24 Absolute Best Labor Tips for First Time Moms
Everyone experiences labor differently.
But no matter what you do, you’re gonna have labor pains. And when they come you’ll do just about anything to make it easier!
Now, unfortunately, you can’t make them go away (unless you get an epidural). But if you’re wanting to go for a more natural labor and birthing experience then you need NATURAL WAYS of helping you cope with labor pains!
So here I’ve gathered some of the best labor tips for first-time moms to help pregnant women get through labor!
These tips are also perfect for second-time moms too.
(This page may contain affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read my full disclaimer policy here.)
Things You Can Do Before You Give Birth
1. Take a Childbirth Class
You don’t want to be completely clueless and full of anxiety when you’re about to pop out a baby.
Going to a birthing class can help you feel more comfortable and prepared! And it’ll help you get more of an idea of what you can expect.
Typically some of the things they’ll talk bout are types of medicines they use, birthing tools, birthing positions, and explain the stages of a dilating cervix.
Pulling Curls actually has a totally free online prenatal class to help new moms get prepared for birth.
What’s great about these courses is that they’re ONLINE! You can do them at your own time and pace and you don’t have to leave home!
2. Hire a Doula
Something to consider is hiring a doula to be there.
Doulas can be very helpful and beneficial during labor. They offer lots of emotional and physical support for you.
And they’ll be there with you through the whole thing!
It’s very reassuring to have someone there who knows what’s going on, what to expect, as well as help support you.
So many women SWEAR by them!
In fact, women who have a doula there during labor and delivery are actually more likely to NOT use pain medicine!
How to Physically Prepare for Labor and Delivery
3. Drink Raspberry Leaf Tea
Raspberry leaf tea (which you can get here) when you’re pregnant can help make labor easier!
Drinking raspberry leaf tea is supposed to help shorten labor AND help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and uterine wall.
There’s not really a said time to start taking it as everyone seems to be told differently. Some say the second trimester and others say the third, and some doctors even say to wait till 36 weeks.
So be sure to talk to your doctor FIRST before taking any as it can induce contractions. And they can tell you when it’s safe for you to take it.
For a more in-depth look at raspberry leaf tea, you can read this study here.
4. Eat Dates
Yes, eating dates can help with labor!
Now how can this delicious fruit help with labor?
Dates can help with cervical ripening.
In this study here took pregnant women who were in the 37th week of gestation and had them consume 70 to 75 gr per day of date fruit per day until they went into labor.
In the study, the women had 43% lower rates of a c-section, 51% lower rates of the use of forceps, 55% less likely to use oxytocin to induce labor, and 68% more likely to have a successful vaginal delivery after labor induction!
They typically say to eat 6 Deglet Noor date or 3 Medjool dates.
6. Perineal Massage
Perineal massage is when you massage the area between the vagina and the anus.
Some of the benefits of doing perineal massage during pregnancy are easing pain during crowning, reduces tearing, and may even help the baby’s head to come down easier AND quicker!
You can learn more and how to do a perineal massage here.
Do you know those silly exercises that they keep telling you to do?
Well, they have a purpose!
Doing kegel exercises throughout pregnancy will help build your pelvic floor muscles. So when labor comes around, it’ll make pushing easier for you!
And it can also help with bladder control during and after pregnancy.
So do your kegels ladies!
Staying fit during your pregnancy will help so you’re not so exhausted during labor. It’s also said to help shorten and make labor less painful labor as well.
Some examples of exercises you could do during pregnancy include pregnant yoga, going on walks, swimming, and special pregnancy exercises made just for pregnant women!
But always be sure to get the OK from your doctor first!
Tips to Get Through Labor
9. Use a Birth Ball
During my second time around I used a birthing ball and it helped me so much!
Not only are birthing balls a great exercise for during pregnancy but they can be a great help for when you are in labor!
They can help relieve labor pains, encourage proper positioning of the baby, and may even make labor go faster as well.
I used this birth ball here and used it practically the WHOLE time I was in labor!
Aromatherapy is a relaxing and natural way that can help with labor.
Women have used aromatherapy to help with pain management, concentration during labor, and to help progress faster through labor.
If you do decide to do aromatherapy make sure to only use pure therapeutic grade essential oils in your diffuser.
11. Motivational Symbol
When the goings get tough, a motivational symbol could be just the right thing to help you!
Using a motivational symbol may center and help keep you focused.
You could bring birthing quotes that motivate you or a picture of something special to you. Like something your kids drew, the ultrasound picture, or a picture of a beautiful scenery.
12. Have Someone Massage You
Bring some massage lotion or oil and have your birthing partner give you a nice back massage! If you’re having labor pains in your back, have someone rub your lower back to help relieve some of that pain.
In this study here about labor pain, they had pregnant women’s partners massage them for the first 15 mins of every hour. These women experienced less pain, shorter labor, and had less of a need for medications.
Other Posts You May Like: Benefits of Prenatal Massage
13. Play Music
Hook up some music to your speaker and play something that’ll help you relax.
