Whether you have given birth yet or not, you have most likely heard people talking about pain relief, and it usually revolves around having it or not. Looking a bit deeper this usually means whether or not medicinal pain relief was used. If not, the most common assumption is that there was no pain relief at all. Here's a little secret though, not using medicinal pain relief, doesn't have mean no pain relief.
Not everyone responds the same way to the medications used and there can be many hours between when you start feeling surges to when you are able to have medicinal pain relief, like an epidural. Your birth may also be progressing so quickly there isn't time to use certain types of medicinal pain relief so knowing a few alternatives to managing discomfort and pain is very beneficial and highly recommended.
Being able to stay as comfortable as possible for as long as possible makes for a much more enjoyable experience. Here's a list of non-medicinal pain relief tips for staying comfortable during your birth:
2. Presence of a good support team
4. Massage and touch
7. Increasing birthing hormones naturally with touch, intimacy and dimly lit/dark spaces
8. Birthing environment you feel safe in
13. Spinning Babies techniques
14. Sitting/bouncing/circling/resting on a birthing ball
15. Warmth/heat from a heating bag
When combined, these techniques can be very powerful and effective! The more you know, the more flexible you can be during your birthing time, quite possibly even eliminating the need for medicinal pain relief all together.
Keep an open mind as even though you may love something during your pregnancy, you may hate it during your birthing and vice versa. I encourage you to look over the list and pick a few things that stand out or resonate well with you and dive deeper into how they work. The more confident you feel using different techniques, the more easily accessible they will be when your surges start, regardless of what you choose later on.
The next time a conversation focuses around pain relief in reference to birth experiences, instead of focusing simply on whether or not medicinal pain relief was used, ask these 3 questions:
1. How did you stay comfortable during each phase of your birthing?
2. Were you happy with how this worked for you?
3. Is there anything you would do differently?
Maybe you will be given some great tips you can add to this list!
My Birth Flow Birth Preparation Class discusses how to use all of these comfort techniques and includes my own hypnosis scripts for pregnancy and birth! Get in touch if you would like my guidance and support in how to use these techniques during your birthing time for a comfortable and empowered birth.