Tips On Managing Labor Pain During Childbirth Naturally, Including Labor Positions, Doulas, Water Births, Massage, Music During Labor And More.
Give yourself plenty of time to review different options available prior to your labor and delivery, and come up with a plan of pain management that’s right for you. Choosing a more natural way to deal with labor doesn’t mean forgoing modern treatments.
Create a relaxing space
One of the easiest ways to create a comfortable space during labor is to make adjustments to the immediate area you’ll be spending time in while in labor. Discuss options with your doctor, nurses, and any family and friends that will be with your during this time to make the space as relaxing as possible.
Consider adjusting the lighting, temperature and noise around you in your birthing room. A quiet, low lit room may help you relax and help you get through some of the pain you’re experiencing.
Music during labor
Music, candles and other additions may be things you’ll want to include to help you relax. Be sure to check with the hospital ahead of time to see what the restrictions are. What might be relaxing for you could be distracting for others in the hospital.
Find out more here on how music can provide a harmonious birth experience.
Plan ahead who will be in the room
Consider who will be in the room with you during delivery – family, friends, hospital staff, doula, mid-wife, etc. Decide on how many people you want to have and what they’re roles will be during the labor process. Try to avoid any unexpected guests during this time, and let loved ones and friends know what your wishes are ahead of time.
One person you may want to consider including in your room is a doula. To find out how a doula can make your birthing experience more enjoyable, read Why doulas are a girl's best friend.
Consider acupuncture or acupressure
“There are dozens of points on the body that can block pain to the abdomen and uterus which can be stimulated with needles or milder techniques like seeds or acupressure,” says licensed acupuncturist Tom Ingegno, M.S., L.Ac.
“For women who are expected to go into labor I often use press seeds (traditionally seeds but now commonly gold, silver or magnetic beads) or tacks taped on various acupuncture points to increase relaxation in the hips and help manage pain.”
Find out more about pregnancy acupuncture here.
Massage during labor
Massage is another alternative to help alleviate pain symptoms and can be done by a professional or loved one. Massage can help reduce your anxiety, help with contractions, blood flow, and decrease levels of stress and exhaustion, among others. Massage can be most effective when you are not experiencing contractions and can focus on relaxing.
You can switch positions and massage different parts of the body including back, legs and hands, among others, to get the desired effect. For more tips on massage visit with a therapist and understand what your comfort level with massage is while you are pregnant.
Changing the way you sit or lay in bed can help increase blood flood and decrease pain. Getting out of bed and walking or moving around your room or hospital floor can help decrease anxiety and relax and prepare your body for labor. Be sure to have someone close by if contractions increase to avoid falling and to get help quick if you need it. You may consider bringing in pillows or using a birthing ball to sit on to help reduce back pain.
Find out here effective birthing positions to help labor and delivery.
A shower or bath may be just what your body and mind need to help relax. A warm shower can help relieve back pain experienced during contractions. Birthing tubs allow women to complete submerge in water and helps with the pressure inside the uterus.
Always discuss options with your healthcare provider, and keep in mind, some options, like water, may not be available to you if your water has broken.
For more, read: How can water help relieve the pain of labor?
Shout out loud!
Do you find yourself swearing like a sailor when you stub your toe? It turns out swearing helps diminish pain! A recent study examines the effects of swearing and pain tolerance. Among some of the findings, the study suggests that swearing helped increase pain tolerance and decreased perceived pain. If you’re not one for keeping a quiet room and need to release stress in other forms, consider swearing your way through labor pain. Like you needed an excuse to swear! Just make sure siblings are out of the room and let er' rip!
For more on childbirth and labor, check out our top 100 articles here.