8 Natural Ways Women Can Manage Pain During Labor (PHOTOS)

birthThe pain of labor is something that we have been trying to manage for women since the dawn of time. Whether it was cool rags on the forehead of a laboring woman or a stick to bite down on, helping women ride the contractions and make it through to the other side when they are holding their baby has long been the subject of research.

For many women, pain management really just means getting the epidural as soon as humanly possible. And that's fine. But for others who want to experience all the pain of labor without medication, there are other ways to manage and mitigate it without the use of drugs.

The Stir spoke exclusively with Lacreshia Laningham, a massage therapist and doula, as well as Jenny Skoog, who is a pre- and postnatal fitness trainer, birth coach, childbirth educator, and star of Pushing It. See their ideas for natural labor pain management for women below:

How did you manage labor pain?


Image via eyeliam/Flickr

labor & delivery, labor start slideshow


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Senia... Seniahmom

The best pain management advice I was given was to try to break the bed railing. Two hands on one which got me slightly on my side which was so much better than on my back. The root of it is focus - I was so focused on whether or not I could actually break it that it helped channel some of that pain. I highly recommend

MamaD... MamaDV1012

I bounced on a giant rubber exercise ball and when the contractions came on I punched the air rhythmically until they subsided.  It looked really stupid but it kept my mind focused and was extremely effective.  :)

caleb... calebsmama12312

This was a helpful article. I was young when I had my son & I just basically did everything the drs told me. I had epidural at around 5 cm & it did not work at all. I was having contractions upwards of 5mins long & it was excrutiating. I definitely don't want an epidural with my next child so I'll look into these methods for sure.

Jeanna Hale

Manage pain not control it

wishf... wishfulgal

When I was pregnant with my daughter, my husband and I did not attend any prepared childbirth classes. When we got to the hospital, the nurse told my husband his only job was to tell me when he saw my big toe tense up and remind me to relax it. I spent so much of my hard laboring trying to make my big toe relax that I stopped focusing on the spine-straightening contractions I was feeling right on top of one antother.

For my son's delivery, I used the TENS machine at the recommendation of a client of mine. It was awesome for back labor. But he was 11 lbs,11 ozs and I felt like I came close to breaking the bed railing a few times during his delivery. I didn't stop screaming for the last 45 minutes of the process.  

Showers worked wonderfully during the transition phase in both cases. I also stayed on my feet for the majority of my laboring with both of them.



Ginger Garner

As a maternal health physical therapist I teach yoga techniques, combined with physical therapy, for labor pain management. They are evidence-based (supported by science) and work quite well. I wish that your list would have included these two modalities.

nonmember avatar susan

I had all three natural. I just talked to my self in my head i told my self to relax amd i focused on where i could feel the baby. I listened to my body. I pushed when my body tenses and relaxed when it wasnt. The docters and nurses were amazed about how in control i was. I dont belive in the medices it not natural or healthy for the baby.

Bethe' Smith

Don't forget your doula! We have lots of "tricks" that will help women. :D

Mayla Moore

Water is awesome! I had two of my babies in that exact tub!

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