Want to have a natural birth, but not looking forward to the pain? Totally understandable. It IS possible to greatly reduce discomfort during birth. These are the five best tips for natural pain relief during labor.
Some people are blessed with orgasmic natural births, but for most, it’s a little less enjoyable than that. It is however, possible to have a natural birth that is a bit more comfortable with these tips for natural pain relief during labor.
Before we dive into specific natural childbirth techniques for relaxation and feeling more comfortable in birth, let’s talk about your mindset around birth and natural pain relief during labor.
Birth is beautiful and life-changing, but it is just as challenging, and it can also be downright scary. One of the keys to successful natural childbirth without much pain is to have confidence in yourself, your body, and the team you have chosen to support you in your birth. The more comfortable and confident you can be in these things, the more likely you will be able to find the physical and mental space needed to use these natural childbirth relaxation techniques.
And while I don’t think we should dwell on the pain or the fear of childbirth, it is also something that perhaps we should look at head-on when talking about natural pain relief during labor.
Instead of ignoring it, let any emotions that come with the idea of pain or childbirth bubble up to the surface so you can look at them and release them long before your birthing time comes. Most times when we lock our fears away instead of facing them, they just becoming scarier.
It’s also important to keep in mind that part of the reason a lot of women experience severe discomfort and pain in childbirth is their resistance to the process regardless of what other natural pain relief during labor they might try.
We’ve been conditioned by movies and pop culture depictions of birth to expect screaming and extreme pain. If I’m being honest, it isn’t exactly an easy process, but through having the right techniques you can learn to relax into the process which also makes it more comfortable. The more you resist and tighten your body up, the more painful it is.
(Not to be too explicit but…) Think about pooping or throwing up. If you strain and try to control the process too much, it isn’t very comfortable. But if you just let your body do its thing, it isn’t so bad and you usually feel so much better after.
Another point to keep in mind is not all of these techniques will work for everyone, and there is no way to know what will feel good to you until you are actually in your birthing time. Perhaps take a few notes and prep for as many eventualities as possible so you can have access to all that you need for an awesome birth.
(Side note: I am a mom of three, and am also currently in training to be a doula. These recommendations are based on a mix of personal experience and research. I also recommend some products that I am an affiliate for, which means I get a small commission at no extra cost to you if you purchase through my link. Of course, you should always check with your doctor or midwife.)
Have a water birth for natural pain relief during labor
Even when you aren’t pushing a tiny human out of your vagina, water is so relaxing. There’s a reason us moms love to include bubble baths on our lists of self-care practice musts-do’s.
There’s something soothing, not just physically, but also emotionally to being submerged in some comfy warm water. It’s like we ourselves are back inside the womb and in a safe space.
This doesn’t necessarily mean a tub though. Not all birthing spaces have tubs available. Warm washcloths or compresses on the lower back and even warm showers can be just as comforting and relaxing as a full-on bath for natural pain relief during labor. (And don’t forget to drink water as needed to stay hydrated too!)
Personally I loved hot showers during both of my child births.
Hypnosis and/or meditation as natural pain relief during labor
Our mind is incredibly powerful. If we are able to relax our mind, our body will follow which can be the most powerful natural pain relief during labor.
I have personally used Hypnobabies to relax and be pretty comfortable and at ease for most of the duration of my births. I even credit Hypnobabies with helping me to have an epidural-free twin birth in a hospital, no small feat!
I can’t say that I had absolutely no pain, but the techniques I learned and the hypnosis tracks I was able to listen to kept me relaxed enough to go with the flow and manage what my body was going through with a fair amount of ease, considering the circumstances.
A mantra to stay focused while in labor to help with pain
“When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me…” That first line of Let it Be from the Beatles replayed over and over and over again in my mind while I was at about 8-9cm with my twins.
During every contraction, it would float through my brain as a kind of mantra. I felt the presence of other moms who had given birth before me and were even giving birth at that moment.
I didn’t plan on this, it just came to me in the moment, but I think having a mantra or something to focus on can be incredibly helpful! Many people even print out banners or photos with quotes or mantras to focus on during contractions which can serve as a type of natural pain relief during labor.
Massage and pressure to relieve pain during birth
Having some hands-on help is amazing for both physical and emotional comfort. Some women may not want to be touched at all while birthing, but for me having some massage and strong pressure on my lower back was a lifesaver.
I had a lot of intensity in my back during both of my births, and the pressure from my mom, husband, and doulas during both births helped alleviate some of the pressure and might have been the most effective natural pain relief during labor.
A team for emotional support while in labor
The most intense part of birth for many women is during transition just before they are ready to start pushing that little squishy baby out. It was in this period that I felt like maybe I couldn’t do it. Maybe it was just too hard for me.
A little thought in the back of my mind reminded me that in almost every birth story I read, the point at which you feel like you can’t do it anymore is the point at which you are almost there! But I also told my doula that I was feeling not so confident, and I was able to cry and just let it all out to her. Once I did, it eased my tension.
Don’t underestimate the value of a good cry. This is an emotional process and no one expects you to be robot! Remember, the key is to stay relaxed, and a big release of emotion can be super helpful, even necessary for how to give birth naturally without pain.
In addition to these five tips, you also want to set yourself up for success. This means researching more options, watching natural birth videos for inspiration, getting that birth plan done, and consider hiring a doula! (maybe even a postpartum doula too so you can rest easy knowing you’ll have some help)
The key to having a natural childbirth is to first and foremost believe in yourself and your body. If you are able to embrace the process and trust, then you are in the best place possible to give birth. Natural pain relief during labor options are extra tools to help get you through.
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