During your pregnancy I’m sure you have educated yourself on the options you have available for pain relief. You may be advised to have an epidural, pethidine or morphine to help relieve the pain. The truth is, there are natural forms of pain relief that you can use, and they can work just as well as the more conventional methods.
You have to think about what you want your labour to be like. Do you want to be strapped to a bed, with a monitor on and a catheter in your bladder, or would you like to be able to walk around, be submerged in water and get into a position that is comfortable for you.
Natural pain relief has many benefits which include:
Easier to latch and sustain breast feeding
No affect to your baby
Easier birth due to an optimal position
We are very lucky in this day and age due to the amount of options that we have available. Natural pain relief options are always coming out and it’s time to make them more available.
So what are your options for natural pain relief in labour?
Hypnobirthing has been around since the 1980’s and has been used all over the world with amazing results. It is important to start relatively early in your pregnancy to train your brain and get used to the techniques. Hypnobirthing stimulates deep relaxation and uses self-hypnosis to guide you into a safe place where you can focus. By using your mindset and altered state you can control how you feel in that moment.
Acupuncture has been around for many years and for good reason. Small needles are placed into various areas on your body to release energy that is being blocked. It can also be used to induce labour at full term by softening the cervix. Acupuncture is also a great method to use as a natural pain relief method and the results have been amazing.
The use of essential oils either in a diffuser or via massage is a wonderful way to get some natural pain relief in pregnancy and labour. There are certain safe oils aromatherapists use that can be made up for you so that you can involve your partner in labour. Using massage has been shown to greatly affect your pain levels especially with posterior babies in labour.
TENS machines have been around for decades and they are a great tool to use throughout your labour. There are four electrodes that are placed on the sacral area of your lower back and you set the machine to whatever frequency is beneficial to you. TENS machine uses electrical impulses to close the pain gate in your brain by stimulating the nerves.
Water therapy is an all time favourite of mine and I have seen such great results from this alone. Water takes the heaviness away, which is always a great feeling when you are heavily pregnant. The water has to be 37 degrees, which is your bodies natural temperature, the heat alone helps with pain relief. Just remember the days when you had awful period pain and you jumped in the bath to get some relief. Well it’s a similar feeling when you are labour, and the best part is that it is totally natural.
Homeopathy has also been around for centuries and more midwives each day use it for pain relief in labour. There are some great remedies around to help in all aspects of your labour, so it is worth investing in a consultation if your midwife doesn’t offer it.
Sterile water injections
This is a relatively new procedure that is minimally invasive. A small amount of sterile water is injected into four places just under the skin in the sacrum, the lower part of the back. The water stimulates the nerves, which sends a message to the brain and interrupt the messages from inside the body. It works very similar to the TENS machine, by altering the pain gate.
A doula, also known as a birth companion, birth coach or post-birth supporter, is a non-medical companion who supports a birthing woman by providing continuous care before, during, or after childbirth in the form of information, physical support, and emotional support.
As you can see there are many different methods of natural pain relief out there that will be very beneficial to you and your baby. Once you know what is available then you can make the decision yourself to what best suits you and your family.
Read more informative pregnancy, birth and baby articles at Maternity Mum.