Even if you're planning on an epidural during labor, pain is an inevitable part of the childbirth journey. If you're seeking a natural birth, it's important to be prepared and have specific coping mechanisms in mind for how to endure each stage of labor. If you are planning on pain medications, natural pain relief techniques are still a great option until your medications reach therapeutic levels. Check out these great coping mechanisms for natural pain relief during every stage of labor.
Warm Compress for Labor Pain Relief
For those that love to DIY, consider making a rice sock to create instant pain relief in labor. Our February Pregnancy Box subscribers were treated to a Grainbow Rice Pack, which has many of the same benefits in addition to 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 multiple packs so you can replace each with a fresh, warm one when needed. Bonus: this handy little tool will also help alleviate discomfort in the postpartum phase for your sore body!
Music for Natural Pain Relief
While a great playlist isn't going to physically numb your pain, it can serve as a great distraction. 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 redirect your focus on something positive! Stumped for ideas? Check out this collection of pregnancy music from WavHello. Our March subscribers will be treated to one of these fun CDs in the upcoming Pregnancy Box.
Massage for Pain Relief in Labor
Put your significant other to good use -- he'll likely be grateful for the opportunity to help ease your pain and hold 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, experienced less pain, and had overall lower stress and anxiety levels. Something simple like pure coconut oil makes a great choice -- enhance the experience with the use of an 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 shifting movement, bathing, birth balls and even yoga poses. Have you tried any of these strategies or products for pain relief in labor? Let us know what worked for you in the comments!