Thursday, October 13, 2011

homebirth preparation: helps for labor

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I've mentioned that I've been doing lots of reading in preparation for labor.

One of the things all this reading does for me is reinforce the things that can help me cope with labor.

One of my favorite books this time around has been The Birth Partner because it puts everything so concisely together, and even has a cheat sheet for comfort measures, positions, and movements to help with labor.

Other books to which I frequently refer are Sheila Kitzinger's The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth, The Pregnancy Book by Dr. Sears, and Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide by Penny Simkin.  (No, I'm not an Amazon Affiliate.)

For my birth binder, I compiled a list of things that I think would be most effective for me, based on my previous births.

Pain relief:

  • Accupressure - 2 points on feet, 2 points on lower back
  • water - bath or shower
  • hot water bottle
  • rolling pin on back
  • cold pack
  • pelvic rocks
  • "hula hips" - moving hips in a circle, standing, leaning over, on birth ball

Comfort during labor: (These may not directly relieve pain, but they can help with relaxation.)

  • rub or shake thighs vigourously
  • massage - feet, hands, head, back
  • music/singing
  • rescue remedy drops
  • liquid calcium

Positions to help aid decent: (Vertical/upright is good!)

  • See the pages marked in the book!
  • birth ball - sitting, leaning
  • hang on sheet from door (as in, something firmly attached allowing me to dangle freely)
  • squats
  • side lunges
  • walking
  • abdominal lifts

And of course, my reminders:

  • Drink fluids (just found a recipe for laborade in my Dr. Sears "The Pregnancy Book)
  • go pee! often!
  • change positions
  • rest between contractions
  • take pictures!
I know that there are lots, and lots, AND LOTS of different pain relief techniques, comfort measures, and positions/movements out there to help women cope with labor and birth.  What are your favorite "natural" or non-pain medication options? 


Healthy Educator said...

Hi, I write a blog about vitamins, nutrition, and other random health topics at
I really like the articles you've posted about having an easier birth. I see so many women who do almost nothing to prepare for labor. I think if they did exercises like you, ate right, and stayed hydrated, labor would go a lot smoother. It's amazing how many complications could have been avoided if women just took the time to learn more about labor and home birth.

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