Much fear surrounds the birth process due to that nasty little rumor that you have probably heard…birth is painful. Painful, not painful, or a mix of many sensations, one certain fact: There is much that can be done to help women cope with the discomfort of giving birth to their babies. Here is our list of the Top Birth Tools all women should use when they give birth. Click to download class handout
Top Birth Tools List
Battery Operated Massage Tools – They keep working when the Dad or other support person’s hands get tired.
Unscented Massage Oil or Lotion – Smells are heightened in labor so a light or unscented oil works best for massages.
LCD Candles – Great to create a relaxing environment in the hospital, where the lights are often to bright and real candles may not be allowed.
Music – Use your phone or any device to play music. Have a wide variety of selections on your playlists as musical tastes are unpredictable during labor and change often.
Rebozo – A scarf or long piece of fabric that can be tied around a woman’s hip bones to ease back pain. It can also be used in many other ways for comfort. (Click for Rebozo Self Study Resources)
Birth Ball – Can be placed right by the fetal monitoring machine in the hospital so that mom can sit instead of lying in the bed for monitoring receiving the benefit of movement during birth. (Click for birth ball positions)
Soft Scarf – During intense contractions the scarf is held and pulled by the laboring woman, giving her a place to send her energy. The scarf can also be held by the Dad or support person and used for tug of war through a contraction which helps focus the laboring woman easing her discomfort.
Water – Soaking in the bath, taking a shower, or just soaking the feet is an effective tool to help women cope through labor.
Rice Sock – The name describes this tool best…a tube sock filled with uncooked rice. Use jasmine rice, because it will have a better scent than regular rice. Place rice in sock, tie a knot, microwave for a minute or two. Then place wherever heat is preferred upon the pregnant woman’s body. The sock will produce a nice moist heat, perfect for lower back aches. Tip: Have a second one available so as the first one cools you can swap it out instead of having the laboring woman waiting.
Hand Fan – Laboring women get very hot through out the birth process. It is comforting to be fanned by the father or other support person. Fanning is intimate and displays love. The act itself will ease and relax a laboring woman.
Two Gel Stress Balls – Women in labor tend to clench their palms activating pressure points that relieve pain. They often desire to hold hands and begin to squeeze the father’s hand. Stress balls are a great way to provide a laboring woman something neutral to squeeze. Be sure to have two available one for each hand. The gel filled ones work best, since they don’t need to be broken in.
Doula – A trained professional labor companion is a wonderful tool. Doulas know how birth works and will comfort and assist the laboring woman through any challenges. Although, a doula may cost more than the other tools, her wisdom and experience are worth it.