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The Bump Editors

How To Make Labor Hurt Less

Whether you go all natural or get drugs, there are ways to relieve pain.

Breathing

What it is: To deal with all the pain, it’s using the same breathing techniques that chill you out whenever you’re stressed or anxious.

How it’s done: At the start of each contraction, take a really deep “cleansing” breath, like at the beginning of a yoga class.

You should know: Get more guidance and plenty of practice by taking a childbirth class. Ask your OB for suggestions.

Relaxation Techniques

What it is: Operating under the idea that pain is a state of mind, you’ll try to get more comfortable and distract yourself.

How it’s done: Imagine yourself in a happy place. Play calming songs, get a massage from your partner— stuff like that.

You should know: It’s hard to know exactly what’s going to work once you get there, so have a whole bag of tricks to try.

Epidural

What it is: Usually a combo of meds that block your brain from feeling pain and (mostly) numb your lower half.

How it’s done: It’s given throughout labor and delivery through a tube inserted into your back.

You should know: You’ll be stuck in bed, since you’ll be hooked up to an IV and a fetal monitor to track baby’s heart rate.

Systemic medication

What it is: Medications like morphine, Demerol, Stadol and Nubain, which are all narcotics.

How it’s done: Systemic meds are injected into the bloodstream or a muscle and affect the entire body.

You should know: They only really take the edge off. You may get nauseated, and baby can be exposed to them.

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