Pain relief in labor – 1. Self help

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Your pain relief options

Labor can be painful – it can help to learn about all the ways you can relieve the pain.

It’s also helpful for whoever is going to be with you during your labor to know about the different options, as well as how they can support you. 

Ask your midwife or doctor to explain what’s available so you can decide what’s best for you.

Write down your wishes in your birth plan, but remember you need to keep an open mind. You may find you want more pain relief than you’d planned, or your doctor or midwife may suggest more effective pain relief to help the deliver.

Baby-Arabia will be looking at several ways that you can control pain and become more comfortable as you bring your child into this world. We start with the natural methods of self help…

Self-help in labor

You’re likely to feel more relaxed in labor and better placed to cope with the pain if you: 

  • learn about labor – this can make you feel more in control and less frightened about what’s going to happen; talk to your midwife or doctor, ask them questions, and go to antenatal classes
  • learn how to relax, stay calm, and breathe deeply
  • keep moving – your position can make a difference, so try kneeling, walking around, or rocking backwards and forwards
  • bring a partner, friend or relative to support you during labor, but don’t worry if you don’t have one – your midwife will give you all the support you need
  • ask your partner to massage you – although you may find you don’t want to be touched
  • have a warm bath – this relaxes and helps the body produce natural pain relieving chemicals
  • use aromatherapy oils to aid relaxation – concentrating on the smell of geranium oil or frankincense can bring calm and lift your mind away from pain. Purchase a diffuser as these are a cheap and easy way of filling the room with beautiful scents and uplifting aromas.