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So, you’ve been wondering how to manage labor pain naturally – that’s perfect because I’ve got 7 natural pain relief methods to share that will help you do just that.
When I talk to first-time moms, their wondering how painful is labor pain?
That worry leads to fear – fear of the actual birth and fear of not being able to birth a baby without using an epidural for relief.
I get it – how do you know if you can handle the pain of birth if you’ve never experienced it?
Well, the short answer is, yes you can learn how to manage labor pain naturally.
The long answer is, you need to come up with a plan for using natural pain methods to help you through the tough contractions.
That’s what this post is going to help you do.
By the end, you will know exactly how to manage labor pain naturally.
I’ve been through labor and delivery so I’m going to share the natural pain relief methods that I think are actually viable for managing labor pain, okay?
So, let’s dig into how to manage labor pain naturally and come up with a plan to get the childbirth experience you’re looking for.
How Painful is Labor Pain?
We need to get this question out of the way.
Labor pain is, well, painful.
I once heard that labor pain is like breaking 23 bones in your body at the same time (I’m not sure where I heard this!) and that really stuck with me.
It also terrified me because I heard it before delivering my daughter.
But I’ve learned that the female body is an amazing thing.
We were built to handle labor pain – your body has natural coping mechanisms that are pretty amazing if you use them correctly – so don’t fear the pain of labor, learn how to manage the pain naturally, okay?
7 Natural Pain Relief Methods To Try
1) EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT NATURAL CHILDBIRTH
Arming yourself with the right education to prepare for any big event is a good thing, right?
Learning how to manage your labor naturally is no different, momma.
I’m currently deep into this natural birthing course and I’ve gotta say I’m pretty fascinated by what I’m learning.
What do I mean?
This course completely answers the question of how to manage labor pain naturally – whether you choose to birth at home or at the hospital.
(Side note: I’m a huge fan of encouraging mommas to birth where they’re comfortable not where people think they should).
The instructors take all the fears we’ve been taught about labor and delivery, dispells them and then arms you with the tools and coping mechanisms to help you deliver your newborn safely and naturally.
One of the things I love most is that the course is completely online which means you can do it on your own time without having to leave the house.
2) BRING ALL THE SUPPORT YOU NEED
The more support people you bring during labor, the higher chance you have of shortening your labor. (source)
Now is the time to start thinking about who can not only support you by physically being there but also offer you emotional support.
Obviously, you’re going to include your partner but who else makes you feel at ease?
Have you considered using a Doula?
If you haven’t then you should.
Doulas are trained in all things childbirth and can offer more support than the average person.
Important things to know about the Doula role:
✿ Doulas are there to advocate for your rights (which is helpful if you choose to birth in the hospital).
✿ They help keep your stress levels in check.
✿ Stay by your side during your entire natural birth.
✿ Can guidance with your birth plan.
✿ Offer pain relief techniques such as relaxation, breathing, and massage.
Basically, think of them as your very own assistant while you’re in labor and according to this article, they can lower the request rate for an epidural by up to 60% – ah-mazing, mommas!
To be honest, mommas – as someone who has been through labor, the thought of having a Doula in addition to my other chosen support people has me feeling good.
I really think they are a big piece of the puzzle for figuring out how to manage labor pain naturally.
Look into using a Doula and see if it feels like a viable option for natural labor pain management.
3) YOUR VERY OWN NATURAL BIRTHING ATMOSPHERE
Never heard of creating your own birthing atmosphere before?
I stumbled upon this idea while researching natural pain relief ideas for my next labor and using this method to manage labor naturally has become one of my favorites quickly.
I’m not even in labor yet and I already feel so relaxed and calm that I can create an atmosphere that is mine AND birth at the hospital.
I may be planning a natural birth experience but I’ll still be going to the hospital (because you never know what will happen PLUS I loved my L&D nurses – they were awesome!) so why not make my room all mine for the time being?
The idea is to fill your labor and birthing room with things that are calming and relaxing.
Here’s how your birthing atmosphere should feel:
✿ Safe and secure
✿ Dim lighted
✿ Cozy and warm
✿ Peaceful (in other words quiet)
Need some ideas of what to bring in order to create your birthing atmosphere?
Here’s what I plan on doing for mine:
✿ I’ll ask the hospital staff to leave me alone as much as they can.
✿ I’ll pay extra for my own private room.
✿ I’ll be bringing my own blanket and pillow from home.
✿ I’ll turn off/dim as many lights as I can.
✿ I’ll pull the drapes on the windows.
✿ I’ll bring lavender flameless candles (they’ll set the mood and provide a relaxing scent).
✿ I’ll play calming music that makes me feel good.
