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Pain Management for Natural Childbirth

Jul 22, 2014

If you want to have a natural childbirth, you need to prepare yourself with techniques to alleviate the pain you will experience. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to natural pain management. Stephanie Caspian explains that most likely you will use more than one pain management technique during your labor so it helps to know a variety of different techniques.

Water

People have been using water to alleviate the pain of labor for centuries. Women can stand in a shower and allow the stream of water to cascade the areas of discomfort. Sitting in a warm bathtub can help alleviate pressure on the body and help you feel relaxed. In fact, many women give birth in warm water. 

Counter Pressure

Counter pressure is an excellent method to manage pain in specific areas. For instance, rolling a tennis ball up and down your back can help with the back pain associated with labor. Massages can also help relieve pain in specific areas.

Changing Positions

With medicated labor, women often lay flat on their back for hours on end. With natural birth you have the advantage of being able to move and change positions freely. You can get on all fours and allow gravity to aid in your labor. Being able to walk can even help with pain and labor progression.

Hydration

Many hospitals only allow ice chips during labor. This policy can be counterproductive when you are going through a natural childbirth because dehydration can make labor more intense. Unless it’s against hospital policy drinking plenty of fluids during labor will help prevent cramping caused by dehydration.

Breathing

Doula Ana Paula Markel explains that deep breathing can really help you manage pain and focus on your delivery. Fill up your lungs by inhaling for 8 seconds. Hold the breath for 8 seconds and release the breath slowly. This type of meditative breathing will relax your body making pain more manageable.

Heat

Heat can be a valuable tool when it comes to reducing the pain associated with labor. This is especially true with back pain. Use a hot water bottle, or heating pad on your back to help relieve pain.

Visualization

Mental imagery is a tool that can be highly effective when you are trying to ease the pain of labor. You can visualize yourself going through all the stages of labor. Visualizing yourself in certain situations helps reduce anxiety.

Essential Oils

Certain scents can help a person relax. Adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to a warm, damp washcloth can help you relax during labor. You can also use massage oils with relaxing essential oils to ease the pain of labor. 

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For my first birth, I didn't have any pain medication and while it was difficult I found that these techniques really helped!

I am going to try to have a natural childbirth so I am definitely going to try these techniques!

Breathing is so important and helps keep you calm during the childbirth!

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