Natural pain relief during labour

Natural pain relief during labour

Natural pain relief during labour

For centuries, before the invention of epidural or medical pain relief, women have used natural methods to relieve the labor pains. These pain relief methods to manage labour are still relevant in this modern day and age, and you can try them too, with your doctor’s permission, of course.

Some of these methods to manage pain during labour include:

  • Warmth: Applying warmth on tense and relaxing muscles is an age-old method of relieving pain.

o The same technique can be applied in the early stage of labor by using a hot water bag or a wheat bag. A wheat bag is cloth bag full of wheat husks that you can heat up in a microwave for a few minutes. The bag molds itself to the shape of your back.

o For using a hot water bottle, fill it with hot – but not boiling – water, wrap it up in a soft cloth and then apply it to your back.

o Warmth can also come in the form of a massage. Have someone massage your back which will make it warm and release the pain-killing substances in your body.

o Take a soothing and warm shower to relieve pain. Let the shower droplets fall on your back, so that it provides a massage in a way.

  • Breathingtechniques: Many birthing classes and yoga classes teach you some breathing techniques that provide pain relief for your back. Follow these steps for effective pain relief via breathing techniques:
  1. Take a deep breath with your nose at the beginning of the contraction and let go of all tension.
  2. Start breathing out with your nose and mouth gently open, as you push.
  3. Keep a rhythm going, think of a song maybe, when you breathe.
  4. Remember that breathing is for relaxation and so don’t worry about how deep or long you are breathing. Your inhalation should not be longer than your exhalation.
  5. When the contraction is over, relax and breathe normally.
  • Rest: In early labor, before the contractions start full-fledged, try to take as much rest as possible. For best results, keep yourself surrounded with as many cushions as possible. Also have some sweet drinks, and watch your favourite movie/TV show. Take a light nap, if you can. You will be more capable of dealing with contractions if you are well-rested.
  • Changeinposition: When the contractions start, make sure you are in a comfortable position. Keep changing your position till you find a comfortable one – but without too much exertion. Remember the more upright your position, the easier it is to get pain relief and to push the baby out. If you are tired of lying down, try walking around a bit, that’ll provide a much needed relief and distraction from pain.

Some hospitals may not allow change in positions, so you can try this while you are at home.

o Stand up and lean on the bed.

o Kneel down and lean on the seat of a chair.

o Kneel with one leg raised to provide more space in the pelvis for your baby

o Get on all fours to take the pressure of the back.

  • Laborpartner: Having someone you trust when you are in contractions makes it easy to bear the pains and have a quick and easy birth. It may be a doula, a good friend, your mum or your husband. Then again, it depends on your comfort level. You may also choose to deal with your pain alone.

If you do choose to have a labor partner, make sure it is someone who has a positive influence on your life, will stay calm at the face of pain and is of strong heart to be able to see the blood in the delivery room. Your labor partner should also be aware of your medical history and be confident enough to talk to the doctors and staff on your behalf.

Importantly, make sure well in advance that the hospital chosen for your delivery allows you to have a labor partner to avoid any last minute surprises.

  • Waterbirth: Labouring in a warm water pool can relax you and make contractions more bearable. Studies have shown that women who labor in a warm bath for some time as less likely to as for an epidural or a spinal than women who labor out of water.