11 Drug-Free Methods for Relieving Labor Pains

Even if you’re planning minimal or no use of pain medication, Lamaze techniques and other drug-free methods for relieving labor pains can help make your labor and delivery journey more manageable. In this article, we’ll introduce you to eleven non-drug approaches designed to help handle the discomfort that comes with childbirth.

1. Find a Calming Space

You should feel comfortable using birthing aids like a birthing ball, squatting bar, soft bed, rocking rocker, and low stool, and you should have plenty of space to walk around, take baths, and use these items.

You may rest comfortable that you will be encouraged to try out a variety of birthing positions regardless of where you give birth. You deserve the best possible medical attention from the moment you go into labor to the moment you give birth.

2. Pick Your Team Members Wisely

Continuous support has been shown to improve mental and psychological health during labor and delivery, which in turn reduces the need for pain medication, the likelihood of a cesarean section, and the length of labor. In addition, healing from childbirth is sped up, and postpartum depression is less frequent for mothers and fathers who receive emotional and practical assistance during delivery.

Your delivery team may include various important people, including a midwife, doctor, nurse, partner, family member, or doula. Pick friends who will be patient and kind to you. Finding your greatest coping techniques is easier with the right amount of support, reducing stress and inhibitions.

3. Gain Knowledge of the Birthing Process

Books, magazines, websites, movies, classes, a hospital visit, and conversations with your doctor, doula, family, and friends are all great ways to prepare for labor and delivery. Ask if your birth plan is compatible with the norms practiced at the hospital or birth center where you plan to give birth.

These conversations should take place before giving birth to allow for optimal preparation and ease of delivery. Keep in mind that there will be fewer surprises if you know more.

4. Let Your Worries Show

Do things like pain, needles, medications, or a lack of control make you anxious? Consult an experienced family member, close friend, or professional such as a birthing educator or doula. Sharing your worries with someone else might help ease your mind and educate you on possible answers. The act of writing down your birthing wishes can be reassuring to both you and your partner.

5. Develop a Regular Breathing Pattern

Contraction pain can be alleviated by using deep breathing exercises. During contractions, it’s important to take full, calm breaths. Relax and let go with each out-breath. Try whining if that doesn’t work. Alternately, you can try breathing rapidly, with a breath every 2–3 seconds (or 20–30 breaths per minute). A partner can help you get back in the zone if you start to lose it by making eye contact, rhythmic hand or head movements, or conversing during contractions.

Don’t put off learning how to breathe properly until labor begins. Prepare yourself for labor and delivery by devoting some time throughout pregnancy to learning relaxation techniques like deep breathing, visualizing a positive outcome, and so on. For instance, while in the throes of labor, you might first enjoy relaxing music but later find it to be too distracting. The more strategies you have up your sleeve for dealing with adversity, the better off you’ll be.

6. Think It Through Visually

This can help you forget about the pain for a while, so try focusing on something pleasant, like your partner’s face, an inspiring picture, or a favorite item. Relaxing music, a calming voice, or the sound of the ocean can help, as can visualizing a tranquil setting.

Integrative therapies, such as visualization, were proven to decrease the need for epidurals, emergency cesarean sections, and labor length, according to a team of researchers in 2016.

7. Relax in a Hot Tub or Shower

Immersion in warm water during childbirth has certain benefits, including reduced rates of epidural use, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

You can also find relief from sitting on a stool and directing a handheld showerhead at your stomach or back while taking a warm shower. It’s possible that taking a bath in warm water will help you unwind and induce labor.

8. Don’t Stop!

The more mobile you are during labor, the less risk there is for complications. The American College of Nurse-Midwives issued a statement in 2012 noting the importance of maternal mobility during labor due to the fact that the uterine muscle responds to oxytocin released in the brain at the onset of labor. Moving about can help alleviate pain in your body.

Get up and walk around as much as possible to ease your discomfort. You should saunter, swing, rock, and squat. Trying out different things is fine until you find the one that fits you best.

9. Applying Warm or Cold Compresses Can Help

It is standard practice, with some benefits, to use warm or cool packs to alleviate pain. During the painful “ring of fire” phase of labor, applying warm packs to the perineum has been shown to help alleviate discomfort. This study was conducted in Australia.

To alleviate the discomfort of labor, place a warm compress on your lower back, shoulders, groin, or lower stomach. Wrap your belly with a warm (but not too hot) compress made from dry, uncooked rice that you heated in the microwave for about a minute. If necessary, reheat it.

Applying a cold pack or wearing a rubber glove filled with ice chips can also help relieve pain, though this should be avoided in the stomach. A hot or sweaty face, chest, or neck benefits from being wiped with a cold cloth.

10. Relax With a Soothing Massage Or Light Touch

When someone holds your hand, strokes your cheek or hair, or pats your hand or shoulder, they send you a message of reassurance, care, and understanding. Use oil or lotion and the hands of your spouse or doula to give yourself a light or firm massage.

Back discomfort can also be alleviated by having a friend or family member roll three tennis balls up and down your back. Another option is to have them use their heel to rub your back.

11. You May Give Acupressure A Shot

Acupuncture is a natural, drug-free approach to pain relief. A study published in 2014 in the Oman Medical Journal found that acupressure increased the intensity of uterine contractions, which in turn decreased labor discomfort. By gently pressing and massaging certain areas on the body, a doula, midwife, nurse, or birthing partner can aid with acupressure.

Pinch the fleshy area of your hand between your thumb and index finger to assist in relieving pain with acupressure. But since it can also trigger contractions, you shouldn’t do it before you really go into labor.

Meaningful articles you might like: 7 Home Exercises That Can Possibly Initiate Labor, Pooping in Labor and the Truth about Birth Fluids, What to Expect Throughout the Three Labor Stages