Many women find comfort in birth from warmth. There are other comfort measures that are naturally warming, such as massage, or the shower. Some women have said that laboring in a deep tub of warm water is like a "liquid epidural". Tea can also be wonderful in labor, or a warm homemade bone broth soup-- giving you strength and energy for the hours that lie ahead. When you get to your birthing place, it's also important to know that many facilities offer warm blankets-- imagine, hot cozy blankets straight from the dryer. I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it.
Warmth in labor can be a powerful and effective comfort measure.
I think my FAVORITE warming comfort measure for birth is the rice sock. A lot of people have these at home already, but if you don't, they are easy and cheap to make. I highly recommend having a few that you can either swap out, or use in multiple areas. Perhaps you would like on on your back, between your inner thighs, or underneath your belly. Anywhere you are feeling tension and tightness.
To make your own rice sock:
1. Get a long tube sock.
2. Fill with dried, uncooked rice, about 2/3 of the way full, so that you will still have room to tie it closed. You may also add dried fragrant herbs-- such a lavender or chamomile.
3. Tie a square knot at the top of the sock to keep the rice in.
4. Microwave for about 1 minute. (Note: this is one of the only reasons I still use a microwave-- there is not another good way to heat rice socks that will hold heat for as long as they do when microwaved). CAUTION: This can be incredibly HOT. It's important to test out the heat by holding onto your own skin for 45 seconds or so. Laboring women can become easily burned and you would not want that to happen. Be sure to wrap in a small towel if it is too warm before placing in the desired area.
This is by far my favorite tool for early labor and helping women get good rest. I hope you it will aid you in your birth journey, whatever that looks like for you.
She lives in the Minneapolis area with her husband and 15 month old daughter, who came to them through the miracle of adoption. She was able to offer her support as a doula to her daughter’s birth mother and helped catch her as she was born. She is very proud that she was able to induce lactation in order to nurse her daughter for over a year now