This quick list of natural pain relief tips is easy to print out and keep in your hospital bag or with your birth supplies. These ideas are safe for birth. Review the list periodically before your labor begins so you'll have an idea of what to do as things pick up in intensity. Underline or highlight your favorites for your birth partner!
Choose a care provider and birth place that gives you freedom in labor and plenty of support.
Practice relaxation during pregnancy.
Use affirmations and visualization during pregnancy.
Choose labor companions who will support and encourage you – consider a doula.
Read inspiring birth stories during pregnancy.
Labor at home as long as possible.
Make your location as comfortable as possible.
Have it warm and dark.
Bring comforts of home to the hospital or birth center.
Go about your daily routine during early labor – sleep if it's night.
Eat and drink as you need to.
Move. Walk inside or outside, use a birth ball, slow dance, walk stairs – movement helps.
Focus on softening and relaxing your pelvic muscles – this helps you open.
Play music that you love, that helps you move deeper into labor, or that soothes you.
Stand and bear down on low support, or pull on a soft rope support if it helps.
Be grateful that you'll be meeting your baby soon. Be grateful for your attendants.
Vocalize -use deep, open moans. Relax your jaw. This relaxes your bottom.
Know that you can do this.
Visualize your body opening and your baby moving down.
Keep peeing. This gets you moving and some women like laboring on the toilet.
Try aromatherapy. Massage with essential oils in a carrier oil can be helpful.
Have an attendant use counter-pressure for strong back labor, but stay active in helping your baby turn.
Use a hot sock, rice sock, or aromatherapy stuffed animal to apply moist heat.
Use cool washcloths or a frozen hot sock, rice sock, or aromatherapy animal for cold.
Get in the shower.
Get into a tub of warm water.
Have an attendant give you a massage on your legs, or anywhere that feels good.
Don't try to escape the pain – embrace it, go with it. Explore it, be curious about it, if it helps.
Feel the love of those around you.
Talk to your baby.
Look in the eyes of your support team.
Do what your body tells you to do.
(NOTE: Want Real Mom Tested Techniques for Handling Labor Pain? Use these 11 proven natural childbirth techniques to handle labor and keep things moving right along. Get them here.)