How to Make Labor Hurt Less

Whether you go all natural or get drugs, there are ways to relieve pain.
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March 2, 2017
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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.


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.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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