St. Luke's Hospital
Located in Chesterfield, MO
Main Number: 314-434-1500
Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia


    Strategies for getting through labor

    No one will tell you that labor is going to be easy. Labor means work, after all. But, there is plenty you can do ahead of time to prepare for labor.

    One of the best ways to prepare is to take a childbirth class to learn what to expect in labor. You will also learn how to breathe, visualize, and use your labor coach to help you. Having a plan and knowing ways to manage pain will help you feel more relaxed and in control when the day arrives.

    Here are a few ideas that may be helpful.

    At Home

    When labor first begins, contact your health care provider.Start out by staying home as long as you can.

    • You can use the time to take a shower or warm bath and pack your bag if you haven't packed yet.
    • Walk around the house, or sit in your baby's room until it is time to go to the hospital.

    At the Hospital

    Make it a peaceful place for giving birth.

    • It may be soothing to dim the lights in your room.
    • Listen to music that comforts you.
    • Keep pictures or comfort items close by where you can see or touch them.
    • Ask your nurse for extra pillows or blankets to stay comfortable.

    Keep your mind busy.

    • Bring books, photo albums, games, or other things that will help distract you during early labor. You can also watch TV to keep your mind busy.
    • Visualize, or see things in your mind the way you would like them to be. You can visualize that your pain goes away. Or you can visualize your baby in your arms to help you stay focused on your goal.
    • Meditate or pray.

    Get as comfortable as you can.

    • Move around, changing positions often. Sitting, squatting, rocking, leaning on the wall, or walking up and down the hallway can help.
    • Take warm baths or showers in your hospital room.
    • If heat doesn't feel good, place cool washcloths on your forehead and lower back.
    • Ask your doctor or nurse for a birthing ball -- a big ball you can sit on that will roll under your legs and hips for gentle movement.
    • Don't be afraid to make noise. It is okay to moan, groan, or cry out. Some studies suggest that using your voice goes a long way in helping you deal with pain.
    • Use your labor coach. Tell your partner what they can do to help you go through labor. Your coach can give you back massages, keep you distracted, or just cheer you on.
    • Some women try “hynpobirthing” -- being under hypnosis while giving birth. Ask your doctor or nurse for more details about hynpobirthing.

    Remember, you're in charge!

    Speak up. Talk to your partner, your doctor, and nurses. Tell them how they can help you get through your labor.

    It's okay to change your mind about pain management if your plans before labor were different. Some women find that they need more help with managing their pain when labor arrives. Remember that you have the option to get pain medicine or a pain block if you need it.


          A Closer Look

          Self Care

          Tests for Strategies for getting through labor

            Review Date: 8/23/2012

            Reviewed By: Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Bellevue, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

            The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

            A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.

            Back  |  Top
            About Us
            Contact Us
            Locations & Directions
            Quality Reports
            Annual Reports
            Honors & Awards
            Community Health Needs

            Brain & Spine
            Sleep Medicine
            Urgent Care
            Women's Services
            All Services
            Patients & Visitors
            Locations & Directions
            Find a Physician
            Tour St. Luke's
            Patient & Visitor Information
            Contact Us
            Payment Options
            Financial Assistance
            Send a Card
            Mammogram Appointments
            Health Tools
            My Personal Health
            Spirit of Women
            Health Information & Tools
            Clinical Trials
            Employer Programs -
            Passport to Wellness

            Classes & Events
            Classes & Events
            Spirit of Women
            Donate & Volunteer
            Giving Opportunities
            Physicians & Employees
            For Physicians
            Remote Access
            Medical Residency Information
            Pharmacy Residency Information
            Physician CPOE Training
            St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
            Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Notice of Privacy Practices PDF  |  Patient Rights PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile