Healthcare Services and Programs
If you have a natural birth plan, a variety of techniques can bring you comfort for pain during labor and even help reduce your risk of a cesarean section. You can begin unmedicated comfort measures at home.
Your nurses will continue to use these techniques after you arrive in the birthing room. Choose a comfort method, or a combination of methods, to help you rest between contractions. If part of your birth plan, pain relief medications can also be used in combination with unmedicated comfort options if you choose.
The Birthing Ball
A birthing ball is a large rubber ball that you can sit, lean, or stretch on during labor. Staying in motion helps ease discomfort and encourages labor progression. The birthing ball:
- Allows you to gently rotate your pelvis
- Provides a natural sitting position with your legs apart and no muscle exertion
- Tilts your pelvis forward to encourage descent of your baby
- Helps relieve lower back tension
Walking can enhance your contractions and possibly assist with labor progression:
- Encourages rotation and descent of your baby
- Causes stronger, more efficient contractions
- Provides you with a greater sense of confidence and control
- Gives you and your support person a greater sense of intimacy and interaction
Sitting in a Chair
It is possible to reduce labor pain by sitting up and rocking in a chair. Rocking reduces tension, and creates movement that aids your baby's descent, helping labor to progress.
Whether you are resting in bed or walking, changing positions frequently can assist you during labor:
- Alleviates discomfort
- Helps your baby move down into your pelvis
- Stimulates the uterus for stronger contractions
Standing or sitting in a tub or shower can provide significant pain relief. The water also helps to sooth tension.
Listening to gentle music creates a more soothing environment. As part of your birth plan, why not bring your favorite music and CD player or iPod to help you relax?
Touch and Massage
Massage is an effective coping strategy. We can teach your support person some basic massage techniques that may reduce your pain and help you relax.
Tube socks filled with rice and warmed in a microwave oven for two minutes can be placed anywhere on your body:
- Provides warmth
- Reduces pain
- Improves relaxation