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Self Help Techniques


Self Help Techniques

There are three main things that impact on how you labour...

  1. Use your pelvis the way it was designed to be used. You can create an extra 28% more space by being upright and forward leaning.  Couple that with baby's head being able to mould and wow! - what a difference.
  2. Encourage your birthing hormones. Keep adrenalin minimal, and get those endorphins and oxytocin rising. Use dim lights, keep yourself feeling comfortable and safe. Try to stay out of your “thinking” brain, and listen to your body.
  3. Get baby into a good position before you begin labour. 



During a Contraction

Stop: When you feel a contraction come on stop what you are doing.

Prop: Prop yourself against something, for example a wall, table, bench, person, beanbag or chair. Maintain an upright forward leaning position during a contraction.

Flop: Let yourself go floppy. Relax into your contraction. Don’t fight the pain. Being tense increases the pain and tires you out. Keep relaxed – pull your shoulders down and then relax your jaw by keeping your lips slightly apart. Soften your pelvis.

Rock: Gently rock your pelvis or do hip circles during the contraction. Moving greatly eases the pain. Holding the bottom of your stomach may also relieve the discomfort.


  • Take a shower or a bath to ease the pain.
  • Spa baths and birthing pools are very effective at relaxing mum and easing the pain, however don’t get into a bath unless labour is well established or it might stop.

Stay at home as long as possible

  • The environment you are in makes a difference to how your labour is. You need to be comfortable and relaxed. Most people feel this way when they labour in their home.
  • Stay upright and active – try to keep off the bed and if you do want a lie down stay on your side as much as possible.
  • A darkened room with your favourite music can be emulated at the hospital, but it’s not quite the same as being at home.
  • Many people arrive at hospital to find their labour slows or stops. This is usually because of anxiety associated with the “medical” environment of the hospital therefore it is important that labour is well established before transferring to hospital.

An extra support person

  • Another support person is helpful, not only for you but your partner.
  • Throughout history woman to woman support during labour has shown to be a good pain relief measure and can significantly reduce the chance of caesarean section or medical pain relief.
  • In some countries a Doula (a non medical female support person) or birth companion is a normal part of the birth experience.

Self help ideas 

  • Heat packs
  • Cold packs
  • Pelvic rocking
  • Deep breathing
  • Self - hypnosis
  • Positive attitude
  • Massage
  • Shower
  • Bath / pool
  • Acupressure
  • Music
  • Support people
  • Listening to your body
  • Swaying on a Swiss ball
  • Drinking and eating
  • Emotional support
  • Nipple stimulation
  • Acupuncture
  • Walking / marching
  • Changing positions
  • Aromatherapy
  • Knowledge
  • Affirmations
  • Herbal remedies
  • Homeopathic remedies
  • Sighing , humming
  • Forward leaning
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Singing
  • Prayer / Karakia
  • Swaying
  • Privacy
  • Visualisation
  • Familiar environment
  • Dimmed lighting
  • Positive encouragement


Birth Plan | Being A Birth Goddess | Home Birth Essentials | Hormones In Labour
Informed Decision Making  | Medical Procedures 
Stages Of Labour | Tips From A New Dad | What To Pack For Hospital



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