Comfort Measures for Labor

You're embarking on an adventure that's both new and ageless. Countless women before you have been where you are now, contemplating how to work with their bodies to bring forth new life. Your preparation for this adventure will involve attending Lamaze classes, selecting who'll be with you and becoming aware of what you can do to make yourself more comfortable. You'll learn to change your strategy, position and environment and to use your body to ease your baby's journey into the world.

Take charge of your own labor by choosing the comfort measures that will work best for you.

Choose Your Environment
As you look at the rooms in the place where you'll give birth, think about how you can create an environment that will help you feel comfortable and confident. You'll need space to move around in freely as you try various birthing positions. The temperature of your room, lighting, pillows and kinds of furniture will affect how you feel. A favorite nightgown, throw or pillow will give you the scent of home. Having pictures and music that you enjoy at your birthplace can help you relax.

Seek Emotional Support
Think carefully about whom you'll invite to share in your labor. Women with continuous, nurturing care and support give birth more easily, so the people you choose must be supportive of your beliefs and plans for labor and must be able to convey to you a calm, competent, reassuring presence. You may decide to have a professional support person, or doula, join you and your partner during labor and birth.

As labor progresses, you'll find that your emotions alternate between needing encouragement and feeling confident. It's important that you communicate your needs to the people around you and that they listen to you and are ready, willing and able to do whatever it takes to help you feel strong and capable.

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