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Favorite Pain Management Technique for Labor?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Please share pain mangement techniques you used and found effective during labor...
post #2 of 26

I had back labor and a hospital midwife (not mine) came in briefly and did some sacral massage.  She also pushed inward on both of my hips, which is described in Ina May's book.  Pressing in on the top part of the hip bones makes the bottom part open like a clothespin.  It felt amazing.  

She also had a warm 2-liter bottle full of water that she had my husband roll up and down on my lower back.

 

I didn't find counterpressure to be all that helpful, though better than nothing.  I wasn't able to move around very much because my DS's heart rate would decel, but I'd imagine being able to be more mobile would have been wonderful. Hopefully this time I'll be able to try more pain management techniques.  I'm excited to hear what everyone recommends!

post #3 of 26

What worked best for me was concentrating on relaxing each part of my body individually, in succession. So I'd start with my face, then my jaw, my shoulders, arms, chest, belly, pelvis, legs, feet (and the longer contractions got, the more specific I got with body parts.) I concentrated especially on relaxing my face, shoulders and pelvic floor. 

 

I did this while rocking my hips loosely back and forth. 

 

At the very end, during transition, I did some vocalizing, taking my doula's advice to keep the sounds low and guttural. 

 

If I wasn't actively doing the relaxation thing, I did a lot of unfocused awareness, which is a technique I learned in our Birthing from Within prenatal class - it's hard to describe, but it's basically being non-judgementally aware of things around you. Noticing them, but letting the noticing pass through you and out again. Not directing your notice, but letting things be noticed by you, including the pain you feel. It's worthwhile to practice beforehand.

 

In early labour I also used a hot rice bag on my lower belly, and lower back. 

post #4 of 26

The birthing from within technique is similar to something I learned while mediating in a yoga class in college. Once I can get myself relaxed (using hypnobirthing cds helps me) I can just say in my mind "I acknowledge _______ and move on". At least it works for nose itches and feet falling asleep while mediating, no clue about labor yet. lol

post #5 of 26

WATER. Seriously, my last labor was totally manageable, so long as I was in the tub. When I got out to pee, I thought I was going to die, lol.

post #6 of 26

Water was very helpful to me too. I had back labor as well. In the water, I could feel the contraction coming before I was overcome by it and was able to manage it. When I got out of the water, I felt like the contractions were running me over like a freight train and I had no time to prepare myself for it. 

post #7 of 26

This works really well for me as well.  I highly recommend hypnobirthing.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KayPea View Post

What worked best for me was concentrating on relaxing each part of my body individually, in succession. So I'd start with my face, then my jaw, my shoulders, arms, chest, belly, pelvis, legs, feet (and the longer contractions got, the more specific I got with body parts.) I concentrated especially on relaxing my face, shoulders and pelvic floor. 

 

I did this while rocking my hips loosely back and forth. 



 

post #8 of 26
Hypnobirthing techniques (I used the HypBirth home study course), birth affirmations (really, truly believing in the natural birth process and my/my body's ability to do it), mantras, vocalizations, birth ball, WATER, comfortable environment.
post #9 of 26
I have no idea, honestly. We have a pool, so I can have water. And we hired a doula, but other than that I don't have much to go on. My first birth was a completely medicated induction, I haven't even felt a natural non pit induced contraction.
post #10 of 26
-Water
-Hot rice socks. I cannot labor without them! And all the ladies I doula for say the same thing.
-Vocalization. I like to hum or saying "ahhh.." in a low tone
-Complaining (near the end- this is how my DH knew my 2nd child was about the enter the world. I said "I am done. This is hard!" She was in the birth canal and about 6 mins from being born).
-For my back labor, counterpressure
post #11 of 26
What are hot rice socks?
post #12 of 26

It's a sock, tube or whatever filled with dry rice or flax seeds.  You warm them in the microwave for a couple of minutes and use it like a heating pad.  They retain their heat for a long time and are super easy to make at home.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaimee View Post

What are hot rice socks?


 

post #13 of 26
Oh, like a flax seed pillow! I was thinking socks made out of rice some how that you wear and it helps divert the pain/energy of labor! lol.gif
post #14 of 26

Hi girls :)

As some of you know I had my "November" baby two weeks ago. I was induced and was in labor for about 55 hours, only the last 10 or so hours did I have pain relief in the form of an epidural.

My contractions were brought on by pitocin and cytotec, which I've heard creates stronger contractions than the body naturally does, but I have no basis for comparison.

 

ANYWAY! For the first horrendous two days I did the following:

 

-Lavender EO drops on my pillow and on a cool washcloth on my forehead.

