Comfort Measures for Labor

Is imagery right for you?
You can use your mind to help relax your body. With imagery, you form a mental picture -- such as a favorite setting -- that helps create feelings of relaxation, calmness and security. You might imagine feeling the warmth of the sun on your face and the cooling of a gentle breeze on your body. Once you have a detailed image in mind, it may be helpful to share it with your partner, who can help you in labor by describing it to you.

During labor you can also use imagery to picture your cervix opening and your baby moving down through the pelvis and birth canal

Meditation
Many women relax by focusing on an object, picture, sound or activity. Some use total silence; others prefer music. You can also make up your own mantra or use a prayer or a poem. If you meditate often, you may find that tuning in to your body or your breathing rhythm will work very well for you.

Attention Focusing
Focusing on a task, such as relaxing and breathing through a contraction, may help reduce your perception of pain. You can also use the concept of being present in the moment, meaning totally focusing on what you're doing right then. You can practice this skill by focusing on a single thought, object or sound. Start by trying to maintain your focus for just a few seconds in a quiet place without having your mind wander. Try for 30 seconds, then for one to two minutes. Then move to a noisy area to practice.

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