Relaxation and breathing techniques can help in the early stages of labor and throughout your entire labor. If at all possible, you should attend childbirth classes to learn these important coping strategies.
Every labor is an individual experience. Some women can manage labor pain by taking warm showers or tub baths; having a support person rub the shoulder, back, and feet; listening to soothing music; and thinking about images of the baby being born. Many women choose some form of medication to ease or eliminate the pain of labor, including intravenous (medication injected in your vein), intramuscular (a shot), or epidural pain relief. If you wish to consider epidural pain relief, an anesthesiologist who is experienced in providing obstetric pain relief is available at all times to answer any questions you may have. All medications have risks and benefits. If you need more information about pain relief measures, most are discussed in the childbirth classes, or talk with your healthcare provider.