9 Tips for Easier Labor and Birth

Labor and delivery of a precious new baby is an arduous process. There are many different tips available to help make the potential hours of labor and the birth process more tolerable and comfortable for the mother and baby. While every option may not work for every mother, an effective personal plan can be developed to include several tips that help ease this necessary and momentous journey.

Breathing Methods

Slow, focused breathing calms the mother. A deep cleansing breath followed by slow, steady, deep breaths help to take the mother’s focus off of the discomfort of labor. Breathing techniques quicken as the rhythm of the labor progresses.


Yoga helps to calm the mind but also strengthens the body’s core in preparation for childbirth. Expectant mothers should be careful to take only "prenatal yoga" classes to help ensure they only practice poses that are considered safe during pregnancy. The butterfly and cat stretch are two poses that are generally considered safe, and they can be helpful positions to prepare for labor.

Butterfly: Begin by sitting and bring the soles of the feet together. Pull them in, close to the pelvis. Sit tall, close eyes and meditate for 10 minutes. This exercise relaxes the hips.

Cat stretch: Begin on all fours with the spine and neck aligned. Breathe in and lower the abdomen towards the floor while looking upward towards the ceiling. When exhaling, round the back towards the ceiling while lowering the head to look down at the belly button. The lower back benefits by stretching and strengthening.

Creative Visualization

Using creative visualization during the labor process can do much to relax the mother and put her in the right frame of mind. Positive images like ocean waves or a warm beach can help to ease stress or anxiety. The ebb and flow of the tide is likened to the rhythmic contractions of labor.

Nutrition and Diet

Beginning a pregnancy at a healthy weight will help to prepare the body for labor and delivery. Eating a well-balanced diet throughout the pregnancy will help maintain good health for the mother and baby. A few tips include:

  • Eating enough good fat helps to keep body tissues strong and pliable; flaxseed oil and avocados are good sources.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Limit foods with additives.
  • Choose whole grain breads and rice, not white.
  • Avoid caffeine.


Research shows that Kegel or pelvic floor exercises done during the last months of pregnancy help to ease labor pain. Kegels especially helped to shorten the duration of the pushing stage of labor.

Kegels are done by repeatedly contracting the levator ani muscle deep in the abdomen. The exercise is done by contracting the muscle, which starts and stops the flow of urine. Do 25-45 Kegels three times a day for the greatest benefit.

Squats also help to strengthen the pelvic floor and open up the pelvis. Pelvic tilts strengthen and stretch the abdominal muscles and the lower back.


Soothing music in the first stages of labor will help delay the need for pain medication. As labor progresses, a more upbeat music selection can help distract the mother from her pain.

A Labor Doula

A doula is a childbirth specialist who provides emotional and physical support to the mother during all stages of pregnancy. A labor doula is present in the birth room to assist and support the mother through every stage of labor and the birth. Statistics show a 25 percent decrease in the length of labor when a doula is present. The use of epidurals is decreased by 60 percent when a doula is engaged in the birthing process.

Doulas often use hypnotherapy and massage therapy to relax the mother. Hypnotherapy is similar to creative visualization, which relieves tension. Massage therapy increases oxytocin production, which increases uterine contractions, encourages a feeling of well-being and elevates the pain threshold.

No votes yet


By Trish0102 on 09/13/13 at 10:53 am

it is true that labor is the most painful experience during pregnant..but after giving birth, you might forgot the pain that has been through by the ti  ...

Sign in to leave a comment!

Today on JustMommies

The Science of Headaches, Explained

Tension-type headaches are your common, "everyday" headaches (they can feel like a giant rubber band squeezing your skull). Nearly everyone will have at least one tension-type headache at some point, and it's estimated that up to 80 percent of adults experience them on an occasional basis.

Baby Names from the 80s

What were you doing in the 80's? Moon-walking with Michael? Playing Pac-Man on your Atari?

The Cutest DIY & Handmade Dolls

Whether you're looking for a fun summer craft project or want the lowdown on the latest and greatest dolls, we've got you covered.


From the Message Boards

Due Date Club of July 2014

My baby boy! :-) *lots of pics*

So I'll keep this brief but I wanted to update you guys. Csection went as planned, just got bumped o...

unassisted birth stories

My unplanned unassisted birth in the hospital parking lot.

I had posted in this group before my son was born inquiring about a home birth. I could not find a m...

Due Date Club of September 2014

constipation! ughh :(

Is anyone else experiencing bad constipation ately?! no matter what I do nothing seems to help!! any...

High Risk Pregnancy


My hubby and I are just about to start TTC #2. My pregnancy with DD she was dx as IUGR at 31 weeks....

Due Date Club of September 2014

ouch my arm is sore Tdap

I got the tdap vaccine yesterday and it didn't hurt one bit when I got it, but man o man my arm is s...

» Check out the friendliest message board for moms and moms-to-be!