Contraction Pain

Contraction Pain: Tips Every Soon-to-be Mother Should Know

For many women expecting their first child, the upcoming contraction pain may be one of the scariest facets of labor and delivery. This can be particularly true for young mothers that do not wish to have any medicinal pain relievers. Thankfully, there are several ways to help overcome contraction pain and make the experience as smooth for yourself as you can.

Breathing Techniques

Breathing techniques are the oldest go-to methods for helping to reduce contraction pain during delivery. While a Lamaze class will certainly be the best way for you to learn and practice methods that work best for you, not everyone has this luxury. There are some things that you can do, however, in lieu of a Lamaze class that will help take some of the edge off of the pain.

When the pain isn’t intense, basic, rhythmic deep breathing is a top choice for contraction soothing. It also allows your circulation to regulate through your body and prepares you for the upcoming exertion. Take deep breaths and focus on blowing out as much air as you can as you exhale. If you have a partner or coach with you, have them help you set the cadence and follow their lead. Your nurses will also be able to help you with your breathing.


There was a time when no hospital allowed cell phones or other such electronic devices. Thanks to modern technology this is no longer a problem. Many women in labor are now choosing to distract themselves with social networking, music, and even video games on laptops and cell phones. This is particularly effective if you normally network or play video games at the end of a long day, because your brain will be wired to relax while doing these tasks. Check with your hospital to make sure that they allow cell phones and laptops in the obstetrics ward. If not, consider board or card games. These can be equally as effective and are great time-killers for long deliveries.

Walking it Off

As contraction pain increases, you may want to try getting up and walking around. Just as exercise is good for menstrual cramps, this physical exertion is good for contractions as well. If you are pacing the room or the hospital hallways and feel a contraction coming, there are ways to handle it as well. Hunch down or squat and wait out the contraction. Since your body wants to push at this point and your muscles are pulsating and flexing, you will be in a significant amount of discomfort. Hunching and squatting down helps this, since it’s a natural position that works well with contractions. Be sure to not push, however, until your doctor or the nurses instruct you to.

Pain Displacement

Many women joke about almost breaking their partner’s hands during labor by squeezing them so hard. As comical as the scenario may sound, it’s actually true. Squeezing an item or a person is a great way at helping you subconsciously feel more in control of your situation, and thus more able to cope with pain from contractions. Since there is actually a risk at hand injury for your partner, you may wish to use a stress ball instead.

If you seek the comfort of your partner’s hand, however, there are ways to squeeze it that will not injure or cause them extreme pain. Instead of grasping their entire hand, clutch the forefinger and middle finger. By doing this, you are not causing extreme pain due to bone and flesh compression. The joints are safe as well. In fact, you can squeeze these two fingers together as hard as you want, with minimal pain to your loved one, leaving them in a position to be more helpful and supportive during the labor experience.