Comfort Measures

When women are choosing a care provider, they often go to someone their friends have gone to, even though they may have very different goals than their friends. Ask yourself these simple questions and see which care providers would be best for you.

Water Birth

The results showed that nulliparas (first time moms) who used the birthing pool had:

  • Significantly reduced operative delivery rates (c-sections)
  • A shorter second stage of labor (pushing)
  • Reduced analgesic requirements (pain medicine)
  • Lower incidence of perineal trauma (tears and episiotomies)

In multiparas (women who have already had a baby and usually don’t have the above complications) there were significant reductions in analgesic requirements.

Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 1997 May;37(2):137-42.

Freedom of Movement

  • Increased comfort / reduced pain
  • An enhanced sense of control
  • Can change the shape and size of the pelvis, which can help the baby’s head move to the optimal position during first stage labor, and helps the baby with rotation and descent during the second stage.
  • Swaying motions such as walking, climbing stairs, lunging, and swaying back and forth are especially helpful with the frequency, length, and efficiency of contractions
  • Changing position can reduce the length of labor. Mendez-Bauer and Newton (1986) state: “duration of labor from 3 to 10 cm cervical dilation was about 50% shorter in patients who alternated supine and standing, standing and sitting positions.”


  • Relieves stress and anxiety
  • Relaxes muscles
  • Blocks pain

Hot and Cold Therapy

  • Reduces pain
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Re-energizes
  • Soothing

Midwives and doulas provide comfort measures for all their clients!