stand for 15 minutes afterward, and nearly knocked me out cold more than once. This happened with every feeding.
My midwife suggested that my calcium might have been depleted by the extended labor and I jumped on her advice to take a dose of liquid calcium with each feeding. The pains diminished by 90% or more immediately, and I have never again faced labor without a bottle at hand. I have also never experienced afterpains like those again.
So here’s what I do:
During labor: 1-2 Tbs of liquid calcium every hour or two once labor is well established.
After birth: 1-2 Tbs with each feeding until afterpains diminish. If I’m not having any significant afterpains, I don’t take the calcium.
OK, to tell the truth, I’m totally guessing about amounts. I drink it straight from the bottle. But I promise I never drink from the milk jug ot the juice carton, so don’t worry if you come to visit. But you might want to decline if hubby offers you any special chocolatey ice cream out of a very small carton. I guarantee I have been partaking directly from that.