Labor can be stressful, painful and not the easiest thing to go through, which is why there are a plethora of tools invented to help moms through this tough time. The pain is usually what causes a mother to be so uncomfortable and out of it during labor, which is why doctors recommend doing certain things and using specific tools to not only ease the pain but give mom peace of mind and make labor even just a little easier.
Below is a list of tools that are used frequently in the offering room for many reasons. Some of them are specific to help mom out, while others are for dad to use to make mom feel more comfortable. It is essential to know about every one of these tools—how they work, what they are for and whether or not the hospital will allow them in the room during labor. A mother who is giving birth at home will not have to worry about hospital rules, but some hospitals are more strict than others, which is why the rules need to be considered at all times.
20 The Peanut Ball Perfection
Many have heard of a birth ball during labor, but not many have heard of a peanut ball. These are most commonly used for women who have to labor in bed and cannot get up and move around, as reported by Baby Chick. The in-bed positions are usually used to promote dilation for mothers who maybe aren’t moving through the labor process quickly enough. There are different sizes within this ball, and it's essential that mom gets the one that fits her body perfectly to get the best use out of this product.
This is an interesting way of helping a mother proceed through her labor without danger.
19 Tennis Balls Take The Pressure Off
Tennis balls may seem like a weird object to be used in the delivery room, but according to Shining Light Prenatal, they help back labor pain in a significant way. The reason why they are so useful is that they can be used on more than one body part. A double back massage can be helpful—this means putting both balls in a sock and rolling them up and down the back of a laboring mother. Another idea for moms with a lot of lower back pressure or pain is something known as counter pressure—this means placing one or two balls on the space between the sacrum and the hip and pressing them in.
18 Lollipops For The Lips
According to MyBirthClass, the roof of the mouth consists of a pressure point that can stimulate contractions if pressed on, which is why sucking on lollipops during labor can move it along. Not only does it move labor along but it also allows mom to relax because of the pressure point as well. Even for moms who don’t have lollipops, their tongues can be used just the same, but a flavoured candy is often a lot more desirable. It not only provides what is mentioned above, but it also gives the labor process a little bit of fun by having a bag of lollipops at your grasp.
17 Comfy Socks Make All The Difference
Socks can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Some people love to have their feet covered in warm fuzzy socks while others hate having anything on their feet. What To Expect features a few women going back and forth on whether or not it is comfortable to wear socks during labor. Many of the ladies mentioned that they bought or were given socks with rubber on the bottom that helped them tremendously when walking around the hospital while they were in labor. Hospitals are often very cold as well, which is something to keep in mind—if it gets too cold those comfy fuzzy socks might come in handy!
16 Music, Momma
Music is one of those things that is very relaxing during any situation. Often mothers will come into the delivery room with a mixtape or favourite CD already picked out that she wants to be played while she is in labor. Music allows a very tense place to relax and become a much more calm environment for a baby to be born into.
It is imperative, according to The Bump, that the mom chooses the kind of music she wants in the delivery room because if the music is too upbeat when she is actually looking for something more relaxing things could become more stressful.
15 Clothing Choices Matter
Although many hospitals have a stringent clothing policy while someone is in their care, a mother can request to wear her comfortable clothing rather than wearing the rough and uncomfortable gowns. Moms are encouraged to make themselves as comfortable as possible, which can mean buying a soft and cozy nightgown that can quickly be moved up when it is time to deliver. If mom is planning on a water birth, a bikini might do the trick because the bottoms are easily removable. According to Baby and Company, it is so important for mom to be comfortable in both her clothing and environment while giving birth.
14 The TENS Unit Will Change The Whole Experience
A Tens Unit is a device for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. It is a handheld machine in which the wires stick to the back of a labouring mother. The device sends an electrical nerve stimulation that interrupts pain signals that are being transmitted to the brain. It is supposed to help mom through the pain of the contractions or reduce the mother's awareness of her contractions.
This is becoming a better way to go through labor than an epidural because it allows mom to labor in any position she may want rather than having to be on her back, according to Fit Pregnancy. This is a way for women everywhere to have some relief without the consequences of an epidural.
13 Rebozo Rhythm
The Rebozo comes from a tradition in Mexico most commonly used to support a woman’s hips during labor. While a laboring mother is on her hands and knees, the Rebozo can also be placed around the mother's belly and slowly rotated, which is known as a pelvic massage. It allows a lot of the pressure from the belly to be relieved, allowing mom to relax a little easier. According to Evidence Based Birth, as of right now there has been no research finding that this product gives mom any pain relief, but many mothers who have used it have found this helpful.
12 Birth Ball, Baby
A widespread product used during labor is a giant birth ball. Some mothers use this to sit on and gently bounce during contractions which can distract them from the pain. They can also use it while on their knees and draping the top half of their bodies over the ball, rolling back and forth with it. These procedures aren’t necessarily pain relievers, but they do release a lot of pressure during the labor process.
According to Spinning Babies, mom might even begin using the birthing ball before labor, since it works to strengthen the lower back before labor begins.
11 Electrolytes For Energy
During labor, many hospitals only allow mothers to chew on ice chips, but as the times are changing, more and more mothers are being given the okay to eat and or drink fluids to keep their energy up. Some mothers may not feel like eating during their process and therefore should be encouraged to drink something like a labor aid, which is an electrolyte drink made specifically for a labouring mother.
