What it is

How it Helps


The goal of most of the other measures is to help you relax, as this is the most important thing you can do to be more comfortable.
  • Un-tenses birthing muscles to help them stretch more comfortably
  • Paises pain threshold
  • Conserves energy, reducing exhaustion
Passive relaxation can be done by yourselfTouch relaxation has been shown to make a laboring woman less anxious and better able to cope with contractions.
Breathing Helps you relax Slow deep breathing and vocalization usually works best
Focusing Keeps your mind busy, with less room to recognize pain signals You can focus inwardly or outwardly
Position Changes
  • Helps relieve nerve & joint irritation
  • Upright positions use gravity to speed labor
The more positions you try, the more comfortable you may be, and the faster your labor may progress.
Support Labor can be very tiring, support people can help to give you a boost. Helps the most when there is more than one support person
Medication Clears your mind of disturbing thoughts and fills it with pleasant & calming thoughts Scripture can be wonderful to meditate on during labor
  • Visualizing normal progress helps insure it
  • You may also visualize yourself in a different place to help you relax more
Rehearsing beforehand will make it more effective during labor
MusicWhatever music is soothing to you, but consider your birthing team also
  • Helps your body “go with the flow”
  • Fills mind with pleasant sensations rather than painful ones
  • Mellows whole environment and birthing team
Studies show that moms using music during labor need less pain-relieving medication
WaterAs deep as possible
Start whenever you feel discomfortEspecially useful for back labordo not submerge yourself in water after your bag of waters breaks, use shower only from that point on
  • Supports muscles & bones, leaving more energy for the uterus
  • Causes relaxation of thigh, back, abdominal, and birthing passage muscles
  • Allows for surrender of body & mind that is not possible out of water
  • Acts like a continuous total body massage
  • Bombards the nervous system with pleasant sensations, grid-locking the pathway for pain sensations to travel
  • Research shows that laboring in water is safe
  • Shorter, easier labors
  • C-section rate 1/3 less than women with the same risk factors
  • Moms with high blood pressure showed a dramatic reduction in BP within minutes of immersing in water
  • Cervical dilation was twice as fast for those in water
  • Descent of babies was twice as fast for those in water
  • Mothers reported feeling less pain—more gain for less pain
IV Pain Medication and Epidurals Provides immediate pain relief and relaxation so you can rest Because it may slow or stop labor progression, it is not recommended for use in early labor


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