How to Handle Labor Pain from Doulas Who Know!
What is the thing most people worry about when it comes to birth?
And who better to learn from about how to handle labor pain than an experienced doula. We asked some of our beloved doula trainers for their thoughts and we are thrilled to share their wisdom with you.
Birth can be amazing. These tips on how to handle labor pain from doulas who know can help!
Heat can help you relax during labor and can come from a variety of sources: a heating pad, a heated rice sock, a warm shower, a bath, or even a warmed towel. Everyone, pregnant or not, has probably experienced the soothing power of heat for optimizing relaxation. Placing your heat source on your low back or over your pubic bone feels amazing during labor. If you aren’t using heat to facilitate relaxation, you are missing out.
Every pregnant woman needs to move often to stay comfortable. This truism is even more real during the intensity of labor and birth. Position changes and the freedom to sway and rock with the waves of labor increases relaxation and decreases pain. Get up, sway those hips, move around, go for a walk, and find what works for you.
Trust Your Endorphins
Endorphins are almost magical. These hormones can have a pain-relieving effect, but sometimes it takes a minute or two for them to kick in. Even if you are really struggling, let yourself handle a few more contractions and let those endorphins do their job. Often, the birth mom keeps on rolling and forgets she was struggling. Endorphins do work in a safe environment, so trust them, wait for them, and let them wash over you.
Hire a DOULA!
Of course, a group of doulas would recommend this, but can we blame them?! It’s true. Doulas really do help YOU handle labor pain. Their presence, knowledge, hands, and support have an effect that can seem otherworldly. That’s why so many sing the praises of their doula after the birth.
Doula trainer Jillian Freeland puts it perfectly:
“When a woman feels safe and supported she can find a tender place of relaxation that allows her to trust her support team and trust her body. When she finds that place, she no longer worries about the time or what is happening around her, she becomes fully engaged and in tune with her body and is able to ride the waves of labor patiently until her baby is in her arms. It is an amazingly beautiful thing to watch!!!”
Optimal relaxation is best achieved when practiced repeatedly before the birth with the support of a partner who will be there. Practice makes the things you learn permanent in your mind and body. A doula simply helps facilitate all of this magic.
Shake it Out
One fabulous way to relax is a method we call “shake it out.” This can help you let go of tension beyond just trying to “relax” on your own. A doula can use a tool like a rebozo or her hands to gently jiggle mama’s hips or belly. This makes it near impossible to hold on to tension in the back, belly, and bottom, the places we tend to tense up when we are busy birthing. This isn’t a complex move, but it sure does help to have someone around who is aware of how to make it happen.
When it comes to birth, fear doesn’t help you handle labor pain. Knowledge and support from fabulous people who are on your team do. We wish you an amazing birth experience with your partner and doula!
Tell us, what are your favorite tips for handling labor pain?
A big thank you to our incredible doula trainers, Hailie Wolfe and Jillian Freeland for their thoughts and wisdom. You can find a doula training with them or any of our doula trainers here.