Managing Labour Pains at Home

By Kate Macdonald

May 12, 2020

As you get closer to your due date, you are starting to thinking more about your labour. It is so exciting that soon you are going to meet your baby, but like many other mamas you are nervous about labour. Remember each contraction will bring you one step closer to seeing your beautiful baby. Early labour is the longest stage, so the key to managing labour at home is finding techniques that help you cope with pain during the contractions.

Strong purposeful movement will provide the most relief. Often mama’s get annoyed with light touch- if you usually like your back scratched you likely won’t enjoy this during labour. You already know by now that your partner cannot read your mind so you have to tell them exactly what you want and if you need more or less pressure. They want to help, so give them direction and let them help.

So mama’s here are the Top 5 Ways to Manage your Pain at Home during labour:

Water
Seriously a girl’s best friend in labour. Water is amazing especially in the early stages. If your water has broken, hop in the shower. Most women rate their pain lower in the shower. Make sure it isn’t too hot. The water should be warm enough that it is calming and you feel warm but not so hot that your skin is bright red. Save that hot shower for after you have your baby…. Seriously the best shower of your life that you have to look forward too!!!!! If you have a detachable shower head, get your partner to spray the water a few inches away from your back. This helps decrease a women’s pain, as the brain receives both sensations (pressure and pain), the brain turns the volume down on the pain a woman feels.
You can also use the shower at the hospital as well when you are further along. Make sure your spouse packs their bathing suit as well. Once in hospital your nurse will do frequent doppler heart checks on the baby to make sure there isn’t a significant increase in the baby’s heart rate while you are in the shower. If you are getting too hot it will cause your baby’s heart rate to increase, and your shower will be cut short.

If your water has not broken you can slide into the bath which can be calming and help with the contractions. Again, make sure the water isn’t too hot and ensure that your partner is able to help you in and out of the tub.

Rolling Pin
Dust the flour off your rolling pin and hand this handy tool to your partner. Both you and your partner are going to soon fall in love with this amazing kitchen tool. When a contraction begins have your partner roll along your lower back, hips and down the sides of your legs. Trust me it feels so good!! When you are ready to head to the hospital throw this tool in your bag, so you can use it during labour there as well.

Counterpressure
While standing, face the wall and place your hands on the wall, leaning into it. Have your partner make two fists and place them just above your buttocks, on either side of your spine. When the contraction comes, get your partner to push into you while you push against their fists. This technique provides pressure and gives your brain another signal which will help decrease the pain felt.

The Hip Squeeze
This method feels so good in labour and even without contractions!! Have your partner cup your hips with their hands and squeeze during each contraction. Think of it like they are trying to squeeze your hips like an accordion. Have your partner squeeze and hold as long as they can then release and do it again. You will have to tell them when the contraction is coming on and when it is over. This technique can be used while you are standing, leaning over the bed, on the ball, on all fours, sitting backwards on a chair or the toilet as well. This one is definitely worth a try!

The Exercise Ball
This is a great tool that you can use at home and often hospitals provide them once you are admitted into your delivery room. Exercise balls take some pressure off your lower back and are a great thing to use in the last month of your pregnancy as well. Sit on the ball, with your legs open in a V shape, which opens up your pelvis and helps baby move down into position. This is a comfortable and great position that allows gravity to work with you during labour. Your partner can help support you by sitting behind you or using the rolling pin or hip squeeze during your contractions. Having a cool cloth place on the back of your neck also feels good during contractions. In between contractions your partner can swing the cloth around in the air to cool it again for the upcoming contraction.

When you start to feel like you are not managing the contractions at home anymore, you will likely feel it is time to go into the hospital to get checked. No need to bring in your bags in just yet, go get checked in first and your partner can always go back for the bags once you are admitted. Remember you can use these techniques in the hospital too and don’t forget to unpack that rolling pin when you get there!

If you have any questions or are interested in our virtual prenatal classes click here to connect with a Mama Coach in your area. Our prenatal classes are tailored to your needs to give you the knowledge and support from the time of your class until you bring baby home.

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