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Easing Labor Pains

The labor and delivery team at North Florida's All About Women discuss pain management techniques all expecting moms should know

When it comes to labor, every woman is different. Some want pain relief as soon as possible, others want to wait as long as they can, others want to avoid medical pain relief altogether.  Regardless of whether or not you choose an epidural or other pain medication, it’s likely that you will experience pain at some point during labor and so it's best to be prepared.

There are many different techniques that can provide women relief from labor pains. Here are some the most common techniques you should be familiar with before baby is on his way:

Childbirth Class

Preparing for what to expect during the birthing process is important for all women, regardless of how you choose to manage your pain. When you understand the stages of labor and when pain relief measures can be taken, then you’ll be better equipped mentally for what lays ahead. And if you're planning a natural birth, taking a class will help give you the opportunity to practice the techniques you'll use on the big day.

North Florida Regional Medical Center has several recurrent childbirth classes for you to choose from.

Labor Support

Research on effective pain management in labor (summarized in the American Family Physician) has found that women who receive continuous labor support, often by a doula, have lower use of pain medication and increased birth satisfaction. 

A doula is someone trained in labor support who stays with a woman throughout the labor process. Even if you don't use a doula, you should have a trained birth partner who knows how to help you when pain hits. A birth partner can be a spouse, family member, or friend – someone who you trust and are very comfortable with.

Whoever you choose, you and your birth partner should practice:

  • Pressure on the lower back in case you have back labor.

  • Comforting touch. Some women enjoy having their backed rubbed or being lightly touched during labor. Other women don’t want to be touched at all.

  • Warm/cold compresses. You may appreciate cool cloths during the labor transition, or a warm compress to help relieve the discomfort of contractions.

  • Breathing techniques. Your support person should be trained in helpful breathing techniques so they can help remind you to breath through contractions.

Changing Positions

Different positions can dramatically help women cope with labor pains while aiding labor progress. Here are some of the most common helpful positions:

  • Kneeling on your hands and knees
  • Swaying while supported by your birth partner, as if you were dancing
  • Sitting on a birthing ball
  • Walking (Besides helping manage pain, walking can also help labor progress.)

Your birth partner should know some of these helpful positions, but midwives and the nursing staff can also suggest positions depending on your pain.

Other Coping Mechanisms

There are many other ways to help manage labor pains. Here are a few common techniques:

  • A quiet and dark environment. Many women appreciate a quiet and dark environment with minimal stimulus (including people in the room).

  • Making noise. Pain can seem greater when you internalize it. Don't be afraid to make noise to help you cope.

  • Using Water. Many women find that warm water baths, showers, or having someone pour water on them helps relieve pain.

Find a Maternity Team You Trust

Even if you’re just waiting for your epidural, learning about various techniques for dealing with labor pain is always a good idea, as is having a team of maternity providers that you trust.

The obstetricians and midwives at Gainesville's All About Women want to help you prepare for the big day and all that lies beyond.

Continue browsing our Knowledge Center to learn about breastfeeding support, maternal wellbeing and advice for transitioning your baby into your home.

Contact us
‹ All About Women OB/GYN Knowledge Center
6440 W Newberry Road, Suite 111
Gainesville, FL 32605
(352) 331-3332
Lake City
4447 NW American Lane, Suite 102
Lake City, FL 32055
(386) 754-1744

Gainesville and Lake City OB/GYN Care

OB/GYN doctors at All About Women, Obstetrics & Gynecology offer personalized, technologically advanced obstetrics and gynecology services from Board Certified OB/GYB physicians. Besides expert women's healthcare, permanent birth control and prenatal care, OB/GYN doctors also offers advanced hysterectomy surgery in and around the Gainesville area.

Women's Health Care in Alachua & Columbia Counties

With offices in Gainesville and Lake City, Florida, All About Women, M.D. provides expert OB/GYN services covering the entire range of women's healthcare needs. Our OB/GYN physicians and nurse midwives provide expert care during pregnancy as well as state of the art in-office treatments for gynecologic disorders including Novasure endometrial ablation to treat/stop heavy menstrual bleeding.

Personalized & Expert Prenatal Care

Gainesville obstetricians at All About Women, M.D. help ensure pregnancy goes as smoothly as possible by offering the best prenatal care available. And for those having difficulty getting pregnant, AAW obstetricians and gynecologists offer couples the best infertility help and treatment available.

Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery: daVinci Surgical System

Clinic founder Dr. Anthony Agrios, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist also specializes in the daVinci Robotic surgery system, a minimally invasive option commonly used for a hysterectomy and other procedures. Instead of creating several small incisions like traditional surgical methods, OB/GYN surgeons simply open one incision with the daVinci system to complete the procedure. Not only do patients experience less pain and blood loss, they recover and get back to normal much faster.

Pregnancy & Prenatal Care: Creative Pregnancy Announcement : Fruits for Pregnant Women

OB/GYN Tips: Choosing an OB/GYN : Robotic Hysterectomy

Infertility & Reproduction Health: Infertility Treatment : Permanent Birth Control

Women's Health: Preventive Care : Well Women Care : Mammogram Screenings : Abnormal Periods

Gainesville Maternity Care


FL OBGYN   Services
All About Women
Gainesville and Lake City, Florida Obstetrics & Gynecology

Offices conveniently located in the heart of North Florida (Alachua County & Columbia County). Serving women of all ages and backgrounds
in and around Ocala, Williston, Chiefland, Perry, Live Oak, Lake City, Starke, Palatka and Gainesville.