Natural Ways to Manage Labor
At Birthways Family Birth Center, we are advocates for natural childbirth. Natural childbirth is a vaginal birth with little to no intervention or use of traditional pain medications. It is important to keep in mind that there is no “right way” to give birth. The “ideal birth” is what you decide it is within the bounds of safety. We provide our clients with evidence-based knowledge so they can choose what is best for their birth.
If you have chosen to have a natural birth and are wondering how you can manage the discomforts of labor, there are natural ways to help women ride the waves of contraction and labor.
Hydrotherapy is the practice of using water during labor to provide comfort and promote relaxation and pain relief. Sitting in water provides the woman ease of movement, reduces blood pressure, and increases blood flow in the body resulting in more oxygen to both you and your baby. When you’re able to release tension in your body you release endorphins and oxytocin which helps contractions flow and pain diminish. You can use a shower, a tub, or a birth pool.
Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils from plants in order to enhance your well-being. Essential oils are holistic treatments that can help stimulate areas of your limbic system, which is an important part of your brain that affects emotions, behaviors, sense of smell, and long-term memory. Because of this, aromatherapy may decrease anxiety and tension in the body and help ease labor pains. Essential oils can be used in baths, diffusers, and even massaged onto your skin. However, like any medicine, cosmetic or topical product, everyone’s skin is different and may respond to essential oil treatment differently, so it is always important to talk to your care provider before use.
Touch therapy is exactly what it sounds like, it is the power of touch! People use massage all the time to help relax muscles and to ease aches and pains. By giving the body pleasant sensations, we can help counteract the painful ones. During labor, a doula or partner can provide different types of pressure to help like lower back massage, smooth strokes, counter pressure, and hip squeezes.
Having a baby is a special time in a family’s life, and your midwives at Birthways Family Birth Center would be honored to be part of your experience and help you throughout your birth journey. To set up an appointment, send us a message!