Pain Relief & Comfort Measures
I am trained and skilled in providing you with every option available to you for pain relief and comfort measures. I am committed to giving you the best guidance and support during your labor and birth. Choosing to give birth unmedicated, at home or at a birth center, does not mean that you are without pain relief options. There are many options for non-medicinal comfort measures that I may assist with including:
Water has many benefits during labor. You may choose to utilize the shower, bath or birth pool. Water gives a sense of control as the birthing mother occupies her warm, private space. Water-birth is protective against tearing and episiotomies (in the cases where water-birth is not possible, a hot compress on the perineum may work similarly). Hydrotherapy is safe, effective for pain management and may reduce blood pressure. Mothers also experience an ease of movement with greater mobility due to buoyancy
For more information on water-birth:
Aromatherapy can be used hand-in-hand with other tools to benefit the user. Studies show that using essential oils to help manage labor pain is affordable, noninvasive and does not have any documented cases of harm.
Nutrition & hydration
Pregnant women need consistent nutrition and hydration. This does not change during labor. Depriving a laboring mother can lead to dehydration, fatigue, exhaustion. Several professional organizations recommend that low-risk birthing people eat or drink as they desire during labor including The World Health Organization (WHO) and The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) (Providing Oral Nutrition to Women in Labor,” 2016)
For more information on nutrition during labor: https://evidencebasedbirth.com/evidence-eating-drinking-labor/
Homeopathy is a 200-year-old practice is based on the concept of ‘like cures like’, using very diluted plant extracts to prompt the body's own healing processes into action and accelerate recovery. Homeopathic remedies are exceptionally safe and without side effects, which is why 95% of pharmacists in France recommend homeopathy during pregnancy.
Pregnant women tend to avoid medication except when absolutely necessary, which offers homeopathy a special advantage. It is a gentle yet effective remedy for many common ailments during childbearing years.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
A TENS machine works by sending mild electrical impulses to sticky pads on your lower back. These impulses stimulate nerves that run to the spinal cord and block the transmission of pain. One recent study that compared TENS to injectable opioids found that TENS relieved pain just as well as the injectable opioids, but without causing side effects for the mothers and babies. So far, researchers have not reported any bad side effects on mothers or babies from using TENS during labor
For more information on TENS:
Therapeutic massage has been used for centuries to improve overall health, reduce stress, and relieve muscle tension. Research shows prenatal massage therapy can help reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health.
Massage during labor may be used to loosen tight muscles and ligaments to allow baby to work their way through the pelvis.
According to the gate control theory of pain, there are two pathways that transmit both painful and pleasurable stimuli to your brain. Your brain can only feel the pathway that is sending the bigger, faster signals. When you are having a contraction, pain is the pathway that you feel. You can work to override the pain signals with other sensations. One way to do this is by using a birthing comb! You hold the comb with the teeth touching your palm. When you feel a contraction coming, close your fist around the comb and let the teeth press into your palm. Use as much or as little pressure as you like.
Position changes & assistance
Changing positions not only helps women cope with labor sensations; upright positions use gravity to bring the baby down, whereas changing position frequently moves the bones of the pelvis, helping the baby find the best fit. Birthing upright supplies a greater oxygen supply to your baby, increases pelvic space by 30%, shorter labor and a higher rate of satisfaction with the birth!
Heat & ice therapy
Heat and cold are two very common tools that are utilized during labor. Heat can help the muscles relax, and both heat and cold can act as a nerve distractor because it provides a new sensation, which can reduce the intensity of contractions. Sometimes you may get chills in labor. Heat can help warm you in labor and reduce feeling anxious. Alternatively, you may feel hot, sweaty and overwhelmed during transition. Ice can help to cool you, calm you and allow you to feel grounded.
Counter-pressure consists of steady, strong force applied during contractions. using the heel of the hand, or pressure on the side of each hip using both hands. The two main techniques involve either a hip squeeze or sacral pressure counter-pressure helps alleviate back pain during labor, especially in those women experiencing “back labor.”
Hypnosis for birth teaches you to use deep breathing, relaxation, visualization, and affirmations or hypnosis scripts. They replace negative, painful labor and delivery associations with positive, confident ones.
During pregnancy, mothers practice these techniques and utilize them throughout labor. The available evidence suggests that self-hypnosis may be helpful for women in labor. Hypnosis for pain relief seems to be especially helpful when combined with water immersion during labor
Acupuncture may be used to relieve common pregnancy discomforts such as nausea, back pain and stress or anxiety. It may be used to help soften and dilate the cervix when the body is ready.Regardless of your birth plan acupuncture has a positive impact on your body, acupuncture is beneficial at any stage of pregnancy from first trimester up until the 3rd trimester, your body is continually changing adjusting to hormones and the uterus as it grows and expands to help support the growth of your baby.
Nitrous Oxide, AKA "Laughing Gas" is an inhaled anesthetic gas that may help reduce anxiety and make mothers less aware of contractions, but does not eliminate them. A common side effect is dizziness, nausea and vomiting. Some women report that they did not notice a differnce in the sensations with or without it.
Sterile water injections*
Sterile water injections involve tiny amounts of sterile water being injected into the skin around your lower back (sacrum). These injections may provide effective relief for women with back pain/pressure in labor and the effect can last for up to two hours. Administration may cause an intense burning sensation for some patients. Most often this subsides quickly and is followed by relief.
Webster Certified Chiropractors specialize in pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Chiropractic care will properly align the pelvis so the baby has enough room to come out naturally and reduce the amount of time in labor. Chiropractic care can also help relieve some of the everyday symptoms experienced during pregnancy, like nausea, morning sickness, and fatigue.