15 Options for Natural Pain Relief During Labor and Childbirth

Want a natural birth? Get natural pain relief during labor with these easy tips.

You’ve decided to have a vaginal birth!

Are you feeling worried or anxious? Is your stomach forming knots each time you think about giving birth? Do you question whether you’ve even made the right decision to have a natural childbirth?

When I became pregnant, I had always envisioned a natural birth. It is what my mom did when she had me and my sister and it is what all my aunts talked about once I became pregnant.

I ended up having twins, however, and it ended up being a high-risk pregnancy. I had to have a c-section delivery.

While I can’t tell you giving birth won’t hurt, I want to share one thing I find a little surprising when I learned about vaginal delivery.

More than a handful of women who have had natural childbirth experiences with no medication have testified they would do it the same way next time!

Truthfully, the pain relief during labor is different for each woman depending on their labor pain. And the “events” that cause labor to either progress or slow down vary from woman to woman.

Some women discover their labor pain is almost identical to that of their menstrual cycle while others have it a bit more intense.

It’s also been said that in many cases, the more children you have, the faster you deliver. It’s not the golden rule, but it stands true for some. So there is a bright side if you choose to look at it that way. 🙂

Now, let’s have a look at 15 easy methods for natural pain relief, mama!

Natural Pain Relief for Vaginal Births

1. Take a Childbirth Class

Each woman and birthing experience are vastly different, but some of the same core skills can be applied to make your experience closer to what you want it to be. By taking a childbirth class, you can learn anything from breathing techniques to positions that ease pain during active labor.

If you have vehicle restrictions or just like the thought of taking a course at home from your couch, there are online childbirth classes just for you and even for your partner!

  • Mama Natural Birth Course is by far the BEST natural birthing course out there! With practice videos, teaching videos and a private Facebook group community, it will dispel any fears you may have on the pain associated with labor and childbirth.
  • Online Prenatal Class for Couples is geared for you and your partner. It goes through different methods of giving birth and can give you a wealth of information on giving birth and the process of labor stages.
  • Supporting Her is for your partner, but both of you can benefit from taking this online birth course.

For more great childbirth classes you can take online, check out my review on the top 6 childbirth online classes.

2. Get a Doula

A doula is someone who is trained to assist women during childbirth. She provides support throughout the labor process and is you and your baby’s biggest advocate (after your husband of course!).

Having a doula can mean less pain because you’ll be more relaxed.

What’s the Difference Between a Doula and a Midwife?

While a doula is at your side during labor to offer you help from more of a coaching and supportive standpoint, a midwife is an actual licensed healthcare provider.

A midwife can deliver your baby in a hospital, a birthing center, or in your own home. Also, she’s able to administer treatment and perform minor surgery (stitching) in case there are any tears.

A midwife does the hands-on part of delivering your baby and making sure you’re physically okay and healing well after delivery.

3. Use Water

It truly is the simple things that can help you ease the pain. Just good ol fashioned water! There are two ways warm water can relieve pain while you’re laboring:

Labor in the Tub

In most cases (perhaps depending on the country you live in) the hospital permits you to labor in the bathtub, but you cannot give birth in the bathtub. Still, it can help to relax your muscles and help to calm your body. Certainly worth a try when your contractions begin to intensify.

Water Birth

A water birth is one where you labor and deliver in a large birthing pool filled with warm water.  So yes, it’s just as it sounds – your baby is born under the water!

You can have a water birth in the hospital, at home, or at a birthing center. Some hospitals even encourage your husband to suit up in his swim shorts and hop in the tub with you. It can be more relaxing and comfortable.

Plus, it can help with avoiding tearing during childbirth!

If you’re considering this, talk to the hospital as well as your doctor as there may be restrictions if you have pregnancy complications.

To help you see what a natural water birth experience can be in the home, check out this amazing video:

4. Use Soothing Music

The atmosphere of calm, soft music can help release any tension and get you relaxed. It also encourages natural breathing rhythms.

Using a waterproof portable speaker is perfect for when you’re in labor.

5. Try ASMR

ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response. In summary, it’s a physical tingly sensation that starts in your scalp and then moves down your spine. It can also be described by images or sounds that “trigger” you to relax.

For example, does the sound of light, gentle, raindrops falling onto metal make you want to go to sleep?

Or how about any of these sounds?

  • A soft gentle voice whispering softly
  • Tapping sounds
  • Pages turning
  • Typing on a keyboard

Sure, it may seem a bit odd to others who don’t have the same “triggers” as you. But your experience is about you and what makes you feel great! Youtube is full of asmr videos with all different trigger sounds.

6. Use Heat Packs

There’s stomach contractions, and then there’s back contractions. Heat packs can aid in relieving some of the upper and lower back pain during any one of your contraction stages. Place it directly on the pain area.

7. Get Movin’

Light exercising weeks before going into labor has its benefits. It helps with circulation, blood flow, and prepares you for labor.

If you can, stay as active as possible before active labor even starts. Hollywood movies always seem to portray pregnant women laying in bed from the time she’s admitted to the hospital until the time she delivers.

Yikes, this can actually extend the labor process and make things a bit more difficult in some cases. The more active you are, the more you engage baby and help him or her to transition down for you to begin pushing.

I know staying active is probably the last thing you want to do because all you really want is it get baby out!

