Tools that Work for Coping with Labor Pain
Support throughout labor:
Support from an experienced woman or trained doula can help you and your partner through labor and birth.
Knowing what to expect can reduce your fear, which can in turn reduce your pain.
Massage, warm bath or shower, and/or cold compresses on your neck and face.
Progressive relaxation of all your muscles will allow your uterus to do its hard work and help you feel less pain.
Change of position:
Walk, stand, sit, squat, rock on all fours, or lie down. Only you know what's most comfortable.
Nourishment (food and liquid) reduces stress hormones in your body and gives you needed energy. Always check with your health care provider before eating or drinking during labor.
Puzzles, word games, cards, listening to music (in early labor), and breathing can help you cope with labor pain.
Comfort in Labor (PDF), by Penny Simkin, provides different pictures of labor positions that use some of these suggestions.
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Childbirth Connection is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1918 as Maternity Center Association. Our mission is to improve the quality of maternity care through research, education, advocacy and policy. Childbirth Connection promotes safe, effective and satisfying evidence-based maternity care and is a voice for the needs and interests of childbearing families.
Most recent page update: 9/9/2010