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Labor Tools: Hot and Cold Packs

What they are: Hot and cold packs are small containers that provide either heat or cold for use in dulling the sensations of pain and discomfort. They come in a variety of styles and shapes. Hospitals generally have chemical hot and cold packs that can be activated and used for about 1/2 an hour. You …

Labor Tools: Frozen Water Bottle

What it is: Fill a plastic disposable beverage bottle (with flat sides) about 3/4 of the way with water. Set this in the freezer at least overnight. How it works: The frozen water bottle provides both pressure for relieving discomfort and cold for dulling the sensation of pain. How to use it: Roll the bottle …

Labor Tools: Birth Stool

What it is: A birth stool is a low stool for the woman to sit on during pushing. While styles vary, all stools have a basic “horse-shoe” or “C” shape. This shape provides support for the woman while she sits, but allows an opening for the baby to be born. How it works: Sitting on …

Labor Tools: Birth Ball

What it is: The mother uses a large, sturdy ball called a birthing ball for positioning during labor. She may lean over the ball, sit with her legs out towards the sides to help support and stabilize her, or any number of other positions. How it works: The ball allows the mother to have additional …

Labor Tools: Aromatherapy

What it is: Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to achieve a desired physical or emotional state. Essential oils are derived from plants. How it works: At the most basic level, certain smells make us feel more comfortable and relaxed, while others make us feel tense and nervous. These can be scents that draw …

Labor Tools: Stroking Massage

What it is: Stroking is a massage technique. It is long, smooth movements with a full hand with moderate pressure over large parts of the body. How it works: Stoking helps to remove excess tension from the muscles of the body. By helping the mother to pay attention to certain parts of her body, she …

Labor Tools: Rhythmic Breathing

What it is: Rhythmic breathing is breathing using a recurring pattern. There are many variations a mother can try. How it works: If the mother has lost her focus or seems overcome by the power of her contractions, rhythmic breathing helps her to refocus her energy and attention. Refocusing her attention can help her feel …