But if you try, baby will thank you! Here are some great pregnancy exercises:

  • Hip circles (hula hoop motions)
  • Get on all fours and rock back and forth
  • Use a birthing ball
  • Take walks
  • Sway back and forth in a slow dancing position

8. Try Doing Upright Laboring

For centuries, women have had their babies in a stand-up position. Today, it’s far more common in the Western world for women to lay on their backs. But when you give birth upright, gravity becomes your new best friend!

You can lean on your partner, sway, moan while you move around. Sit in this moment and enjoy the process your body is getting ready for! You can do it mama!

9. Breathe During Labor

Focus on breathing in deeply. In through your nose and out through your mouth slowly. This type of breathing helps to relax your body. Resist the urge to breathe shallow breaths or to hold your breathes in altogether. Direct your mind to think about the joy of meeting your new baby as you keep focusing in the deep breathing.

If you apply only one tip from this post mama, this is it!

10. Try a Massage

The soft, gentle touch to your body is calming. If you decide to labor or birth in water, having someone massage you at the same time might give you more relief. This may or may not do anything to relieve you.

So if your hubby tries to offer you a massage, try not to get your cat claws out!

11. Follow What Your Body Wants

Laying on your back may not be the most comfortable position during your entire labor. Feel free to move in and out of positions as often as you want or need to. In a hospital setting, for some reason we can tend to feel like we’re inconveniencing the nurses and doctors by doing our own thing.

But hey, you are the one in labor and they are there to assist you, mama. Not the other way around! You should follow the lead of your body and so should they. Remember that this is a natural transition that your body already knows how to do.

By the way, have you created your birth plan yet? Having one ready when you head into the hospital helps your care providers to know what your desires are so they can help you from there.

12. Stay Hydrated

When you come into the hospital, the majority of the time, they ask you not to eat or drink anything other than the popsicles and ice chips they give you. Try to keep hydrated by eating them, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

Staying hydrated can reduce the pain of cramping.

13. Ask for Encouragement Ahead of Time

“You’re doing great, that was a strong push,”or “I can see baby’s head, you’re almost done,” are great motivators to keep you engaged with your mind on how fast your labor is progressing. Remind your husband ahead of time (before active labor) to offer constant encouragement.

Share with your nurses that you would like verbal encouragement.

14. Prepare Mentally and Emotionally

When you’re pregnant for the first time, there is a natural curiosity and excitement to hear all about other women’s labor and delivery stories. But if you’re not careful, you can end up wavering in your decision to give birth naturally as you hear other women share how horrific their natural childbirth experience was.

I would cut those conversations short and choose not to entertain any negative thoughts or emotions about what your experience could be like.

15. Watch Natural Baby Birth Videos

Do you struggle with fear surrounding a natural birth, mama?

Watching videos of other women give birth naturally and share their experiences as well advice has many benefits. Testimonials are powerful! They can give you confidence in your ability to deliver your baby naturally without medicines or other interventions.

This may sound a bit funny, but does a baby ever have to be taught to poop or suck at the breast for milk? Of course, in some cases there are complications, but largely the answer is no. Childbirth is similar. Your body takes over once it’s time for you to finally meet your baby.

Here are three childbirth videos you should watch before you go into labor!

Birthing Peace: Inspiring Videos of Unassisted Natural Water Homebirths

Monique Gauthier is a mother and midwife who, in this film, shares the peaceful birth of her two children which she birthed naturally at home with no medicine. You’ll get to see the actual footage of her giving birth. She provides a commentary as well as preparation tips.

The Business of Being Born

The Business of Being Born is a documentary that dives deep into what could very well be the true hidden motive (money) of many hospitals that deliver babies. Rather than encouraging pregnant women to birth naturally, they’re rushed through the process and pressured into taking medication they don’t need.

This film focuses on the hospitals in the United States where often times, the desires of the woman giving birth is ignored and pushed aside. The hospital’s “we know best” approach causes the majority of women to second guess their own instincts as they consume medications they’re not sure why they’re taking.

I don’t believe this film shows women giving birth, but acquiring knowledge about all of your options so you can choose the best option is a great starting point.

Natural Born Childbirth-Modern Day Natural Childbirth

This film is geared more towards the use of midwives rather than the traditional hospital. Ten women will share their experiences and challenges they faced when pursuing to create the natural childbirth they desired.

No matter where you give birth, there is one common thing you share with women around the world. Ultimately, you want the very best possible outcome for you and your baby. Hearing about the real struggles other moms have faced and how they overcame is empowering and will give you the confidence to move forward.

You see, mama? There are proven ways to decrease the pain associated with giving birth naturally. I’m so glad you’ll get to experience having your baby natural. Hold on to these tips for when the big day comes.

Despite your naturally tendency to step into the unknown and walk in fear, choose to fill your mind with positive thoughts about your birth! Even now, think about how wonderful it will be when you can finally hold your little baby in your arms.

After all, your labor and delivery phase will pass and your baby will be here soon!

Pain Relief During Labor

Were these tips helpful?

If this is your first time giving labor, check out my other guide of even more helpful and life-saving tips for when you go into labor!

Feel free to chime in to tell the rest of us what tips I didn’t include that have worked oh so well for you or someone you know.

Don’t forget to pin me!

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Great pregnancy website, provides enough info, positive outlook and I like the daily growth feature. It has helped me to bond with this future baby even though it doesn’t feel real yet.Reply to rahulhealtheoz