Many women are very fearful of the pain of childbirth. Yet they want to experience it as naturally as possible. After all, women are made to create and birth babies and have done it since the beginning of time.
It’s a great honor to experience childbirth in all its true glory and it makes you feel strong.
But as great as all that sounds, that doesn’t make it any less scary. What you can do though is prepare yourself well.
There’s an arsenal of tools you can use and some alternatives to Epidurals that will allow you to have the experience more fully without being paralyzed temporarily from the waist down.
A Note to You: If you end up needing an Epidural then that’s ok too. It’s a choice and if you end up going that route don’t beat yourself up for it. The most important thing is getting the baby here safely. If you do want to learn more about Epidurals as well then read this post.
So let’s talk about your options for coping with Childbirth.
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13 Ways To Cope With Labor Pain Without An Epidural
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Massage Balls For Counterpressure
Massage balls can be used to provide distraction or they can be put in certain places where you feel the pain the most to apply counterpressure. Your Partner or Doula can apply the pressure while you’re having contractions.
It’s a simple technique but it does really help! You can find some good massage balls here. I absolutely love these and you will too.
Music effects how people feel and it’s an excellent tool to use during labor. There are even a few studies that have tested the theory that music is good for pain management and they were done on women in childbirth.
So bring some good soft music. Or bring some metal if you like, just whatever it takes to help get you where you’re going.
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Take A Course
Taking a course is the best way to prepare for labor hands down. It’s helpful for so many reasons but especially for pain management.
You’ll learn different coping strategies that could mean the difference in a natural birth or a drugged birth. You can easily take a course online, there are lots of options.
I like Hilary’s Prenatal course. She’s a nurse that works with mothers in childbirth and her course is in video online and it’s easy to access. Many mamas take it and love it. You can get part of it for free right here so that will at least get you started. You can sign up here.
Use A Birthing Ball
A birthing ball is SUCH a good tool during labor. It can really help with the pain and you can use it in so many different ways.
You can also use it at home before you come to the hospital when you first start labor to speed things up. Below are just a few ways to use your birthing ball.
Rocking: A rocking motion can help you get through the worst contractions and sitting on something soft is so much better than something hard.
Leaning On Ball On All Fours: This position is really helpful, especially if you’re having terrible back pain. It takes the pressure off your back and helps push the baby’s head into the cervix causing it to dilate more.
Gently Bouncing: This will help push the baby down further and movement, in general, will create some relief in your worst moments. Bouncing on your ball gently will certainly help.
You can find a ball right here made especially for laboring mamas.
Deep breathing of course. It will help you to push through the pain. Everyone always tells you to breathe deep to the point of annoyance when in labor. But the fact is that you’re often in so much pain you still don’t do it.
But if you really put effort into it and believe me, it will take effort, deep breathing will completely take that edge off. You just have to really focus on it.
There are so many different breathing techniques for laboring mothers that I cannot begin to cover them all. This is where that prenatal course I mentioned earlier comes in. You will be so glad you took Hilary’s course so go for it.
Hypnobirthing is a birthing method that uses self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques to help a woman feel physically, mentally and spiritually prepared for what’s ahead and reduce her awareness of fear, anxiety and pain during childbirth.
You can find a course locally in most areas so look one up and see if there’s one near you. I haven’t tried this particular birthing technique but it does get rave reviews and it sure sounds interesting.
Water during childbirth is so soothing and hopping into a big warm tub can really help dull the ache of your contractions.
The tub, with its warm water and soft flowing jets, is mainly used to reduce the pain of labor, making it a kind of alternative treatment for women who want to avoid anesthesia during their baby’s birth, though some do use it in combination with pain-dulling drugs.
If you want to go natural and you can get a room with a tub I highly recommend it. It’s an invaluable tool during natural labor.
***Have You taken a prenatal birth course yet? Don’t have time? Here’s the best Premium online birthing course and the first part of it’s totally free! You will learn absolutely everything you need to know and it will help tremendously so make sure you sign up. A Class is a must and I think the online ones are the best. Here’s a free Birth Planner Too!
A Tens Unit
Using a TENS unit during the early stages of labor is a lovely pain reducing experience. Some hospitals have them on hand but if they don’t you could purchase one here on Amazon.
TENS during labor is most frequently applied to the lower back, on either side of the spine. Mothers can adjust the intensity of the TENS unit as needed during contractions. TENS can also be applied by trained specialists to acupuncture points or your doula can help you out with it.
It may not be as effective during active labor thought but it sure does help before you get to the more advanced stages.
****Other Helpful Resources: What To Expect The First 24 Hours After Birth
Focus On One Thing
Planting your focus on one thing can give you the strength to get through the toughest contractions. It will give you the mental and physical stamina for a successful outcome during this stressful time.
You can find one thing in the room to focus on and put all of your energy into it during your contraction. Give in to the pain and acknowledge it’s there but keep your focus on something else.
This is a technique taught in many birthing courses and it works.
Move A Bit
Moving around always helps. Walk up and down the hall if you can. Bounce on that birthing ball like we discussed earlier. Or get in the shower or tub. Just move instead of sitting there.
It will pass the time more quickly and your labor will progress faster too.
** A Quick Note: If you’re already thinking of Your Postpartum body and you’re worried about getting your body back and losing the baby weight I recommend the program The Postpartum Cure. It’s very popular and it’s helped many mamas lose the weight, flatten their tummy back out all while increasing your milk supply. It’s an excellent option if you want to get back to your shape quickly and safely. Here’s a link if you want to check it out.
And If you need some Medical pain intervention and you still want to avoid the Epidural then try one of these listed below:
With a Pudendal Block, local anesthesia is injected in the Pudendal canal where the Pudendal nerve is located. This will give you pain relief in your vagina, vulva, and perineum.
This is usually used right before you deliver your baby and it can help dull the pain from ” The ring of Fire”.
Another option for pain relief during labor is nitrous oxide. In higher doses, it acts as an anesthetic and anti-anxiety so it’s very helpful during childbirth.
Some benefits of using nitrous oxide are that it doesn’t affect the baby in any way, it doesn’t affect the release of oxytocin and it doesn’t hinder breastfeeding.
IV Pain Medications
Narcotics can be administered via injection or IV and take effect within minutes. Some hospitals provide a patient-controlled device so that you can choose the amount of medication released into your IV. It has a button on it you push to administer the medication. I used this during my first birth when my epidural began to wear off.
There are many ways to cope with the pain of childbirth and I hope the list above gave you some good ideas. Just do the best you can and if you do end up needing some meds then you’re still a real trooper for even trying to go naturally.
I wish you all the best!
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