It's the moment you've been waiting for: Your contractions have finally started-and they're growing more intense (read: Owww!!). The last thing you want is people telling you to relax, but that's exactly what may help the most. "The more at ease a woman is, the better able she is to deal with the challenges of labor," says Melody Cook, a certified prenatal and postpartum massage therapist in Richardson, Texas. "She's also going to think more calmly and clearly." And staying loose keeps muscles primed to push, which can help prevent labor from stalling.
It's hard to kick back completely-you're having a baby! But these tips and techniques are surefire soothers.