Every pregnant woman would have thought at least once of “Would I be able to endure the labor pain?” “How worse could it be?” “Are there ways to reduce the pain?” There are some women who would want to avoid natural birth because they think there is no way to manage labor pain!
But then there are so many other scientifically proven ways to manage labor pain, naturally or with medical interventions. Consult your physician before you try to take any advice from the below techniques. Also, remember that there are a lot more ways out there to manage labor pain other than the ones that are listed below.
Some of the natural pain relievers can actually help you speed up your labor and delivery too!
Want to know how to overcome labor pain without medicines?
In the past, labor pain was often shown as women screaming in pain or a dramatic fall down action sequence where everyone rushes to help here in the movies. Nowadays, we see less of such ones since science has advanced exponentially and there are a lot of ways of making labor pain more tolerable, less frightening and more of a lifetime experience to cherish.
These drug free coping techniques aren’t myths or just old wives’ tales; they’re also supported by modern scientific understanding and clinical experience. Go ahead and choose the best that would work for you. Or share this resource with anyone who would benefit from.
1. Doulas spelt as DOO-lah
A Doula is a trained professional who provides labor support and pregnancy tips. Not every time you need a professional to do this job. A caring partner, an attentive family member, or a close friend have also been found to improve a woman’s pregnancy experience. The emotional support of feeling safe and supported during this period is what is needed to cope.
2. Who wouldn’t want a massage any day?
Massage works wonders. Get frequent sessions of massage by your partner or Doulas to ease your tension!
Your masseuse knows where your pressure points are located. They know how to trigger them to alleviate your pain. When you have severe contraction pain, here’s what you can ask your masseuse to do, preferably your partner/Doula. A professional with experience is any day better, but would refuse if their husband wants to show some extra love? Here’s what your partner can do –
Lie down on your side and ask your partner to use his hands, elbows, or even knees to push as hard as he could into your lower back every time you have a contraction. The warmth of your husband and the feeling of pressure from him will help you in reducing your pangs.
3. Take frequent strolls
Remember Newton’s law? Everything has to come down at some point in time. Walking helps your speed up your labor because you’re letting gravity pull your baby down the aisle! Walking, leaning, rocking or squatting helps in creating freedom of movement. Your sofa, bed or your cozy bed makes you endure more pain. So, get up right now, start with short walks and let Newton do his work.
4. Birth Ball?
Like to play with balls? This is a gigantic version of the ping pong ball and looks similar to the ball that we see in the gym. Just sit on the ball, rock it, or lean on it with someone’s support at the back. This movement induces labor by opening up your pelvis and brings the baby down.
The first thing you do when we check in a hotel is to check the room’s loo and see if you are lucky enough to have a bathtub. Okay – not always, but definitely at 5 stars?
Immersing the belly under water may help in experiencing less painful contractions, very little medical interventions and shorter labors. If you plan to try this out, make sure that the temperature of the bath is the same as your body temperature. Some studies also suggest that prolonged baths early in labor can slow down your progress.
6. Be vocal, take a deep breath and imagine your inside body function
Having intense contractions? Take a deep breath, focus on your inner, moan, or if needed talk your mind. Moaning, deep breathing and focusing inward are natural responses for many women as they deal with contractions and being vocal in this definitely helps!
It’s said that listening to rhythmic breathing through the nose and mouth by visualizing your cervix opening, often helps in easing off the agony of contractions.
Here are few low-risk treatments for managing labor pain
7. Want to try the ancient Chinese way ?
A Chinese emperor’s discovery of acupuncture & acupressure is proven effective at helping with labor pain. Though it doesn’t help in fading off your pain but helps in calming your nervous system by helping you relax and focus more on coping. There’s no constraint to be immobile during the procedure. When you need to move around, a few insertions of needles between contractions often on your ear or hand does magic.
8. Injections? Yes. Have you heard about water injections?
Recent studies show that injecting small amounts of sterile water under the skin in four places in the lower back can dramatically reduce the sensation of back pain almost immediately, and relief lasts between 45 minutes and two hours. But then there’s something more that you need to know before you decide to have this procedure. This procedure itself is extremely painful. Some say that it feels like a sharp bee-sting that lasts about 20 to 30 seconds as water goes in and does its work of surrounding the skin.
9. TENS machines
Here’s another sophisticated yet not so commonly used method. A TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) is a machine that delivers little electrical impulses to your lower back through two or more electrodes. Some find it helpful in reducing the sensation of contractions, especially if they’re experiencing back labor. Do check about this machine with your doctor if you are having unbearable contractions and back pain.
Laughing Gas, a.k.a. Nitrous Oxide
This easy get away has been used by laboring women for centuries. University of British Columbia midwifery professor Saraswathi Vedam says nitrous oxide doesn’t usually make you feel drugged or high but instead helps you by not letting you concentrate on your pain. Some dislike the feeling of being dissociated from the experience. It’s up to you to make a decision whether you want to experience the labor feeling or not. Since it’s a self-administered gas means you need to hold a mask or tube and inhale deeply as a contraction begins. Inhaling this gas may sometimes cause nausea or dizziness. However, your body expels it out. The inhaled gas has not been found to pose any risks to the fetus’s health.
Popping up pills or injections? Choice is yours to make
11. Spinal and Epidural Anesthesia
Everyone knows what means by anesthesia but not know how it is spelt! Yes, as you’ve heard from the next-door neighbor, your experienced cousin, your girl gang or even your mum (if she was lucky to have one), it causes a loss of sensation in a specific area of the body. Epidurals and spinals anesthesia are both injections given in the lower back (about 10 centimeters above your tailbone) and are extremely effective in making your lower back numb during your labor.
12. Narcotics: Morphine and Fentanyl
This may sound like a plan since this version of pain relief doesn’t make your body numb or increase your risk of an assisted vaginal delivery. Morphine or fentanyl is infused either as an injection into your muscle or through an IV thereby providing an analgesic effect.
What is an analgesic effect? This means you can still feel what is going on but wouldn’t have to feel the intensity of the pain. The intensity of the pain reduces drastically for a period of time. These medicines usually calm you down, makes you drowsy, but they can also sometimes cause disorientation and dizziness.