|

Natural Pain Relief in Labor

In This Article:

Staying active and relaxation techniques

During your labor, encephalins and endorphins (feel-good hormones) are released to provide you with some naturally induced pain relief. Many women now are also more aware of natural techniques, such as staying active, and of the availability of complementary therapies that they can use in addition to, or instead of, medical pain relief during pregnancy, childbirth, and following the birth. Some of these therapies are self administered and some are practitioner administered. A knowledge of the benefits of different therapies and how to use them is important if you are considering using them to deal with pain in labor.

Staying active

Being active in labor has been shown to help women to deal with pain and reduce the length of labor. Historically, women have been active in labor for centuries, but a medicalization of childbirth in the West led to an acceptance that women lie in bed, and a common image of a laboring woman is one lying in bed. Although during labor you may want to rest on a bed between contractions, many women find that when they feel supported, they will instinctively move around and do not cope well lying down, which can increase pain and hamper the progress of labor as your baby pushes against gravity. You may find it helpful to take a walk, roll on a birthing ball, rock in a rocking chair or change positions when you get too uncomfortable. There are certain interventions, such as the use of electronic fetal monitoring, IVs, and some types of analgesia, that will limit your mobility.

Relaxation techniques

There are various techniques you can use to help you relax during labor; if you're relaxed, it will be easier to stay calm and in tune with your body. These techniques include focusing on your breathing; listening to music (perhaps humming to the beat of a favorite tune during a contraction); and listening to a meditation CD.

Learning how to breathe slowly and steadily in labor helps you focus and stay calm. Usually, your breathing responds to how you're feeling and may increase slightly during a contraction, or you may hold your breath, which can make you feel light-headed. If this happens, you need to focus and steady your breathing. Your nurse will remind you to breathe slowly and steadily. Breathing in for five and out for seven slows your breathing down, helps you relax, and stops you from panicking.

Man with hands on pregnant belly

Concentrating on your breathing in labor is calming and helps you focus.

Pregnant woman kneeling on floor

Leaning forward while breathing steadily can be comforting during contractions.



 Previous   1   2   3   4   Next 

excerpted from:

Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
Buy this book now!

Pregnancy Day by Day

Tell us your due date to receive our daily newsletter and find out what is happening in this day of your pregnancy!

Already a member? Log-in here

Name of the Day

stay connected

highlights

Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top 10 Earth Day Books for Children
Celebrate the environment by reading some of these great children's books about Earth Day, recycling, planting trees, and all things green!

Prom Dress Trends for 2014
Check out 2014 prom dress trends inspired by celebrities’ red carpet looks, but with a price tag under $100!

© 2000-2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.