Play whatever kind of music that is gonna help YOU most. Whether it be spa music, classical, or maybe even some soft rock.
But I would recommend making a “Labor Playlist” with all the songs you want on it before it’s time to go to the hospital. That way you won’t be so caught off guard if something unexpected starts to play.
14. Breathe and Move on
After a contraction is over, just breathe and move on Mama.
Cause when that contraction is done, it’s done.
You never have to experience that contraction ever again. You don’t even have to think about that contraction again.
Yeah, contractions do hurt but remember, this pain doesn’t last forever. It does end.
So just breathe and move on.
Just think how every contraction you have is just one contraction closer to seeing that sweet baby’s face for the first time!
15. Get into Water
You can do hydrotherapy by getting into a nice warm bath or getting in the shower.
Laboring in water has been said to help with comfort as well as help relieve some of the pain.
Letting the showerhead or the jets from the bath hit your back can help make back labor less painful. Though, if your water broke they may not let you into the bath.
16. Have a Good Support Team
Having a good support team is so important.
This will help make things so much easier for you!
Cause they’re gonna be the ones that are gonna help you get through this! And you’re gonna want all the support you can get.
My support team consisted of the Dad, my Mom, and my Mother-in-law.
They all helped me a lot and I’m so glad I had them there with me!
17. Doing Breathing Techniques
Do the breathing techniques that you’ve learned to help get through contractions easier. Breathing techniques can help you to relax, ease pain, and help you to focus during contractions.
18. Keep Yourself Moving
If you can, try not to lay down the whole time during labor.
Unless you have to lay in bed, try to get up and walk around and try different positions too.
Being in another position like laying on your side, leaning over, rocking, or sitting may help you cope with labor pains more. And walking around may even help shorten labor!
19. Be Open-Minded
Labor can be unpredictable and things may not go as planned. But remember that it’s okay!
If you planned on doing a natural birth and the pain is getting to be too much for you…don’t beat yourself up if you change your mind and decide to do an epidural.
No one knows how they’ll react to labor or what it will be like until they actually experience it!
20. Snacking and Drinking
Labor is a lot of work! And you’re gonna be tired and exhausted.
In the early stages of labor have some light snacks and stay hydrated to help keep your energy levels up!
You may not get to eat when you arrive at the hospital since many hospitals restrict women from eating. So be sure to eat a little something before you get there.
But avoid eating any heavy or greasy foods as they could make you nauseated and puke during labor.
21. Heating Pad
Having a heating pad or using a heated rice sock can help relieve labor pains in your low back.
All you need to do is just place it on your low back while you’re in labor.
Labor Techniques & Strategies
Some women use special techniques to help them during labor!
Now some work for some women and others may not work as well for others.
It’s all about finding what works best for you!
Below are some labor techniques that maybe you can do for when you’re in labor.
Hypnobirthing is a popular technique that I hear a lot.
This involves women doing self‑hypnosis and guided imagery techniques to help them have a more comfortable, relaxed, and easier birth.
23. Lamaze Breathing
This is a breathing technique that helps laboring women take slow deep breaths to relax more during a contraction.
Doing this breathing can help you take your mind away from the pain as well.
Each time you exhale you’re supposed to release the tension and think of relaxing a part of your body each time.
24. Create a Relaxing Place
During labor, some women will set up their place of birth almost with a spa type feel.
Do they this to help with feel more relaxed.
You can create a peaceful and relaxing area by dimming the lights, playing soft sweet music, doing aromatherapy, and you can even add some items that just make the room feel more peaceful like twinkling Christmas lights hung around the place.
Of course, you’d need to have the dimming lights into effect for this to work!
Advice from a Mom Who’s Been Through it Twice
One of the best labor tips I can give you is to just believe in yourself and your body.
Labor and giving birth are scary but letting go of this unneeded fear will help you!
You will have less anxiety and more confidence by believing in yourself.
YOU CAN DO THIS!
I mean were MADE to do this!
Your body already knows what to do!
(Please keep in mind that I am NOT a doctor, nurse, midwife, doula, or anything else. I am ONLY A MOM who is going off of her own experiences and research. If you’d like to know more you can read my full disclaimer policy here.)
The Best Labor and Delivery Checklist
What’d you think of this list of labor tips for first-time moms? Have a tip of your own? Tell us here in the comments! And if you liked it, give it a share!
Great tips! I wish I took childbirth classes before I went into labor. Would’ve known what to expect with my first!
Yes!! My doula made all the difference! Wonderful tips.
I’ve heard so much about the red raspberry leaf tea being so beneficial that next time I’m preggo, I will definitely be sipping on that! What great ideas!
Thank you for this helpful guide! I think staying active during pregnancy goes such a long way during labor and recovering after childbirth. All of these are really helpful with pain management and endurance!
Great list. Thanks! I have done this 5 times and you are right. Breathing, massage and being in the pool and shower helped me so much.