5 SIMPLE Comfort Tools for Labour
If you’re looking for simple comfort measures to get you through those contractions then look no further. Here are 5 amazingly SIMPLE comfort tools for labour.
Your partner’s or Doula’s hands will be some of the most valuable tools for pain management during contractions. Here are some of the ways hands can help:
Massage - A gentle massage performed with light fingertips on the arm, back, neck legs or wherever you need it most. This helps reduce tension so your contractions can do the work.
Physical support – A support person can make sure you’re not wasting energy by holding up your arms, legs or head. Using these muscles keeps tension in the body and will tire you out quickly. They can also support you while you dangle or squat during contractions.
Double hip squeeze – On your hands and knees or bending at the hips while leaning on a bed, the support person squeezes your hips during each contraction to help relieve back pain.
Counter pressure – In the same position but this time the support person presses firmly with a fist against the appropriate spot on your lower back during each contraction.
Hydrotherapy, or water therapy, is one of the simplest comfort measures. A warm bath or shower has a remarkable ability to reduce pain and help you relax. A bath gives a sense of weightlessness and the shower head can be positioned over your lower back to help ease back labour. Water can also help speed labour as it helps you loosen your muscles and let baby move down.
Many women find swaying and rocking while leaning on their partner or Doula is essential to getting through contractions. It gives you something to focus on as the contractions peak and subside. It also allows you to be supported by someone else and uses movement to help move the baby down during the contraction. Many find it is easier to cope during labour if they are free to move rather than confined to a bed.
Lastly, breathing through your contractions will be one of the simplest and easiest comfort measures you can use. Rhythmic breathing through contractions will help you stay in control and relaxed. It can become somewhat of a ritual for each contraction and the intensity and speed of your breaths will change as your labour progresses.
5. TENS Machine
Your Doula or Midwife may have access to a TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machine, or you might be able to rent one from the hospital or local baby shop. This little machine has four electrodes which are placed on your lower back and provide small vibrations during contractions. These sensations help mask the pain of contractions during early labour.
I hope this list gives you some confidence for your upcoming birth. Happy labouring!