Delivering a baby after bearing it for nine months in the womb is the most beautiful experience for any mother.
Natural pain relief in labour helps the mother to enjoy the birthing experience without fear, apprehension or tension.
However, is it possible at all to have such a natural pain relief in labour? There are two kinds of women, one who would trust the doctor, the midwives and other hospital support staff completely and pop the pills and go through the conventional treatment with analgesia, epidurals and intravenous drugs.
However, there is another set of moms-to-be too who would like to make an informed choice, would research on natural pain relief in labour and prepare themselves much before the momentous event of their lives.
Conventional treatments focus on the physical aspect, but alternate methods try to provide natural pain relief during labour, thus focussing on the emotional or the affective part.
Natural pain relief in labour helps in releasing the happy hormones or endorphins that help to soothe and distract from the pain of labour, assisting the mother to cope and enjoy the entire experience.
There are many proven methods that are now becoming increasingly popular worldwide that provide a natural pain relief during labour.
It was Fernand Lamaze, who introduced his concept of 'fearless childbirth’ in France in 1951. He surmised that by getting the woman in labour to focus on certain breathing patterns or concentration points nearby, it would be possible to block pain messages going to the brain.
Seeing the popularity of this method of natural pain relief during labour and inspired by Indian Yoga, Frederic Leboyer wrote a book 'Birth without violence’, which was published in the year 1974 in France.
Frederic stresses on the efficacy of a calm environment to welcome the baby into the world in contrast to the usual fuss and noise that is usually seen in most of the labour rooms. The serene birth experience increases the pain threshold for the mother.
Few other therapies that provide natural relief during labour are hypnotherapy, music therapy, aromatherapy, hydrotherapy, acupuncture and acupressure, TENS or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and sterile water blocks.
Guided visualisation can be done by playing a soothing music in the background with a few aromatic candles lit around and the mom-to-be can begin the exercise by taking a few deep breaths.
This mindful breathing eases the discomfort by diverting the mind away from the physical pain, where she visualises a peaceful scene in nature as if she is surrounded by angelic beings celebrating the birth.
Since music therapy also provides a natural relief during labour, this kind of a visualisation technique combines breathing and music to produce a calm atmosphere, thus reducing stress and anxiety.
It is important to let the hospital staff know beforehand that you would like to experiment with alternative methods of natural pain relief in labour.
Massaging with aroma oils is also a proven method of bringing in a good relief. Hydrotherapy or water birthing is the latest trend that is catching up these days, as water helps both the mother and the infant in easing the process.
Another effective method is 'sophrology' from Greek, “sos” meaning harmony and “phren” referring to conscience or spirit. It tries to achieve control of the body and mind through concentration, contemplation and meditation, dharana, dhyana and samadhi being its Indian equivalents.