Woman getting acupuncture

Techniques to Manage Pain During Labor

Whether you’ve already perfected your birth plan or if you’ve just starting to think about how you want to deliver, there are birthing techniques that are increasing in popularity. These techniques aren’t for everyone, but they may help reduce the pain and/or anxiety that comes along with delivering a baby. They could even speed up the delivery time. Read on to learn more!


  • Hypnobirthing: Here’s where the mantra “mind over body” comes into play: when you’re about to deliver a baby, it’s a given that all sorts of emotions take over. That said, you can take hypnobirthing classes to learn relaxation techniques to minimize pain and anxiety levels on the big day. These techniques may include self-hypnosis. They can also be in the form of music, visualization techniques, words/mantras or simply positive thinking. Though studies are inconclusive about exactly how effective these techniques are, some suggest that they can shorten labor and/or reduce fear and anxiety post-labor.
  • Hydrobirthing: Love the feeling of floating effortlessly in the pool or ocean? Join the club. If you have a low-risk pregnancy and are open to alternative birthing techniques, hydrobirthing may be for you. Regardless of where you plan to deliver, you’ll likely be able to choose hydrobirthing as some hospitals and birthing centers are set up for it (or you can even do this at home). Usually this technique is more gentle for the baby and less stressful for the mother since it may increase the release of endorphins during labor. That said, some sources say that this type of birthing is most safe during labor but afterwards the level of safety is unknown. There are inherent risks, like birth trauma, but the frequency of those risks becoming realities is unknown.
  • Acupuncture/acupressure: The Chinese have done this for years and years, and now using acupuncture, acupressure or both during childbirth is catching on in the western world. Mothers interested in using these techniques typically see an acupuncturist weeks or even months before the due date to prepare. It’s not uncommon for these moms to use acupuncture and acupressure even before labor. While these techniques may reduce labor pain and duration, specifics regarding the benefits are limited. Some mothers say that it decreased their anxiety levels during childbirth.


When considering these options, know that whichever technique(s) – if any – that you decide to use is the right choice for you and your family. Every delivery experience is unique and only you can decide which techniques are best!

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