C is for COMFORT

During pregnancy and labor, comfort is a big deal!

Feeling good, at least as good as possible while growing a human, can give us a boost of energy and the strength we need to keep going. Sometimes that comfort comes from physical support like a massage, or an encouraging word from your partner or doula. Comfort is as individual as each person on the planet and it matters how *you* receive comfort.

With that in mind, let’s explore what comfort means.

A question I love to ask our clients is “If you’ve had a tough day and you are tired with aching feet, what to you do to relax and feel better?” I’ve heard answers from wine to binge-watching a favorite show to sex, and they are all great comfort techniques.

My next question is, “How can you apply that when you are in labor?”

Physical comfort during labor helps reduce pain, gives the laboring person a way to interact with their contractions, and can help them feel safe and loved. It can look like a massage or snuggling. Maybe it’s slow dancing with your partner or resting in a nest of pillows. Whatever is it to you, start practicing now so when the big day arrives, you’ve got the tools hand.

When thinking about comfort, try to engage your 5 senses.

The scent of your favorite lotion or your carefully curated playlist count as comfort measures. It could be the feel of water on your skin, or holding a bag of ice to your chest. Sometimes watching a show or practicing visualizations can bring relaxation. Flavored water or herbal tea can be a great way to satisfy your taste buds in labor and also keeps you hydrated.

Another question I ask is “What type of verbal encouragement works for you?”

We all hear and receive encouragement in different ways. And it is important for your partner and support team to know what type of encouragement you need to hear. Do you want a cheerleader that says “You’re so great!” Or would you rather hear your partner whisper “You are so strong and I am so proud of you.”?

Partners, you know your loved one best and already do so much that helps in stressful or tired moments. Most of the time those things apply to supporting them in labor as well. If you discover new things during this process, you have new tools to use as you both adjust to having a brand new baby in the house.

Spend an evening talking about the things you want to hear or what words would be inspiring to you during labor. Have fun talking about and exploring new options for connecting with your partner and discovering what comfort means to you.

By: Lois Perks

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