Natural Ways to Ease Labour Pain
They don’t call it labour for no reason, giving birth can be challenging work and a large part of that is getting through the intensity of our contractions (which in hypnobirthing we refer to as ‘surges’).
If you’re planning to give birth without drugs, try these simple natural pain management techniques as your labour progresses.
Mind your language 🙂
We change the language around a bit in hypnobirthing, because we use a very positive and empowered approach to birth. The language we use can have an influence on our belief system and that in turn affects our perceptions and experience of birth.
Instead of referring to ‘pain’, how about we swap that word with something more empowering such as ‘intensity’ or ‘tightenings’? Say it out loud and get a feel for how much more positive that feels.
The warmth and security of water can help us to manage the intensity of birth. The water supports relaxation, eases the mind and promotes overall comfort for the mother. You can use the shower or bath at home. If you are birthing at a hospital or birth centre, you’ll find that most will have the facilities so you can either have a good soak in the bath or enjoy the comfort of the shower during labour. Some birth facilities also provide access to birth-pools for labour and/or waterbirth.
Relaxation, self-hypnosis, environment & breathing techniques
Considering your birthing environment and including calming music, dim lighting, led candles, diffuser, and maybe your favourite pillow, can all help to mentally smoothe and provide comfort. These basic additions to your birth preferences can help reduce your perception of the intensity of birth and create a calming effect on both mother and baby.
We cover so many wonderful tools in our hypnobirthing courses including deep relaxation and self hypnosis. Breathing techniques are such an amazing and important tool for during labour and births, three key breathing techniques that we teach are the relaxation breathing, surge breathing and breathing/bearing down techniques. In our Hypnobirthing Australia program we teach you how and when to use each breathing technique during your labour. These tools are a game-changer!
A diffuser with essential oil can aid in creating a calm birth environment for you. If you would like to read more about the benefits of aromatherapy for pregnancy and labour click here.
Heat packs can be very comforting and can be used anytime during and after birth. Keep in mind that heat packs are not allowed to be used in areas that are numb if you received an epidural. Common places to place the heat pack include; the back if you are experiencing back labour which can also be used in conjunction with cold packs; your neck to help you relax more; and pubic bone (as you might feel tightness or pressure in this area). Heat can help you relax and increase your mobility. Purchase your heat pack by clicking here.
During your labour move around and find positions that work for you and make yourself feel comfortable, remember to listen to your body. Being flat on your back during labour is actually one of the worst positions for pain! Some great labour positions include leaning on a bed or against your birth partner, kneeling on the floor, cradling a birth ball, rocking back and forth on a birth ball, on your all fours, squatting whilst holding onto a chair, lying on your side, and leaning on a squat bar.
Loving long strokes during birth provides relief from pain and anxiety. Massage can also be given to the scalp, feet, legs, shoulders, hands, and lower back. Of course, we cover these techniques during our course. 😉 Also, you can incorporate essential oils such as lavender to further reduce intensity and anxiety, purchase your essential oil here.
Massage balls are also a great pain relief tool for pregnancy and labour, Whilst pregnant, the spiky ball is an excellent massage ball. Roll it over any tight or sore muscles and it will help relax the muscle and relieve trigger points, stimulating blood flow and relieving tension. During labour, you can rub the spiky ball between your hands or feet during surges to relieve the pain. The tactile stimulation will focus your receptors away from the area of your brain responsible for the perception of pain. Shop your spiky massage ball here.