Whether you get pain medication during labor or not, you'll want to come armed with some natural pain-relief techniques. We're not saying it'll be easy, but it's important to relax. Here are few ways to deal with labor pain:
• Find your happy place. We're fans of the beach and a campfire under the stars. When a painful contraction comes on, imagine yourself there, picturing every detail—rom your beach towel to the sound of the waves—while deeply breathing.
• Try music therapy. Calming tunes like Enya or some other spa-like sounds can do the trick, but hey, you might want to mix in some Kanye or Beyonce—or whatever else floats your boat!
• Appeal to your sense of smell. We don't mean candles—we mean stuff that smells like home, like a pillow, blanket or cozy sweatshirt. Essential oils are nice as well.
• When you're in labor, nothing beats a massage. Have your partner apply pressure to your lower back with his knuckles.
• Keep your eye on the prize. Focusing on your motivation is also helpful. Keep baby's first outfit in plain sight to help you stay goal-oriented.
The bottom line? Do what works for you. You'll learn more ideas at your birth class, or try a HypnoBirthing class to learn additional relaxation techniques.