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Pain relief techniques?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

What were some good pain relieving/enduring techniques you used in labor? 

post #2 of 11

I use Bradley's method of relaxing every muscle and letting the uterus do it's job, for the most part.  Otherwise, I spend the rest of the time on my hands and knees, rocking my hips back and forth.

 

For *me*, rolling with the pain has proven much easier than bracing against it.  I wound up with drugs in the two labors I "fought against", and never even thought about asking for them in the two labors where I just tried to relax as much as humanly possible.

 

In my most recent labor, I did find the tub to be relaxing after an initial adjustment period.  I'd never used water before, so it took me a few minutes to find my groove, so to speak!

post #3 of 11

We used Bradley as well.

 

For me, focusing on what was going on rather than just what I was feeling was a big help. I focused on visualizing myself dilating, the baby descending, etc. 

 

The biggest thing, though, like Carrie stated, was just going with it. As Ina May would said, "Let your monkey do it!" In other words, even though I was in the hospital, I labored (for the most part) completely nude, making lots of low sounds and moving in whatever ways felt comfortable. I was completely uninhibited. It is difficult to let go completely, but it makes a big difference. 

 

post #4 of 11

Echoing the above two posters...Rather than focusing away from the pain, I focused on it. Try it next time you have a headache. Instead of thinking "this hurts and I want it to go away" just accept the fact that your head hurts, it's going to hurt for a while, but it will get better. Trying to escape from the pain only made it worse for me but accepting that I was in for a rough several hours made it easier to bear. Like ein328, I kept in mind that each contraction was bringing me closer to the baby. Contractions aren't just there to hurt you; each one helps you dilate and move the baby down. I tried to focus on the baby, sometimes, when it got really bad...I told myself, "this may hurt like hell, but I'm doing it for someone I love so s/he can be born."

I always had some kind of focal point, too. In my first labor it was a framed photograph of my late stepfather. Knowing he'd never be able to meet the baby, it at least brought me some comfort to see his face when I was in pain. Before my fifth was born, it was a little plastic rosary that I kept wrapped around my wrist from the time I left my house in an ambulance to the time I left the hospital four days later. It was a constant thing that I could hold on to despite what was going on around me. Choose something that is a part of your faith (like the rosary) or that brings you comfort (like my photograph) or that relaxes you (like a serene painting or object in your bedroom, or wherever you give birth). 

 

A HUGE pain relief help for me was counter-pressure applied to my hips and tailbone. My husband spent the greater part of my first labor squeezing my hips. During my third, my doula brought a Rebozo sling which she pulled tightly around my hips when I had a contraction. That counter-pressure was AMAZING and helped a lot.

post #5 of 11

Moving in a rhythm that followed the pattern of the pain in the contraction. I rocked on hands and knees a lot. Not gentle rocking but the kind of huge seesaw motion that would cause waves if I'd been in the water at the time. 

 

Vocalization.

 

Counter pressure against my back (this was soooo helpful).

 

Cold rags (whoever was pressing on my back would apply a cold rag right as the contraction started and apply counter pressure on top of it).

 

Water- I got into the birth pool in very active labor and it helped a lot. 

 

Just being able to do whatever I wanted/needed without feeling restricted was a huge comfort measure. 

post #6 of 11

I screamed like I was being murdered. Because that is what felt right at the time. This time I want to try and do a more low pitched grunt scream....I heard that can actually help.

post #7 of 11

Positive thoughts for sure. When there's a really strong, tight (and let's be honest, sore) contraction, don't think owch, think "that's a really good one". It helps me a lot to think of the contractions as my friends, helping bring my baby out, instead of dreading them and thinking they're my enemies. I know that sounds weird. I have to deliberately make a voice in my head that says, "oh yes, here comes another one. This will be a good one" etc. Otherwise I'll naturally think "oh no" and that just makes it harder to cope.

 

I enjoy sniffing clary sage out of a bottle or on a tissue through contractions for the first part of labor (by transition I want to throw the bottle at someone's head). It gives me something to focus on and to feel like I'm doing something.

 

And low humming really helps me. I want to vocalize and the low hum makes me feel in control. As labor moves on it turns into more of a low roar than a hum. And then the grunting/growing and then my babies in my arms and I'm high pitched and ecstatic. :)

 

But yeah, it's not about avoiding the pain. There will be pain. Make friends with it. It helps bring your baby into your arms. It's what you've been waiting for this 9 months. It's a GOOD thing and you can best be in control by surrendering to the sensations. That's how I see it anyway. Wiggle around, swing your hips, move however you need to and rejoice in how womanly you are. Feel awesome about your body and what you're achieving. Don't try to dwell on the fact that it hurts. Think of it as powerful and that means YOU are powerful, because it's something your body is doing.

 

It's all about positive thoughts and welcoming the feeling. And then transition comes and it's all up in the air hehe, but it's almost over by then, it's SO close to being done and you get the energy you need for that last push. So it's all good.

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Scottish Gal View Post

Positive thoughts for sure. When there's a really strong, tight (and let's be honest, sore) contraction, don't think owch, think "that's a really good one". It helps me a lot to think of the contractions as my friends, helping bring my baby out, instead of dreading them and thinking they're my enemies. I know that sounds weird. I have to deliberately make a voice in my head that says, "oh yes, here comes another one. This will be a good one" etc. Otherwise I'll naturally think "oh no" and that just makes it harder to cope.

 

I enjoy sniffing clary sage out of a bottle or on a tissue through contractions for the first part of labor (by transition I want to throw the bottle at someone's head). It gives me something to focus on and to feel like I'm doing something.

 

And low humming really helps me. I want to vocalize and the low hum makes me feel in control. As labor moves on it turns into more of a low roar than a hum. And then the grunting/growing and then my babies in my arms and I'm high pitched and ecstatic. :)

 

But yeah, it's not about avoiding the pain. There will be pain. Make friends with it. It helps bring your baby into your arms. It's what you've been waiting for this 9 months. It's a GOOD thing and you can best be in control by surrendering to the sensations. That's how I see it anyway. Wiggle around, swing your hips, move however you need to and rejoice in how womanly you are. Feel awesome about your body and what you're achieving. Don't try to dwell on the fact that it hurts. Think of it as powerful and that means YOU are powerful, because it's something your body is doing.

 

It's all about positive thoughts and welcoming the feeling. And then transition comes and it's all up in the air hehe, but it's almost over by then, it's SO close to being done and you get the energy you need for that last push. So it's all good.



I may have to Facebook status that.

post #9 of 11

I had to stand up during my last labor.  It was the only position comfortable besides floating in the tub.  I've always just naturally gone limp during contractions.  Sometimes I use a focus point, if the ctx is very strong but usually I just close my eyes and I think about what's happening without freaking out.  At the end of my last labor I was using low vocalizations during the ctx and needed counter pressure on my back too.  I kept bach rescue remedy with me incase I got nervous and freaked out but I don't think I ended up using it.

post #10 of 11

 The water tub was really great and pain relieving for me while the water was warm enough, and being upright, hands and knees, rocking, vocalizing, and I also really like standing and leaning on a table or some piece of furniture about that height. Also found the rocking/leaning over the exercise ball helpful early on.  Positive thinking and relaxation of the other muscles in body. Prior to labor did a ton of visualizing the cervix dilating. I didn't use a specific technique/ class but was familiar with the info in BFW.

post #11 of 11

ddc--i stood during my last labor and danced. i rocked side to side heavily, not gently, every time i had a contraction. it was the only thing that helped. also, the water tub when i got in it helped. again, accepting the pain vs fighting it, is the best thing you can do.

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