Managing Pain While In Labor
Labor is undoubtedly a painful part of childbirth. While you can use medication to deal with labor pain, many mothers decide to use natural pain management during labor. By managing pain naturally, you can be more aware of the birth process and you can deliver a healthier, more alert baby without drugs getting into the bloodstream.
Tips for Natural Pain Management
Here are some ways to manage labor pain without medicines:
Massage and Heat Compress
Massages help you relax and distract you from the pain during labor. Hot packs, on the other hand, can help your body release its natural painkillers – endorphins. Endorphins have calming, pain-relieving effects.
Counter-pressure uses a steady, strong force applied on the lower back during contractions. You can apply this pressure using the heel of the hand or both hands on the sides of the hips. Counter-pressure alleviates labor pain especially for women who experience pain focused on the lower back.
While there is no medical evidence that aromatherapy provides pain relief, many women find it pleasant and it can potentially help a woman in labor relax and lighten up. Aromatherapy can be administered in many different ways such as in oil during massage or in water for bath.
From the name itself, hydrotherapy is a kind of labor management technique that uses water. Hydrotherapy can be emotionally soothing, and it helps with pain relief. It works since most women are comforted by the water pressure and the sound of the water. It’s a great natural pain management during labor because it not only provides comfort, but it also helps accelerate labor and reduce blood pressure.
There are several relaxation techniques you can use to ease your pain during labor. Some women practice meditation while others use music to distract the mind from the pain and relax. You can also do patterned breathing and other breathing techniques. These breathing techniques generally provide comfort and help you focus while labor progresses. Not only that, but they also enhance oxygen flow to your baby which is vital for the contracting uterus.
Focus and Distraction
Another popular natural pain management during labor is the use of focus and distraction. While labor is physically painful, the experience can be heavier with fear and anxiety.
Fear and anxiety triggers the stress hormones to be released. You can ease labor pain by focusing your mind on pleasant scenes or visualizing the birth process with the help of verbal coaching, self-hypnosis, and concentration. Distraction, on the other hand, works by focusing your attention on external stimuli that will draw your attention away from labor pain. Focus and distraction are meant to help you reduce your fear, anxiety, discomfort, and pain during labor.
Managing labor with or without medication both have their pros and cons. Either way, pain is inevitable and it’s up to you how you want to manage your pain during labor. It’s important to discuss your labor management options with your doctor to determine the right option for you.