Tennis Ball massage, counter pressure, aromatherapy, these are all commonly suggested comfort measures we recommend and see often as birth doulas within a labor room.
But did you know, there’s so. much. more comfort to be had? Often, that comfort comes from possibly surprising sources!
Birthing people are amazing at their ability to creatively cope in labor. Each time we support a Triangle-area family, we witness a birthing person lean into their instincts and find comfort in ways that we would never (or could never) have thought of ourselves!
Here are our top three, maybe surprising (but maybe not!), comfort measures which birthing families have taught us over the years:
Yes, often birthing people will utilize hydrotherapy in birth; however most often it’s in the form of a bathtub. Don’t get us wrong here, the bath is ah. maz. ing. Truly. And it does wonders for bringing pain relief.
But don’t discount the shower, either! This is especially important if your birthing facility doesn’t have bathtubs, or if it’s busy on the L&D floor, and there are no tub rooms available when you arrive.
The shower can provide powerful pain relief and, similarly to a TENS unit, can provide distraction therapy as a coping technique. Plus, most hospital and birth center shower nozzles are flexible and have a long hose, enabling your birth support team to position or move the shower spray around your back, or focus it’s pressure on a specific point of discomfort.
One of the most potent forms of comfort you can bring to your birth space won’t fit into your hospital bag. (In fact, they’ll probably be the one carrying that bag for you!)
Enter: Your partner!
Utilize your sense of touch, and get to snuggling! Holding hands, cuddling, making out like teenagers, or even just having your beloved close by you in labor can promote a feeling of safety and security. Plus, having all those lovey-dovey vibes helps get your body’s own oxytocin flowing freely (a important hormone in labor!).
Don’t have partner or don’t want them up in your face during birth? That’s okay too! Surrounding yourself with or having a close friend, trusted family member, or your doula team in the room are all great stand-ins for maximizing your sense of touch and relaxation.
Roar that baby out!
Birthing people make pretty distinct sounds in labor (and yes, we mean beyond the creative use of colorful language and cursing!). Good labor progress sounds a lot like, well … it sounds a lot like good sex.
Don’t be afraid to let it out if that feels natural and good for you.
You might be surprised at the level of comfort a good moan or roar can bring! Utilizing low tones for moaning and vocalizing can also help to relax your pelvic floor, making your baby’s descent a little easier for you both.
What were some surprising comfort measures you uncovered during your baby’s arrival?
Comfort Measures are just one of the many topics we cover during our monthly Community Prenatal Meetings with clients. Community Prenatals are an excellent chance for clients to dig deeper into relevant topics, get curious about their options, and begin to build connections to their doulas and their community.
Contact us today if you’d like to find out how you can become a client and take advantage of these special, and unique-to-Emerald Doulas opportunities!