Use breathing exercises.,
Try visualization exercises.,
Change positions and move around.,
Get a massage.,
Use hot or cold therapy.,
Immerse yourself in a bath or take a shower.,
Try a TENS unit.,
Consider acupuncture or acupressure.
Breathing exercises are a common form of relaxation and pain relief for women who desire to have a natural birth. The best way to learn breathing exercises prior to giving birth is to take a special birthing class. Choose one that focuses on breathing techniques.Look into Lamaze and the Bradley Method. Both methods teach breathing techniques to help minimize pain and to help you stay relaxed during childbirth.Some women find it helpful to pair a word or phrase with breathing to help them focus. For example, as you inhale you might think to yourself “Keep” and then as you exhale you might think “Calm.” Repeating this over and over as you breathe will help you to stay focused and calm., Finding a focal point or imagining a peaceful scene can help you to relax and manage pain during labor. For example, you might bring a photo to use as your focal point and focus your eyes on that image during your contractions. Choose an image that helps you to feel calm, such as a photo of a beautiful sunset. Or, you can close your eyes and imagine a peaceful scene. For example, you might picture yourself sitting on a beach or standing on top of a mountain.Meditation can help improve your visualization skills and it is also an effective way to deal with pain during labor. Consider taking meditation classes prior to giving birth to help improve your visualization technique.Hypnobirthing is another good way to use visualization techniques. Hypnobirthing uses self-hypnosis to help you cope with pain during labor.There are classes and voice-directed programs that teach this technique. You can put the voice-directed programs on a portable media player and take this with you to listen during labor.
, Listening to your body and changing positions often during childbirth can help you to feel more comfortable. If you feel the need to walk, sit, lay down, recline in the tub, or lean against something, then do it.Laying down in bed is actually not a very effective position for labor, so try to avoid the bed if possible.
, Getting a massage from your doula or your partner during childbirth can be a great way to relax and take your mind off of the pain. Sometimes, however, you may find it annoying for someone to touch you during childbirth, so don’t be afraid to let your birth partner know if this is the case., Using heating pads to relax your muscles may help to provide some relief, as may using cold packs to numb certain areas. You may even want to switch back and forth between hot and cold packs during labor. Make sure that the hot and cold packs are wrapped in towels and that you are not placing them directly on your skin., Taking a bath during labor can help to relax your muscles and reduce pain during labor. Even taking a shower during labor can help you to relax. If you have the option of water birth, then this is something to consider as well.Make sure that the tub is kept at body temperature (98.6°F or 37°C).
, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) uses a handheld device that connects to several sticky pads that are applied to your skin (you’ll want to stick them to your back for labor pains). The machine sends small pulses of electrical current to the pads, which penetrate to your muscles. You can control the frequency and strength of the pulses.To use a maternity TENS machine, have your partner apply the pads to your back. You’ll want them evenly spaced on either side of your spine. Place the top two pads at about where your bra band would hit, and the other two on your lower back, just above your butt.
Start with the machine on the lowest setting and turn it up as pain increases.
Your machine may have a “boost” button, which will cause the machine to immediately switch into the highest, most intense setting. Use this button at the peak of your contractions.
It may take at least an hour for TENS to start working.
, Acupuncture uses needles which are inserted into specific points on the body to provide pain relief. Acupressure is a similar method but pressure is applied instead of needles. If you are interested in having acupuncture or acupressure during labor, you will need to enlist the services of a certified acupuncturist or acupressurist.