Nothing is made easier by stress. 

They wouldn't have called the childbirth process "labor" if it didn't require some hard work.

Keeping calm and collected might seem easier said than done, but finding your happy place can actually promote a quicker and more comfortable labor experience. Comfort measures for different phases of childbirth are all natural ways for you to gain control of your body and get the affirmation you need to stay mentally and physically focused. 

These relaxation techniques can provide parents with drug free alternatives for labor discomforts and even keep partners feeling engaged and confident. The following relaxation techniques target your senses to give you some balance as you deliver your baby. 


Human beings are incredibly visual. Controlling the space around you can help you set the tone for the experience ahead. If the room you're delivering in is dim, warm and lit softly, you are more likely to create feelings of comfort, safety and tranquility through contractions. The view you have in your birthing space can also give you the motivation you need to keep feeling strong and focused on the task ahead. Bring photos and other comforts of home to customize your space.


Sound is very powerful. In fact your baby has been comforted and stimulated by sound for the past 40 weeks. Whether you're choosing to include ambient noise in your birth suite like a waterfall, birds chirping or natural sounds or soft instrumental music can stimulate your body to produce comfort chemicals. When you find the music or soundtrack that helps you feel calm and at ease, play it regularly through your pregnancy to program your body to relax with every note.


We all have that one scent that transports you into tranquil place. If you aren't birthing at home, bringing some textiles that smell like home can help the space feel more familiar. Using essential oils in your labor suite can encourage your body to calm, ease anxiety, and help you transcend from the stress of discomfort. Explore different scents as you prepare your hospital bag checklist and you may even want to have a series of different fragrances. Once in your suite, place a couple of drops on a cotton ball and hold to your nose. If the scent starts to bother you, just toss in a trash can outside of the room.


While eating during labor is the topic of some debate in the birth world, keeping some sugar free candy on hand will keep your mouth hydrated through active labor. Some flavors and tastes can also trigger comforting hormones and may be associated with feeling better. For many, ginger is associated with feeling better and ginger drops can help ease any queasiness you might feel through your contractions. 


Touch is incredibly important for laboring mothers. When contractions intensify, muscles throughout the body become tense or strained. Gentle acupressure and massage can ease mothers through contractions. Reflexology, hydrotherapy and counter pressure can be extremely helpful for labor discomforts. Partners can also use these massage techniques to participate in comfort measures and keep the laboring mother focused. 

Engaging your senses can help you power through contractions and bring you closer to meeting your brand new baby. 

Get your body acquainted with these comfort measures to battle pesky pregnancy discomforts and wire your brain to feel relaxed when these senses are activated. 

After all, a comfortable birth is a happy birth.