Labor pain is what every pregnant woman’s worst fear. The level of pain varies from person to person – while some women claimed that labor pain is similar to menstrual cramps, others describe the dilating contractions as “hellish” and “agonizing”.
But with a little help, you can reduce the pain you feel during labor. Here are 7 ways to ease labor pain without medication:
1. Use warm and cold packs
According to Baby Center, applying warmth is one of the best ways to relax aching, tense muscles. Try placing a warm pack on your lower abdomen, groin, lower back or shoulders during labor. Besides that, you can use a cold pack (or latex glove filled with ice chips) to soothe painful areas.
2. Focus on your breathing
Mothers can soothe themselves by focusing on their breathing. Rhythmic breathing helps release tension with each exhalation. Moreover, try taking quick breaths, about one every 2 to 3 seconds (20 to 30 per minute). Your partner can help you regain your rhythm with eye contact or head movements when you go through contractions.
Massages are the best! As Baby Center explains, massage can warm your skin and stimulate your body to release its own natural painkillers. So it’s recommended to have your partner massage you with light or firm strokes using oil or lotion. But if you’re using essential oils, check with an accredited aromatherapist that they are safe to use during pregnancy.
4. Use your imagination
Imagination is your best weapon. When you’re in labor, focus on a good memory or something that makes you happy. This helps you decrease your awareness of pain.
5. Take a warm bath
Never underestimate the power of a warm shower or bath. Bathing in warm water can help sooth and relax your body, as well as speed up labor! Try sitting on a stool and direct a handheld showerhead onto your abdomen or back.
6. Try yoga
While pregnant women are often told that yoga may harm both mother and baby, studies suggest that some yoga poses are actually good for those who are expecting. Moreover, yoga is also beneficial because you’ll learn how to breathe deeply and consciously relax. This will come in handy during labor and birth. Check out these helpful yoga poses.
7. Rest is crucial
During early labor, you should make yourself as comfortable as possible in bed. Just relax and have a cup of hot chocolate. Watch some television and rest fully. As Baby Center puts it, you’ll find it much easier to cope with painful contractions if you haven’t been rushing around when in early labour!