Tension and fatigue tend to increase labour pain. A combination of meditation with breathing techniques and acupressure or reflexology massage will help speed labour, ease muscle tension and reduce the pain.

  • Many women have discovered that being immersed in water can be comforting in labour. Lying in warm water increases venous pressure promoting the return of blood to the heart more efficiently. It also enhances cardiac action and slows the pulse rate. Total relaxation in the warmth and comfort of a bath may also help the uterus to contract more effectively. Water counteracts the force of gravity and any pressure women may feel against her back and buttocks, and also reduces pressure felt from inside the body.
  • Reflexology uses pressure points on the feet to help induce labour and numb pain. The point located in the natural depression on the inside of the ankle helps the uterus prepare for birth. In the final month of pregnancy, you or your partner can massage and press into this point.
  • In preparation for childbirth, drink raspberry leaf tea daily. Raspberry leaf is a reproductive tonic specific to pregnancy and childbirth. It helps control bleeding, and is high in calcium and magnesium and helps strengthen and calm uterine muscles.
  • Nettle is a pregnancy tonic and supports the uterus, kidneys and urinary tract, strengthens blood vessels and is useful for cramps and painful childbirth.
  • Hot towels used as a compress helps ease pain.
  • Jasmine is the aromatherapy essential oil prized for bringing on labour and easing pain, best applied in a massage base oil or used in hot compresses during childbirth. Blended with rose and/or neroli, this makes divine massage oil.
  • Use the Bach Flower essence Rescue Remedy or the Australian Bush Flower Emergency Essence in the weeks leading up to the birth and hourly during labour.
  • Arnica taken in tablet form in the week leading up to the birth will help in pain control and recovery. It relieves bruising to tissue and muscle. Take 30c potency once a day.
  • Massage on the lower back and sacrum eases pain. The reproductive system receives blood and nerve supply from lumber 3 and lumbar 4.
  • Acupuncture is known to not only relieve pain and stress but also strengthen contractions and shorten the duration of labour.
  • Self help acupressure points: Spleen 6, Bladder 32, Kidney 3, Bladder 67, Bladder 23, Gall Bladder 21, Stomach 36 (While these points are useful in preparation for labour, AVOID all these points in the first eight months of pregnancy).
  • Meditation promotes a clear and focussed mind.
  • Breathing is one of the most effective forms of pain control.
  • Studies have found that sexual intercourse during the last few weeks of pregnancy can help soften the cervix in preparation for labour.
  • Breast and nipple stimulation can also produce a strongly contracting womb and is sometimes encouraged to restart a labour that has stalled.
  • Clitoral stimulation is cited as an effective method of pain relief during labour. While the hospital delivery room may not be the most practical place to trial this method, it can be useful at home in the early stages of labour.
  • Prostaglandin’s are fatty acids made naturally in the body and are found in semen in a higher proportion than anywhere else in the human body. Women secrete prostaglandins during the latter stages of pregnancy both to soften the connective tissue of the cervix and increase oxytocin production in the muscle cells of the womb in preparation for labour. Synthetic prostaglandin gel is often used to soften the cervix and womb to induce labour. Many medical professionals recommend sex during the last few weeks of pregnancy for these reasons.

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