Birth: 30 Comfort Measures to Ease Labor Pain

Comfort measures are strategies designed to help you cope with the pain of labor. A good childbirth preparation class should teach you an assortment of ways to cope, as will many books.

What are some common comfort measures?
Environment:
-- dim lights
-- peaceful surroundings
-- privacy
-- warmth
-- music

Physical:
-- walking
-- pelvic rocking
-- positioning pillows for comfort
-- slow dancing with partner
-- sitting on birth ball and swaying
-- lifting up the abdomen

Touch:
-- massage
-- stroking
-- cuddling
-- counterpressure against lower back
-- acupressure

Heat:
-- deep tub bath
-- shower
-- heated rice sock on groin or back

Cold:
-- ice packs on lower back
-- cool cloth to wipe face

Cognitive:
-- visualization
-- affirmation
-- focusing on the breath
-- structured breathing patterns
-- non-focused awareness (paying attention to everything you see, hear, feel, smell without focusing on any)
-- prayer

Aromatherapy

Vocalizing: moaning and groaning

Labor companion: The continuous presence of an experienced woman can reduce the use of pain medication in general and epidurals in particular (3). The presence of male partners, however desirable, doesn’t seem to have this effect (7).

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