The Pregnancy Show Presents: Learn about Midwives and Holistic Therapy
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Melanie Raposo: So do midwives use any holistic approaches for pain relief, like massage or something to help with the pain? Carolynn Prior: I think different midwives have different skills in that area, but I think almost all midwives provide a hands-on approach, where if the woman wants it, and it's helpful for her that we use massage, we use just being with a woman, sitting by her side, going through each contraction, helping her relax, helping her breathe, helping her remember kind of her the goal and what's happening, and help her stay in the momentum of just getting through that contraction. Some midwives have skills on homeopathy. Some midwives have skills in using herbs. Some midwives may have skills in using acupressure. All of things are quite individual, that different midwives bring different things to it. Midwives does mean with woman, and so I know all midwives help woman through labor by just being with them, and using kind of woman to woman skills of touch and empathy, emotional support. One of the best pain relief techniques for labor is water. Lot of women choose to have their baby in the water, but that during labor water can be an excellent pain reliever. The research actually puts it on par with some narcotics for the effects. I mean, water birth is something that's enjoyed by many women, but even laboring in water can have really positive effects in helping the labor go by smoothly, and making the woman feel more comfortable. I mean, many women go to the water when they have their periods, as pain relief, and just for comfort, and they naturally gravitate towards that, and labor is not any different. So it's one of the things that we will recommend women, because I don't quite know what to do to help the pain. I am kind of getting at that point where it feels like it's kind of getting on top of me, then we will recommend, hey, let's go get into the shower, let's get into the tub, and use the soothing properties of water.