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Carleen Mandwe


Natural Pain Management In Child Birth

Natural Pain Management in Childbirth: The Importance of Having a Doula

Childbirth is one of the most beautiful and natural experiences a woman can have, but it can also be one of the most painful. While there are many medical interventions available to manage pain during childbirth, some women prefer to use natural pain management methods. One effective way to do this is by having a doula present during labor and delivery.

What is a Doula?

A doula is a professional trained in providing emotional, physical, and informational support to expecting mothers throughout their pregnancy, labor, and postpartum journey. Doulas are not medical professionals, but they can work alongside physicians or midwives to help women have a positive birth experience.

The Importance of Having a Doula

Studies have shown that having a doula present during labor and delivery can lead to many benefits, including a reduction in medical interventions and a shorter labor. One of the most significant benefits of having a doula is the emotional support they provide. Doulas often develop a close bond with their clients, providing them with a safe and encouraging environment during childbirth.

Natural Pain Management Techniques

Doulas can also provide natural pain management techniques to help women cope with the pain of labor and delivery. Some of the most effective natural pain management techniques used by doulas include:

1. Hypnosis - Hypnosis is a natural state of relaxation and concentration that can help women feel more relaxed and less anxious during labor. Visual techniques, such as imagining a flower opening on each contraction, or imagining being on a beach with waves, can help to regulate the nervous system. Couple these techniques with slow and deep methodical breathing, while listening to a doula's soothing voice, nature sounds or music, and you have created a soothing situation in which the mind can take charge over fear. Understanding that fear created the fight or flight response from the release of adrenalin, which will increase the intensity of the birth sensations. Hypnotic techniques in a dark environment will increase melatonin levels, increasing relaxation and reducing fear and pain.

2. TENS Machine - A TENS machine delivers transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation that can help reduce pain and discomfort during childbirth by stimulating the hypothalamus to release endorphins. This in turns increases the body's tolerance during intense moments. There are different types of TENS that are generally used to help with sore muscles however, these are not the best kind to use in labour. TENs machines especially designed for labour have pulse boosts that help contractions. Mama TENS and ELLA TENS are both good choices.

3. Back Massage - Back massage can help relieve tension and pain in the lower back, which is a common area of discomfort during labor. The type of massage will depend on how and what stage of labour and where pain is manifesting. Sometimes women like soft gentle energetics touch, while others need deep massage. A labouring woman will tell you what feels good for her.

4. Pressure Points - Pressure points can help reduce pain by stimulating the body’s natural painkillers, endorphins. In Traditional Chinese medicine, acupressure/acupuncture are used to treat the energy fields and networks that connect the organs and tissues of the body. A doula or birth partner can use pressure points to achieve a specific outcome such as balancing emotional energy, increasing energy and stamina, and reducing pain.

5. Counter Hip Pressure - Counter hip pressure is a technique used to alleviate the pain and pressure women often feel in their hips during labor and creates space in the pelvic to allow the baby to descend downward deeper into the pelvic space.

6. Rebozu

- This is a series of techniques originating in South America. Rebozo baby sifting is one technique where mother is on hands and knees while the birthing partner or doula gently sifts the belly during each contraction. This techniques helps to take the edge off contractions while increasing their effectiveness and, aids the positioning of the baby.

7. Clitoral stimulation -Typically not performed by a doula, clitoral stimulation releases endorphins, natural painkillers that can help reduce the sensation of pain during childbirth. By stimulating the hypothalamus to release oxytocin, the love hormone responsible for orgasm, more tolerable contractions are induced, and an increases of blood floods the vaginal tissues allowing them to become elastic for the emerging of the baby. Clitoral stimulation helps to transform intense sensations into more tolerable sensations and has even been purported to induce orgasm by some labouring mothers. A doula can help provide a safe space for a mother and her partner who wish to try this technique whether birthing at home or in a conventional birthing space. ( is a great resource)

Whether you choose to use medical interventions or natural pain management techniques during childbirth, the most important thing is to have a support system in place. Having a doula present during labor and delivery can provide women with the emotional and physical support they need to have a positive birth experience.

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