___ Distract yourself. In early labor or while you wait for an epidural, you can thumb through some celeb gossip magazines, tune in to anything on MTV or VH1 or cue up a labor playlist from your iPod.
___ Ask (OK, demand) a massage from your husband or labor coach -- or just a hand to squeeze (as hard as you want!) when a contraction strikes.
___ Focus on something that makes you happy, like the image of your baby's amazing French country nursery. (That toile rocker was totally worth the splurge!)
___ Put those prenatal yoga moves to work. Changing positions frequently -- squatting, sitting, rocking on your hands and knees can all ease the pain on your lower back.
___ Don?t be afraid to make some noise. There's nothing (we repeat: nothing!) these doctors and nurses haven?t heard before.
___ Zero in on an object in the room until the contraction passes.
___ Go to the bathroom regularly -- an empty bladder can help make contractions feel less intense.
___ Try water massage or using a Jacuzzi, if one?s available.
___ Take slow, controlled and relaxed breaths. Go on, make your childbirth class instructor proud!
Source: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.