Are you planning a drug free birth? Or are you hoping to delay pain medications as long as possible during labour? Then check out our handy birth tool kit for rent: the ‘Birth Box”.
Included in the Birth Box are essential items for pain relief during labour such as a “Rebozo Scarf”, a TENS machine, massage Knukkles, unscented massage oil a yoga ball and a yoga mat. Also included are items to increase comfort during labour such as gum, hard candies and honey sticks for a boost of sugar when you aren’t much up for eating. Other additional items included are hair elastics, head bands and life saving lip balm.
Lets explore how each of these items can help you during your labour.
A Rebozo scarf is a long woven scarf that originates from Mexico. Spanish Midwives have been using them for centuries to relieve pregnancy aches as well as relive pain and provide relaxation during childbirth. Most Doula’s carry one to their births to help their clients through labour.
The scarf can be wrapped around the body in different ways to help relieve back pain, rotate a posterior baby, alleviate hip and pelvic girdle pain as well as relieve pelvic pressure. To see a demonstration of how a Rebozo can be used check out these amazing videos. Keep in mind Rebozo’s work best when you learn how to use one from a trained professional. (check out our Natural Pain Management for Labour class where we teach and help you practice a number of helpful rebozo techniques).
A TENS machine is a little battery powered magic box of pain relief! TENS stands for Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation. If you’ve ever been to a physiotherapist, you may have already used one. There are special machines designed specifically for labour pain. The handheld machine is connected to four electrodes placed on the labouring woman’s back. Each electrode emits a low current electrical pulse. This feels a bit tingly or like gentle “pins and needles”. As contractions increase in intensity the user presses a button on the machine that “boosts” or jacks up the intensity of the current delivered.
The electrical current delivered relieves the pain of contraction by way to the “Gate Control” theory of pain. The electricity re-routes the electrical pain signal your body is trying to send to your brain, therefore, decreasing the way your brain interprets the pain of the contraction. These machines are especially handy during back labour.
Massage “Knukkles” are specially designed massage tools that help relieve muscle aches and body tension during pregnancy and labour. They are super easy to use and don’t require any massage oil. One of the benefits of using these tools is that they stop your fingers and thumbs from getting tired during massage. It is also very easy to control the amount of pressure used during massage and increase or decrease if necessary.
A Yoga Ball can be a labouring woman’s best friend! More import than what tools you use is how you position your body during labour. A Yoga ball allows the use of upright body positioning in many forms. You can do so much more than just sit on it! Sitting on a yoga ball helps to increase the diameter of your pelvis and aids baby in entering the birth canal by allowing their head to better press against your cervix and help it to dilate.
But also you can use a ball to lean over on your hands and knees to relieve back pain, place it between your back and a wall to support you in a squat or even take it into the shower to sit on or lean over. A yoga ball is like Frank’s Red Hot Sauce for labour. “Put that thing on everything!”.
Never underestimate the amazing power of a life saver candy or a piece of gum during labour. With all the heavy breathing during labour, your mouth gets dry and sticky and not to mention your breath may not be a fresh as you would like. Little things like a piece of gum or candy can make a mom (and partner too) feel a little bit more like themselves during a long labour. If you can’t eat during labour a honey stick is a great little energy boost in a tiny package to get you over the finish line when energy stores start to deplete.
Having little things like a headband or elastic to keep mom’s sweaty tresses out of her face can make a world of difference. Sometimes it’s the small things that count.
The Birth Box also contains a few much needed items to help mom through the postpartum period.
Each box contains Raspberry leaf tea, a known uterine tonic to help the uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size and alleviate cramping. A sachet of the most amazing herbal healing bath is included. The herbs help to heal swollen bottoms and relieve tired muscles when the work of labour is over.
But that’s not all! For a Complete list of all items included in the Birth Box Click Here
All of the items in the birth box are stored in a travel container that has a handle for easy transport with you to hospital or for safe keeping and easy access during your home birth. Boxes are rented for $85.00, distributed in the 37th week of pregnancy and returned 1 week after your bundle of joy arrives.
Maggie Hilton RN, BScN, is co-owner of Balancing from Birth to Baby, a Prenatal and Parenting Education service in Kitchener Waterloo. Maggie is a Registered Nurse with 6 years of experience in Childbirth Nursing and 5 years of experience as a Childbirth Educator. Maggie is also part time instructor at Conestoga College where she teaches maternity nursing courses to nurses looking to further their careers in the maternal-child field. She has a great passion for childbirth education, especially in regards to pain management during labour and she is the mother of two young children.
Balancing from Birth to Baby
Prenatal & Parenting Education/Doula Services
50 Ottawa St South unit 311 – Kitchener ON N2G 3S7