10 Natural Pain Relief Options for Labor

Try these simple, natural pain management techniques as your labor progresses.

Everything in this slideshow

1 of 11

Ask For a Massage


Have your partner apply a lavender- or jasmine-scented massage oil to whatever part of your body that needs some kneading.


Learn more about the benefits of pregnancy and labor massage >>

2 of 11

Tennis Balls and a Tube Sock

Stuff a sock:


Place three tennis balls in a tube sock and have your partner roll them up and down your back to relieve back pain. Or have him rub your back with the heels of his hands.


6 Tips for Dads "In Labor" >>

3 of 11

Use Rice


Fill a long sock with uncooked rice and heat it in the microwave for about one minute, then place it on your abdomen (make sure it's not too hot). If it gets cold, reheat it in the microwave.


NOTE: This tip works best if you're having a home birth or if you do it before leaving for the hospital.


4 of 11

Use an Exercise Ball


Get on the ball:


Drape your upper body face-up over a large exercise ball to relieve back pain. Or sit on it with your legs apart to relax the pelvic area.


5 Soothing Labor Positions to Try >>

5 of 11

Back Pain Relief


Get iced:


Fill a rubber glove with crushed ice and place it on your lower back to relieve back pain. Never use a cold pack on your abdomen.

6 of 11

Stay Mobile


Walk or float:


If you can, stay upright and mobile to let gravity help move the baby down and out. Or slip into a bathtub full of warm (not hot) water for "ahhhhhh" pain relief.


Power Positions for Labor >>

7 of 11

Use Acupressure


Pinch some flesh:


Use acupressure to help ease pain by pinching the fleshy part of your hand between the thumb and index finger. Don't do this before you go into labor, though, as it can also stimulate contractions.

8 of 11

Peaceful & Mindful Labor


Create a peaceful space:


Dim the lights. Plug in a small lamp. Play your favorite relaxing music. (I listened to Dan Gibson and John Herberman's Rhythms of the Sea while watching a hypnotic image of Matisse's dancing bathers projected on the wall by a pinwheel lamp.)

9 of 11

Bring a Photo



Focus on a favorite photo during contractions to help take your mind off the pain.


Read More: Using Imagery and Visualizations >>

10 of 11

Breathe Deeply


Inhale, Exhale:


Breathe. Your baby is almost here.


Video Tutorial: Pregnancy Meditation and Resting Pose >>

11 of 11
Next Slideshow

Labor Positions to Ease Pain (with Photos)

Try these positions to ease your pain and discomfort during contractions. more
Begin Slideshow
close