The goal of most of the other measures is to help you relax, as this is the most important thing you can do to be more comfortable.
  • Birthing muscles relax.
  • Raises pain threshold.
  • Conserves energy, reducing exhaustion.
  • Passive relaxation can be done by yourself.
  • Touch relaxation has been shown to make a laboring woman less anxious and better able to cope with contractions.
Breathing Helps you relax. Slow deep breathing and vocalization usually works best.
Focusing Keeps your mind focused so you have decreased ability to recognize pain signals. You can focus inwardly or outwardly.
Position Changes
  • Helps relieve nerve & joint irritation.
  • Upright positions use gravity to speed labor.
The more positions you try, the more comfortable you will be and easier your labor will progress.
Support Labor can be very tiring, support people can give you a boost. Helps the most when there is help give more than one support person.
Meditation Clears your mind of disturbing thoughts and fills it with pleasant & calming thoughts. Scripture can be wonderful to meditate on during labor.
  • Visualizing normal progress helps insure it.
  • You may also visualize yourself in a different place to help you relax more.
Rehearsing beforehand will make it more effective during labor.
Whatever music is soothing to you, but consider your birthing team also.
  • Helps your body to “go with the flow”.
  • Fills mind with pleasant sensations rather than painful ones.
  • Mellows whole environment and birthing team.
Studies show that moms usingmusic during labor need less pain medication.

  • As deep as possible.
  • Start whenever you feel discomfort.
  • Especially useful for back labor.
  • DO NOT submerge yourself in water after your bag of waters break, use shower only from that point on.
  • Supports muscles and bones, leaving more energy for the uterus.
  • Causes relation of thigh, back, abdominal, and birthing passage muscles.
  • Allows for surrender of body & mind that is not possible outside of water.
  • Bombards the nervous system with pleasant sensations, grid-locking the pathway for pain sensations to travel.
  • Research shows that laboring in water is safe.
  • Shorter, easier labors.
  • C-Section rate 1/3 less than women with the same risk factors.
  • Moms with high blood pressure showed a dramatic reduction in BP within minutes of immersing in the water.
  • Cervical dilation was twice as fast for those in water.
  • Decent of babies was twice as fast for those in water.
  • Mothers reported feeling less pain – more gain for less pain.
IV Pain Medication and Epidurals Provides immediate pain relief and relaxation so you can rest.
  • Because it may slow or stop labor progression, it is not recommended for use in early labor.