According to Holistically Loved, a yummy recipe for this consists of freshly squeezed lemon juice, coconut water, salt, rescue remedy, calcium or magnesium, and raw honey. This can be used to help mom keep as much energy up as possible during intense labor.
10 Like A Fish
Many mothers choose to labor in the tub or the shower for multiple reasons. Many women find that submerging themselves in water while labouring moves it along quicker and also relieves pain and tension. According to AP, the water allows the mother to move much more freely while labouring, while also increasing her energy to give birth. The baby is floating around in water during pregnancy anyways, so being born into the water helps them feel as though they are in the same environment, which will make them more comfortable. It is crucial for mothers to be educated on the use of water during labor before using it, though.
9 Blowing In The Breeze
The process of labor is easily a very sweaty process. Being in pain usually causes a person to sweat a whole lot, but the act of working a baby down the birth canal is a lot of work, which is why moms are often extremely hot during the process. This can be helped by a handheld electric fan that can be clipped on the side of the hospital bed directly pointed at wherever mom wants or a handheld fan that can be used manually by dad or a doula.
According to The Child Birth Profession, moms handle birth a lot better when they are cooled down rather than sweating profusely.
8 Get A Doula, Darling
A doula is known as a person who is there during labor to assist a mother through the entire process. The doula acts as a strong support system for mom—this means they will answer questions, help mom create a birth plan, coach mom through labor, etc. Doulas often make sure that a mother—or the hospital—doesn’t stray too far away from the birth plan that a mother has put in place. According to AP, it is essential for the mother to have a doula as well as a dad or another support system, because the more comfort mom feels during labor will make the process that much easier.
7 Sound Machines Soothe
Similar to the use of music during labor, a sound machine can be used very much in the same way. The sound device is a little bit different, though, because it produces sounds that are commonly used to de-stress someone either while they are trying to sleep at night or to do something strenuous—like labor—or concentration. According to moms communicating on a Baby Center forum, the use of a sound machine during labor helped them to come into themselves and focus on moving their child down the birth canal. They felt very relaxed and calm throughout the whole process with this product.
6 Massage Those Worries Away
Your husband can be one of the best tools during labor by merely using his strong hands to massage the areas in which cause pain. A lot of aches and pains come with labor that can quickly be subsided by rubbing the painful areas. According to Living and Loving, many mothers experience a lot of pain in their lower back during labor. Back labor is a ubiquitous part of childbirth, and it can be excruciating, which is why having someone there to massage the lower back is very helpful. It is common for wives to enjoy their feet being rubbed during labor too because it takes their mind off of other areas.
5 Temperature Control
Going back to intense back pain during labor, during the times when a partner cannot massage the back, hot and cold packs might be a good substitute. Some mothers like applying heat to sore areas, while other labouring mothers might want cold because they are so hot due to the intensity of labor. According to CNY Healing Arts, there are many positives to using both heat and cold during labor. The heat will relax the muscles which relieve a lot of pain, while the cold, for example, will decrease the number of muscle spasms, which happen a lot during the back labor portion of giving birth.
4 Raising The Bar
The use of the birth bar is a product to increase mom's pressure while she bears down to push the baby out. Often, the typical position doesn’t work to get the child out for most moms, which is why having them grip onto the birth bar gives them more power. This position may be extremely uncomfortable with a huge belly, but the power it provides during the pushing stage is worth it. This is something that is added to the hospital bed easily for mom to hang onto while pushing or lean on to support herself during labor, according to Taking Charge.
3 Birth Stool Savoir
Birthing stools and chairs have been used for labouring women for a very long time. This chair and or stool offers mom a much different position than lying in bed the entire time. It allows them to be upright the whole time and have much more control over their leg positioning. According to Kaya Birth, a mother can only open her legs so wide to birth a child while birthing in bed, whereas in a chair she has a much broader range of motion. The chair usually has a back as well, which supports her back during each different stage of labor.
2 The Advantages Of Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy works to stimulate the brain to relieve pain in creative ways. This is much better to use during labor because it is natural and can be more helpful than something such as candles. There are a plethora of different oils that can be used during aromatherapy in general, but there are a few specifically that can be of use to labouring mothers. According to Madeformums, this practice can relieve stress, relax the uterus, and stimulate circulation. There are two ways to use aromatherapy—inhaling the scents or massaging it into the skin—and mom can choose to do whichever during labor as long as it goes with hospital policy.
1 Chapstick For Your Chops
Chapstick isn’t one of those things that are essential during labor, but it can be beneficial to a labouring mother. Nothing is worse than having chapped, raw and sore lips that can often happen during labor or in a dry environment. Labouring mothers often bite their lips during the pushing stage, which can cause them to chap and dry out easier. Having Chapstick on hand to nourish those lips is a big help — the last thing a mother wants to deal with while labouring is the pain of her lips cracking and being super uncomfortable while trying to focus on birthing a baby.
According to The Bump, Chapstick is just one of those essentials.
References: MyBirthClass, What To Expect, The Bump, Fit Pregnancy, Evidence Based Birth, The Childbirth Profession, Baby Chick, Living And Loving