No Epidural? Pain management alternatives and tips – Part 4: Using a Doula

Using A Doula

You are probably thinking – How can a person be pain relief?!? But the concept of doulas has been around for centuries.

The desire to have our mothers, sisters or female friends with us in labour is a primal and instinctual example of women’s abilities to act on intuition. For centuries women have given birth with the support and understanding of elder women who have the life experience to guide the labouring woman through her birth. It makes absolute sense that women would chose to labour with their mother or sister in addition to their husband or partner. Women are naturally empathetic, supportive and strong. Many have the experience of having birthed themselves, which can add another dimension to support. Continue reading

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No Epidural? Pain management alternatives and tips – Part 3: Water Therapy, Water Immersion and Water Birth

The use of water during labour is used widely across the world. Apart from delivering and labouring in water, many women find using a bath or shower during labour provides significant comfort and support. Women report that when warm water is targeted where they are feeling contractions or discomfort, such as on their bump or across their lower back, using an electric or power shower is particuarly effective, with that extra water pressure providing both comfort from the warm water as well as the massage-like quality of the increased pressure. Most maternity units have showers or deep baths, whether shared or in a private ensuite, that women have access to during labour. Some units will facilitate having your birthing ball in the shower with you. Continue reading

No Epidural? Pain management alternatives and tips – Part 2: TENS Machine

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a device used for pain relief and is frequently used during labour. It emits low-voltage currents from a portable battery-operated pack and consists of a hand-held control with electrode pads which you attach to your skin to manage the pain of contractions. Continue reading