Learn comfort techniques and learn why they work. Cognitive strategies include education, visualization, affirmations, and choosing to view pain as a positive sign of labor progress. Gate Control techniques work by focusing your attention on something pleasant (like music, a beautiful view or aromatherapy) instead of focusing on the labor pain – this blocks pain signals from reaching the brain, so you’ll experience less pain. Counter-irritants include things like biting your lip – a pain you control – to help make the pain you can’t control feel more manageable. And body mechanics involves using position, movement and massage to encourage baby to move into the best position to help labor to progress and be less painful. Here’s a printable handout that summarizes comfort techniques for labor.
[Transcription of episode and checklist of comfort measures available at https://transitiontoparenthood.wordpress.com/for-parents/labor-and-birth/comfort-techniques-for-labor/]