Hope this is helpful:
Comfort measures are strategies designed to help you cope with the pain of labor. A good childbirth preparation class should teach you an assortment of ways to cope, as will many books.
What are some common comfort measures?
-- dim lights
-- peaceful surroundings
-- pelvic rocking
-- positioning pillows for comfort
-- slow dancing with partner
-- sitting on birth ball and swaying
-- lifting up the abdomen
-- counterpressure against lower back
-- deep tub bath
-- heated rice sock on groin or back
-- ice packs on lower back
-- cool cloth to wipe face
-- focusing on the breath
-- structured breathing patterns
-- non-focused awareness (paying attention to everything you see, hear, feel, smell without focusing on any)
What are the benefits of using comfort measures?
Basically, there are three ways of handling labor pain: comfort measures, narcotics (opiates) and regional analgesia, which consists of epidurals, intrathecal or spinal injections, and their combinations. Comfort measures are about as effective as narcotics at making labor tolerable. However, narcotics can potentially have adverse effects on you and your baby. And regional analgesia, while offering superior pain relief, can cause a host of problems not only for you and your baby, but for the labor as well.
What are the potential drawbacks?
Comfort measures may not provide adequate pain relief. This can lead to a feeling of personal failure if you wanted an unmedicated birth. Still, this will rarely be the case where caregivers and loved ones respect and support your desire to avoid pain medication, acknowledge your efforts to do so, and validate your disappointment at not achieving that goal.
How might comfort measures affect your birth experience and postpartum recovery?
As with any experience that pushes you to your limits, an unmedicated labor can be a transformational event that changes how you think of yourself forever. Your pride in your achievement, the confidence in your strength and capabilities that you can gain are, perhaps, the ideal preparation for meeting the challenges of parenting. Avoiding or delaying the use of pain medication also gives you your best chance of having a complication-free labor and a healthy baby, which may mean an easier postpartum recovery.
Faith, Acceptance, Surrender ~Unknown
Fear can be overcome only by Faith. ~Dr. Grantly Dick-Read
Rain, after all is only rain; it is not bad weather. So also, pain is only pain; unless we resist it, then it becomes torment. ~I Ching
If I don't know my options, I don't have any. ~Diana Korte