Natural methods of pain relief do not involve the use of pain medications.
Natural methods work by stimulating your body to release its own natural painkillers, endorphins.
Here are some examples of pain relief options of natural childbirth:
- Breathing techniques – Lamaze methods are taught in childbirth classes.
- Massage – encourages relaxation and blocks pain sensations.
- Walking – improves blood circulation and distracts you from pain.
- Music – listen to your favorite music to distract you from pain.
- Guided imagery – creates an environment with a feeling of relaxation and well-being.
- Meditation – can reduce the amount of pain your experience.
- Aromatherapy – lavender scents reduce stress and tension.
- Heat and cold. Heat relieves muscle tension. Cold relieves back pain and cools you during labor.
- Shower or bath. Warm water relaxes, soothes, and blocks pain impulses to your brain.
- Birthing ball. Leaning or sitting on the ball can help your baby descent into the birth canal.
The National Institutes of Health makes the following statement regarding complementary and alternative approaches to pain relief during labor, “For labor pain, most studies demonstrate the greatest benefit during the beginning of the dilatation phase. When women enter the active phase of dilatation or during delivery itself, there is more need for additional conventional analgesics. This suggests that complementary medicine may be useful for the early onset of pain or as a distracter, diverting women’s attention from the source of pain.” Please see the reference link below for research details.
“With the new baby on the way, I strongly recommend the following books for your family.” -Angela
References and Resources
- National Institutes of Health – Complementary and Alternative Approaches to Pain Relief During Labor
- American Pregnancy Association – Alternative Relaxation Techniques to Relieve Labor Pains
- Uptodate.com – Nonpharmacologic approaches to management of labor pain
- March of Dimes – Stages of Labor