Comfort Techniques Handout

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Labour Environment

  • Dim the lights
  • Play music


  • Get in the bathtub and let the warm water soothe you—turn on the jets if they’re available (Check with your Health Care Provider first)
  • Take a shower and spray warm water on your belly or back
  • The bath works best when you are in active labour

This mom uses hydrotherapy while labouring


  • Have your labour partner massage your shoulders, legs, back, or wherever feels good
  • Try a light circular massage on your belly with your hands or shower spray
  • During contractions, have your partner apply pressure on your lower back using their hands or a tennis ball
  • Try a double-hip squeeze (partner’s hands placed low on your hips, pressing in and up during contractions)
  • Apply warm or cold water bottles, wash cloths, heating pads, or gel packs to sore areas

This mom sits on a birth stool


  • Imagine that each contraction is an ocean wave that crests and recedes
  • Visualize yourself in a peaceful place, such as a favorite vacation spot, to help during labour and between contractions—imagine the sounds and sensations of being there
  • Use focal points, such as your ultrasound photo or an object in the labour room
  • Repeat a word or a positive phrase


  • Take deep, cleansing breaths
  • Try breathing quicker or adding a pattern as labour intensifies
  • Breathe in a way that feels right for you

Positions & Movement

  • Try sitting, standing, squatting, getting on hands and knees, leaning forward, and side-lying
  • Use movement, such as rocking your pelvis or slow dancing with your partner
  • Walk the halls
  • Use labour tools, such as a fitness ball, squat bar, or birthing stool


  • Use a variety of positions—squatting, hands and knees, semi-sitting, and side-lying
  • Listen to your body and follow your instincts

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