Relax, Relate, Release.

Pain is a side effect of labor.  But, pain does not have to equal suffering.  There are many drug free techniques that you can use to reduce your perception of pain.

Don’t wait until you go into labor to practice these techniques.  Practice makes perfect.  And the more tricks you have in your bag, the better your experience can be.

Relax

Massage, your partner, doula and midwife are the ones to get in line with for your labor touch.  Your birth partner should wait until your contraction is over before initiating touch.  Getting in touch with your pressure points before you have your first contraction is a great idea.

Pregnancy massage Benefits

  • Reduce stress, promote relaxation, facilitate transitions through emotional support and physical nurturing
  • Reduce edema and blood pressure, relieve varicose veins, and increase blood and lymph circulation
  • Relieve stress on weight-bearing joints (ankles, low back, pelvis)

Labor massage Benefits

  • Length of labor reduced by 25%
  • Oxytocin (Pitocin) use reduced by 40%
  • Use of narcotics reduced by 30%
  • Forceps reduced by 30%
  • Epidurals reduced by 60%

VISUALIZATION

Visualization can be a powerful tool for women giving birth.  This is a technique commonly used by athletes. You learn to visualize the whole experience of birth-from early labor to delivery.  In your mind, you picture all aspects of your birthing and how you will react to each new development.  When we see ourselves successfully giving birth naturally, we are better able to trust our bodies when actual labor begins. A guided imagery exercise in which visual imagery represents the birth process, such as picturing your body opening like the petals of a flower, can also be effective.  The Hypnobirthing book contains several quality imagery scripts.-Giving Birth Naturally

Heat and Cold

Deep tub bath/birth tub, shower, heated rice sock on groin or back, ice packs on lower back, cool cloth to wipe face just to name a few ideas.

Relate

Continuous labor support,

Currently, women are rediscovering the value of having additional support during labor, especially from individuals who are experienced with and knowledgeable about birth. Women often assume that a nurse or midwife will stay with them throughout their labor. Sometimes this happens, but most often, other duties prevent care providers from being with only one person continuously. So, bring a loved one, a friend, or a doula with you for continuous support during your labor. You will receive the emotional and physical support you need from one or more caring individuals. Before your baby’s birth, decide who will provide this support, and make a plan with them.-Lamaze International

Birth Affirmations

My baby is strong and healthy.

I trust my body.

My belly is full of light and love.

I am a strong and capable woman.

I have patience.

My cervix is firm and strong to hold my baby safe.

I am at peace with the world.

There is no need for us to hurry.

I have an open heart.

For a list of these and more amazing uplifting affirmations, go to Rocky Mountain Baby

Release

Labor is an incredible build up of energy.  Each contraction builds and then releases.  Walking, pelvic rocking, and lower back counter pressure are all ways to help release some of this built up tension.  So don’t stay still,  resist fetal monitoring, and get moving.  Help that baby move it’s way down.

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