Six Pain Managements Techniques to Try During Labor
The most common questions I get asked during prenatal preparation visits is about how to manage pain during labor. Here are my top six answers:
6. Music- A custom playlist has the ability to take you mind anywhere you want it to be. If you are a person that likes to take a stroll down memory lane maybe try some throw back jams that take you to a special place that you vacationed to as a child, teen, or young adult. If you are more of a person that likes to relax to music during stressful times maybe try some classical music, Enigma, or Enya if that is more your style. If you like to sing a long or rock it out, find some tracks that appeal to your taste and rock out your early labor with a party to welcome the beginnings of your labor. There is actually a really awesome music collection recently released called The Rhythm Within! It uses a steady and solid 80 beats per minute pulse behind it to mimic a woman’s heart rate to help her through all aspects of labor!
5. Massage- Massage relaxes and soothes you allowing your body to rest and the hormones and contractions to regulate. It can loosen muscles but also stimulate more regular contractions. Massage of the body but especially the feet releases endorphins which set mom on a more positive and comfortable path which leads to less interventions over all. For a much more in depth look at how massage can be beneficial to you, check out the expert at Rainier Holistic.
4. Chiropractor adjustments- An adjustment from a chiropractor could be just what you need to speed things along after that amazing massage that just loosened up all those muscles! The benefits of adjustment during early labor is not only relaxation, but also proper alignment to ensure that the baby has the easiest transition through the birth canal. They can also really help prevent posterior position of the baby. Go talk to Dr. Curria at I’on Health for more information about the benefits of chiropractic care during your prenatal period.
3. Aromatherapy- You can’t go wrong with aromatherapy! There is nothing better than to get a big deep inhale of something that makes you feel good!!! Citrus is great for an uplifting mood, lavender and chamomile are always wonderful to relax with, and you can always blend your personal favorites to give you a more customized scent! Just remember to bring different scents because in labor you may strongly dislike something you usually like, and vice versa. Peppermint is also a really great scent to head off nausea that often comes with some part of labor. Check out Racheal Hendrickson’s website for more information on how aromatherapy can help you.
2. Distraction/Hypnobirthing- Mind over matter! The mind is typically our biggest setback. This is such a fear based society when it comes to many things related to parenthood to include labor and birth. If you figure out a way to get around this roadblock, you will be set for a near pain free birth. There have been many terrific birth stories using hypnosis. Women have literally SLEPT in a wakeful state through the roughest part of labor. These stories may sound like an exception to the rule, but if you master the art of taking the fear out of child birth plus the mind over matter part combined with relaxation techniques you could also achieve this! Check out A Hand To Hold for more info and a class near you!
1. Water- Water is simply amazing! In early labor there is nothing like stepping into a nice warm shower! Letting the water gently tap on your back to get you through that next contraction. The warmth relaxing your muscle one by one, in turn allowing you to relax your cervix so it can do its job. Water is one of the best “drugs”. In active labor, getting into a pool of warm water acts as a “aquadural”. This pain relief happens in many ways such as: creating a buancy to counteract the gravity and weight of the baby, warmth relaxing muscles, softening the perineum, ect. If you are interested in a water birth there are a few options that are open to you! A home birth with Heartfelt Birth or our local birth center, Charleston Birth Place.
There are exceptions to every rule, something you think you will enjoy could possibly not be tolerated in labor. The key to working through labor any any stage, whatever your goals may be, is to be open to change and always have a backup plan! Invest in self-care, a child birth education class that speaks to your soul, providers that support your wishes, and a doula that you can’t live without!