The soothing properties of a warm whirlpool tub can help relax expectant mothers and decrease the need for pain medication. And if you use candles or essential oils to destress at home, consider using aromatherapy, like lavender oil, during labor to reap the same benefits.
Changing your position also can help move labor along. Whether it’s sitting, walking or switching sides, before receiving an epidural, try to change your position often to ensure labor progresses.
Audio analgesia, or using music, white noise or environmental sounds like waves crashing, boosts mood, reduces anxiety and stress, and can lessen pain during labor. Remember to load some soothing sounds on your smartphone in preparation.
You’ve seen them in nearly every comedy featuring a pregnancy plot but breathing techniques actually do relieve tension and provide a helpful distraction during labor. Use rhythmic breathing like Lamaze exercises during contractions to lessen your pain.
Don’t fear the needle. Some patients are concerned that having an epidural means that they won’t have a vaginal delivery. The reality is that that type of anesthesia doesn’t increase your risk of having a C-section and can lead to a much less uncomfortable labor.