Labor Tools to Get You Comfortable
By Jessie Trichell
Let’s get clear on the subject of labor. It is not comfortable, and it will probably be painful for you. However, with the right mindset and tools it is possible for it to be more comfortable. I do believe that with the right labor tools, you can have a wonderful experience. An experience that will leave you pleasantly satisfied.
Before birth you will want to determine ahead of time what tools you might want to use. This will be different for everyone. However, these five tools listed below are commonly used for birthing mothers.
1. Pillows, pillows, and more pillows
The first thing you want to grab is your pillow and every other pillow you have laying around your house. I believe you can NEVER have enough pillows. They will help you get comfortable through labor. It’s rare that a hospital will have enough pillows for you during your labor. They’ll be placed anywhere you might need it. You might even need one to throw at your partner when they fall asleep! (True story, I did it!) Bring the extra pillows!
2. Massage tools
Everyone will tell you to relax. You will get sick of hearing this, so I recommend you find a way to relax ahead of time. In labor, you’re tired, in pain, temperamental, and emotional, so you might be ready to bite someone’s head off. If you’re willing to spend the money, I recommend a massage tool to have during your labor process.
The reason is it will help you loosen up and relax. It can be used on your feet, neck, and around your lower back, which is where you’re likely to have much discomfort during labor. There will be a time where you do not want a device touching you, but until it gets unbearable, make use of it.
3. Focal point
Distractions happen. Often, those distractions can make focusing in active labor or delivery difficult. A tip I have is to have a focal point within the room to watch while you’re pushing. If you are the type of person that gets easily distracted, then you want to have an object that can act as your physical focus point. It can be as simple as a spot on the wall. As a doula, I recommend any object that is small and portable, like an LED light that can be held by your partner or placed by your bed. Keep it simple and don’t overthink this part of your delivery. Focusing will help you get through your contractions.
4. Tools to relax
When you are in labor, your body will want to tense up from the pain. Do not allow this to happen. Instead, find a way to relax your body through the tension.
It is great to have a technique already in place so you are prepared for the pain that comes with your delivery. Great tools to use are a portable fan, squeeze ball, an oil diffuser, and headphones help you during this phase of your delivery. Whatever you do, just make sure the only tight part of your body is where the contraction is taking place. This means that the baby is getting into position. Do not rush this process!
5. Yoga balls
The most widely used comfort tools to help laboring women are yoga or peanut balls and a rebozo. These are great if you know what you are doing and have been comfortable using them throughout your pregnancy.
Don’t assume you will just jump on a yoga ball if you have never bounced before the delivery. These are tools you should equip yourself with before labor. Get to understand and explore how these tools can be used to help you get comfortable during labor. Also, it is helpful to find a local doula to show you laboring positions while using these tools.
Okay, are you ready to have this baby?! Don’t forget: the most important tool you can give yourself is grace. The grace to understand things may not go as you had planned. The grace for imperfections to come up. The grace to allow your baby to do most of the work. The grace to be a willing vessel. Grace, my friend. That is what will get you through the delivery of your beautiful child.