Whether or not you're planning to go the epidural route or not (to each her own!), labour is going to mean pain for at least a portion of the journey. Check out these three tried and true ways to achieve natural labor pain relief.
Warm Compress for Labor Pain Relief
For you DIY'ers, consider making a rice sock to create instant pain relief in labour. Our February Pregnancy Box subscribers were treated to a Grainbow Rice Pack which has many of the same benefits as well as an amazing aromatherapy boost from calming lavender. However you accomplish it, the warmth of the sock or pillow can help to minimize the pain of sore muscles and relieve tension during labor. Make sure to bring several so you can replace a cooled off pack with a fresh warm one when in need. This handy little tool will also help alleviate discomfort in the postpartum phase for your sore body (and boobs!) so keep it close on hand.
Music for Natural Pain Relief
While a great playlist isn't going to physically numb your pain, it sure will keep your mind off of it for a bit. For most of us, labor is much closer to a marathon than a sprint and the long hours of monotony punctuated by pain can take a physical and mental toll. Come prepared with a playlist of songs that bring a smile to your face to take your mind off the pain and redirect your focus to something more positive. Stumped for ideas? Check out this collection of pregnancy music from WavHello. Our March subscribers will be treated to one of these fun CD's in the upcoming Pregnancy Box.
Massage for Pain Relief in Labour
Put your significant other to good use - he'll probably be grateful for the opportunity to help ease your pain and have an active role in the laboring process. Partner massage has been shown to work; a study by the Touch Research Institute reported that women whose partners massaged them felt less depressed, had less labor pain and had lower stress and anxiety levels. Something simple like pure coconut oil makes a great choice; Enhance the experience with the use of aromatherapy scent you know and love. We love the options from Wild Carrot Herbals.
These are just a few of the techniques that rely on natural and holistic philosophies - and science! - that some women swear by. Others include movement, bathing, birth balls and even yoga poses. Have you tried any of these strategies or products for pain relief in labour? Let us know what worked for you in the comments. Our moms-to-be want to know!