Heat and Water
Many women find heat and/or water useful for managing pain during labour, particularly during early labour.
A wheat bag or hot water bottle applied to your abdomen or lower back can help with the pain of contractions. Conversely some women find cold cloths on their back and/or abdomen to be effective.
The use of water during labour has been common practise for centuries, and some babies are even born in the water. A hot bath or shower can lessen the intensity of contractions, and some women find that the water helps to relax their body and relieve tension in between contractions. It is important not to have the water too hot as your baby might become distressed if your body temperature gets too elevated.
If you are considering giving birth in the water, talk to your LMC about the benefits, and potential risks, and whether water births are available in your area.
"The main thing for me was keeping active / mobile, and then hopping in the pool later (where she was born), that was the best !! Made things a lot easier to cope with as the water was lovely and warm, and supported my muscles a bit."
"I just got straight into the shower when we got to the birthing unit and found that was great, I stayed in there for about an hour!"
"With my second I used nothing but the bath, it was great and felt so much easier 'cause I could feel when to push and he came out so much faster."
"I found cold face cloths on my face and neck quite relaxing, and they were distracting from the pain."
"My preferred method of pain relief during labour is a warm bath, all of my children were born in the bath."
"The spa bath was great!"
"I didn't really like having to lie down in the bath, a shower might have been better."