30 Comfort Measures to Ease Labor Pain
by Henci Goer
Comfort measures are strategies designed to help you cope with the pain of labor. A good childbirth preparation class should teach you an assortment of ways to cope, as will many books.
What are some common comfort measures?
— dim lights
— peaceful surroundings
— pelvic rocking
— positioning pillows for comfort
— slow dancing with partner
— sitting on birth ball and swaying
— lifting up the abdomen
— counterpressure against lower back
— deep tub bath
— heated rice sock on groin or back
— ice packs on lower back
— cool cloth to wipe face
— focusing on the breath
— structured breathing patterns
— non-focused awareness (paying attention to everything you see, hear, feel, smell without focusing on any)
Vocalizing: moaning and groaning
Labor companion: The continuous presence of an experienced woman can reduce the use of pain medication in general and epidurals in particular (3). The presence of male partners, however desirable, doesn’t seem to have this effect (7).