Comfort Techniques for Labor

Learn comfort measures right from a birth Doula

Many women are heading to the great Google advisors to find the best comfort techniques to get through labor, but we say ask the experts. As a doula of eight years, I am proud of what I do. I have the emotional and physical support down. My recent March training with ProDoula taught me that while I had been a doula for a long time, I did not need 8 years or 200 births of experience to finally say I was a fantastic doula. I realized then that I had been a fantastic doula from the moment I walked out of my first training and all of the doulas at Virginia is for Doulas with our varying levels of number experience are exceptional.

Just as each birth is unique, so is the necessary support for each birthing mother. A fantastic doula learns skills from her training, but has a natural ability to attune to the needs of the mother and support her in the way that she needs most at that time. All of the Doulas at Virginia is for Doulas, have that natural instinctive ability to support families just how they need.

I see it all the time, googling and asking on pregnancy boards, what got you through labor? It has all been suggested, "this is the best thing to do", but every mom is different. Here are some of the best comfort techniques for laboring naturally:

  • Walking
  • Vocalization
  • Hip rocks
  • Rocking on a birth ball
  • Rebozo use
  • Breathing
  • Massaging of the legs, arms, back and hips
  • Hip squeezes
  • Encouragement
  • Explanation
  • Using a shower
  • Using a tub

Do you want to know what I use in most of the births I attend? A combination of everything above, but mostly massaging of the back, hips and neck and encouraging words and affirmations, regardless of if the mother is laboring medicated, unmedicated or using pitocin. We all need a few basic things and they are encouragement, assurance, maybe a plan, understanding, and a skilled back massage and hip squeeze during contractions.

As you and your partner prepare for your upcoming birth join a childbirth class to help you go over all of these techniques. If you and your partner do not want to have to remember all of these techniques when the big day comes, add a birth doula to your team. Having a birth doula there that has dedicated her career to supporting families in labor will enable your partner to know just what to do and how to do it and you can focus on laboring and you will both feel confident, supported and ready to rock this parenting thing. It's not always about what to do, but how to do it and having that extra support for you and your partner throughout the birth so that you do not have to worry about those little things.

Thank you to Chelsea Felty of Shenandoah Photo for the Left and far Right photos and Becky Kent of Virginia is for Doulas for the center photo.

~ Tiffany Shank