Epidural Alternatives – Knowing Your Options
Judy Miders|

Having a baby is a magical experience, but it's also a very painful one. For years, women have spent large portions of their pregnancy trying to determine exactly which methods of pain relief during birth are right for them. Today, an epidural is one of the most popular options and it's estimated that around half of all women who are having a child will choose to utilise this option. But there are numerous risks associated with the use of the procedure ranging from prolong labour, weak contractions, lower blood pressure, and more. As a result, many women prefer to use epidural alternatives when they go into labour.


There are numerous epidural alternatives worth thinking about when you're pregnant. One of the best is a water birth. By having your child in a birthing tub you will be soaking your lower body in a warm bath. This helps to relax the muscles, reduce pain, and increase comfort during pregnancy. The majority of pain a woman experiences during labour is caused by the contraction and flexing of muscles, and when you relax them the pain will be reduced. As a result, warm packs or a birthing tub are popular choices and most hospitals offer them to those having a baby.


In that same area of focus, other epidural alternatives also provide muscle relaxation. Many midwives recommend muscle relaxation techniques such as relaxing the jaw muscles. This helps to relax uterine muscles as well and can reduce pain. Other options include having a mild, gentle massage during the early stages of labour or utilising mental pain management techniques like meditation and breathing exercises. The key is to help relax the mind as well as the body so that the entire process goes smoothly and without complications. It can greatly reduce pain, and serve as a better option than a risky epidural.


It might surprise you to learn that your position during childbirth is an option as well. Lying on your back can increase pressure and pain, and simply assuming a more comfortable position could reduce pain levels tremendously. There's no way to predict exactly how your pregnancy is going to go. Some women experience an easy, almost painless labour while others struggle with it. But knowing that there are epidural alternatives out there is important since the rewards may not be worth the risks. If you're expecting a child, be sure that you understand all of your options instead of just focusing on one. 

If you need a drug-free, natural remedy for labor pains you should check out our Laboraide Shop.