-Calm music playing.

-Deep, deep breathing. I envisioned breathing the pain out of me with each breath. I'd inhale and 'scoop' it all up, and exhale and release it.

-Position. I was on magnesium and had a catheter, so I wasn't allowed to get out of bed, but I switched positions every half hour or so.

-Movement. During my contractions I held on to the side rail of my bed and rocked myself back and forth pretty heavily as I did my deep breathing. As a massage therapist, I knew that proprioception can help divert the perception of pain - the brain gives priority to movement over pain. For example, when you slam your finger in the cupboard door, you instantly shake your hand out. thumb.gif

-Massage. I was having mostly back labor and I had my husband rub a flat hand around my sacrum during contractions.

-Hot water. During a stall in my labor the doctor graciously allowed me a shower (the magnesium wasn't affecting my muscles as much as it does other people, I guess - I could walk just fine) and the hot water on my back during the contractions I had in there was HEAVEN! They were so, so much more bearable with the heat and gentle pressure of the water spraying on my low back.

 

Once I had the epidural I wasn't having the pain of the back labor anymore and I could concentrate more on getting baby down rather than just managing my pain. I went from 3cm to 9cm and ready to push in just over two hours once I went into the 'zone' and breathed my baby down.

 

When I was pushing him out, I could feel it all and the 'ring of fire' - but by that time I didn't care about the pain anymore and I just told myself (outloud - and I've got it on video lol.gif) that this was nothing compared to the first 24 hours of pitocin/cytotec contractions and would be over any moment. I pushed for about 15 minutes and my baby was born. I didn't tear at all (though, my baby was only 5 pounds ;)

 

 

post #15 of 26
Christina, I'm dying to hear your full birth story! I cannot believe they gave you Cytotec! I am so relieved to hear that you and your baby came through without issue!
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaimee View Post

Christina, I'm dying to hear your full birth story! I cannot believe they gave you Cytotec! I am so relieved to hear that you and your baby came through without issue!


I am working on it! :)

 

I actually had never heard of Cytotec and didn't know anything about it and I had been in labor for about 30 hours when the doctor said it was his next plan of attack - so I was willing to do anything at that point. I only just now googled it because of your reaction - and WOW! Luckily I didn't have any complications from it at all. I delivered about 12 hours after the last dose was given to me.

post #17 of 26


At least you weren't a VBAC.  I think that is where most complications from Cytotec come in.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LunaLady View Post

I am working on it! :)

 

I actually had never heard of Cytotec and didn't know anything about it and I had been in labor for about 30 hours when the doctor said it was his next plan of attack - so I was willing to do anything at that point. I only just now googled it because of your reaction - and WOW! Luckily I didn't have any complications from it at all. I delivered about 12 hours after the last dose was given to me.



 

post #18 of 26

I have to chime in and say that water is my very favorite pain management technique.  Last time, I was having irregular contractions all day. Sometimes 20 min apart, sometimes 10, sometimes 7...  When they finally were 5 minutes apart for a few in a row, I got in my pool, but it was so relaxing that they stalled out! I had to get out of the pool to get them started again.  Then my water broke and it was ON- I needed that pool like crazy and the baby was born only 20 or 30 minutes later.

 

With my second birth, I used something odd, but it really helped me.  I *think* I read it in Spiritual Midwifery.  During a contraction, you loosen up your mouth and blow your lips out- PBBBBBB.  Like the noise that horses make. It sounds so silly, but somehow it worked!

post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lula's Mom View Post

 

With my second birth, I used something odd, but it really helped me.  I *think* I read it in Spiritual Midwifery.  During a contraction, you loosen up your mouth and blow your lips out- PBBBBBB.  Like the noise that horses make. It sounds so silly, but somehow it worked!


 

So interesting that this worked!   I read about it in Spiritual Midwfery too.  I'll have to give it a try! :)

post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by LunaLady View Post

I am working on it! :)

 

I actually had never heard of Cytotec and didn't know anything about it and I had been in labor for about 30 hours when the doctor said it was his next plan of attack - so I was willing to do anything at that point. I only just now googled it because of your reaction - and WOW! Luckily I didn't have any complications from it at all. I delivered about 12 hours after the last dose was given to me.

Wow I cant believe that they gave you that drug, I cant believe its even still used!  Have you watched The Business of Being Born?  Its free to watch on Youtube.  Ina May also talks about it in her book Ina Mays Guide to Childbirth.  I am glad to hear that it worked for you, but there are alternatives!  Thank goodness you are both OK!

 

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