Hopefully, that helped, momma! 🙂
At the end of the day, anything that makes you feel comfortable and secure will help you manage labor contractions naturally.
4) USE BIRTH AFFIRMATIONS
I will admit I was pretty skeptical about using birth affirmations to manage labor pain but I’ve since changed my mind.
Okay fine, I was proven wrong. 😉
Birth affirmations can be an effective way to get ready for labor and delivery by preparing your mind and spirit for the natural birthing experience.
To put it simply, birth affirmations train your mind to recognize how strong you are and then reaffirm that strength to lower your stress level during labor.
Yeah, that’s where I became a little skeptical of the whole birth affirmation thing.
I couldn’t get past the idea of being confident and strong during a painful labor contraction.
Um, say what?
And then I realized it’s like preparing for a marathon – you actually train your body and your mind to handle running for a really long time.
So, birth affirmations are training your brain and body to handle natural childbirth.
(So, yes, you’ll need to use birth affirmations well in advance of going into labor).
And since you’ve trained, it’ll inevitably lower your stress level and keep you calm.
But here’s where the whole process gets really cool.
Staying calm during natural birth means your endorphins (your body’s natural pain coping mechanism) won’t be blocked by adrenaline and can do their job.
Amazingly, endorphins slow down the intensity of labor if needed making it easier for you to cope.
The whole thing is pretty amazing if you ask me.
So, after putting all this amazing natural pain training stuff together (aka. birth affirmations) it was reaffirmed when my very own birth affirmation card set arrived in the mail as a bonus for taking the natural birthing course.
If those natural mommas believe and USE birth affirmations, who am I to argue?
Hypnobirthing teaches you how to be calm and relaxed during labor so your body can do what it needs to.
While hypnobirthing doesn’t guarantee you’ll have a pain free labor, it can seriously reduce your stress by teaching you how to manage labor pain naturally – one contraction at a time.
It also eliminates the fear of birth which is especially good if you’ve heard a lot of horrifying birth stories and are feeling a little intimidated.
So, what exactly does hypnobirthing involve?
It’s natural pain management using a combination of different techniques through relaxation and self-hypnosis.
Hypnobirthing uses relaxation, visualization, and calm breathing to help you reduce stress levels.
The idea is to learn how to channel and focus your energy while you’re in labor.
This natural pain relief method isn’t something you learn in a week – there are classes taught and it’s generally recommended you start them by week 25 of your pregnancy.
(Check your local area for classes).
I’m excited to learn more about how to use this natural pain relief method to manage my labor pains.
Here is some recommended reading to help you too:
6) BIRTH IN WATER
Or perhaps labor in warm water because it’s soothing and relaxing which, again, lowers your stress level which then means you MAY have a shorter labor.
Birthing in water also helps you change your laboring position which can lead to further relief.
Truthfully, laboring in water for awhile sounds like a good plan but I do wonder about actually birthing while in the tub.
The choice is ultimately up to you – most birthing centers and hospitals have a tub for laboring mommas.
7) CHANGE YOUR LABOR POSITIONS
The first time I was in labor, changing positions didn’t work for me – it felt more painful when I did change.
It’s common to read that changing positions is a good thing and I think if it makes sense to you then try it.
(Some women swear by it so there HAS to be some merit to it).
The whole idea around learning how to manage labor pain naturally is to do what makes you feel comfortable.
So, I’m going to give this one another try but this time I will try squatting and leaning forward while supported.
The thought of kneeling while managing a contraction sounds like it’ll work for me as well.
Read up on different labor positions and pick ones that you think will make you comfortable.
Practice them with your partner so you’re ready when labor day comes.
Need some inspiration?
This article details different positions for labor.
There you go, momma!
Figuring out how to manage labor pain naturally isn’t hard – it’s more about finding which of the natural methods is going to work best for you.
Remember, even though labor is painful, women can and do get through it – one contraction at a time.
The natural pain relief options outlined in this post are viable ways to manage your pain so do more research into the one that makes the most sense to you.
Another way to think of labor is that you won’t be in that experience forever just awhile.
(I’m not sure if that helps you but it helps me so I thought I should mention it.)
Have people you trust and make you feel good in the room with you.
Try out creating your own birthing atmosphere as I believe this will have more benefit than people give it credit for.
(If you do create your own atmosphere, snap a pic and share it with me!)
Ultimately, momma, no matter what happens, if you opt to use an epidural THAT is okay too.
I think women need to do what’s best for them to bring their baby safely into this world and it’ll very different for each of us.
Don’t feel bad!
Which natural pain management method caught your eye the most?
Do you recommend any others?
(Do share in case I want to add them to my own natural birth plan!)
Comment below and let me know!