Creative Ways to Deal With Pain During Labor

When the going gets tough, here are some natural pain-relief techniques to turn to.
profile picture of Ashley S. Roman, MD
ByAshley S. Roman, MD
OB-GYN
Updated
May 2017
woman closing her eyes smiling

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.

Related Video

VBACs Are Safer Than You Thought, Study Finds

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor

Why Newborn Footprints Are Going High Tech

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
03/17/2017

Q&A: How Can I Help Baby Nurse?

Catherine Watson Genna, BS, IBCLC
Lactation Specialist

6 Genes Can Determine the Length of Your Pregnancy

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
09/07/2017

This 'Supportive' Sister Snapped the Best Labor Selfie

Christine Cordova
Associate Social Editor
Published
07/07/2017

Hospital Packing Checklists From Moms Around the World

Christine Cordova
Associate Social Editor

5 Award-Winning Birth Photos We Can't Stop Looking at (NSFW)

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
04/17/2017

What Is Dilation?

Sharon Phelan, MD
OB-GYN
Advertisement