When one thinks of natural home birth, often the first thing that comes to mind is pain and fear of what is to come, but that doesn’t have to be the case. There are many techniques that can significantly reduce pain during labor and delivery. So how can you naturally relieve pain during a home birth?

Techniques such as orgasmic birth, hypnobirthing, water birth, along with others, can all relieve pain naturally and have no negative side effects. They allow you to look back on your home birth with happiness, love, and a sense of accomplishment.

1. Orgasmic Birth

Maybe the best kept secret of childbirth, orgasmic birth reduces pain and sensitivity by blocking pain messages to the brain through stimulation of the vagina and clitoris. (Source)

It is a method that can literally be described as an orgasm during childbirth, however, that’s not necessarily always the case.

CHILD BIRTH ORGASM : Best Kept Secret of Labor? | SEXUAL CONTENT | ABC News 20/20

This process allows you to be one with yourself, puts you in an amazing state of mind, and helps to relieve pain during childbirth, making it a very open, loving, and sexual experience.

According to womansday.com, Oxytocin peaks at levels 10 times higher during child birth than at any other time. If oxytocin is allowed to flow freely orgasmic birth can be naturally occurring.

We are deprived of these intoxicating and overwhelming feelings of love during a hospital birth because, in a hospital setting, we are allowed no privacy, we have no control, and most of all, we are uncomfortable, on top of all the medications we are likely on.

You can achieve an orgasmic birth in a couple of ways including,

  • Masturbation during labor whether it be with a vibrator or your hand.
  • Thinking of things that sexually arouse you during labor puts you in an extraordinary mental state because it causes more oxytocin to be released.

For more on orgasmic birth, an excellent video to check out is, “Orgasmic Birth: The Best-Kept Secret” by Debra Pascali-Bonaro. Or you can read her book, Orgasmic Birth: Your Guide to a Safe, Satisfying, and Pleasurable Birth Experience.


Hypnobirthing originated from the work of an English Obstetrician named Grantly Dick-Read, M.D, who wrote the book Child Birth Without Fear.

Through hypnobirthing, mothers can train their brains to evoke a deep relaxation response at will.

It uses deep breathing exercises, visualization, prompts from partner, and labor comfort techniques to calm tension and ease pain.

 In fact, women who experience hypnobirthing typically describe feeling pressure instead of pain and refer to contractions as “surges” or “waves”. (Source)

There are some great resources for learning all there is to know about hypnobirthing before your big day gets here. Hypnobabies is one of the best courses out there.

Also check out this video for a few tips from a home birthing momma that used hypnobirthing herself.


Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing exercises are beneficial when it comes to reducing pain in home birth. When you breathe in deeply, not only do you feel immediate peace and relaxation, but it also releases endorphins by oxygenating your blood which decreases the release of stress hormones and slows down your heart rate.

Endorphins are pain-relieving hormones that also make you feel happy and calm. This is the main way breathing exercises work to relieve pain.

There are different breathing techniques you could learn, such as slow breathing, light accelerated breathing, variable breathing, and expulsive breathing.

The beauty of breathing exercises is that you can switch to another technique when the one you are using stops working for you.

How to take advantage of these pain-relieving breathing techniques:

  • Slow Breathing – Best used in early labor [when your contractions first begin]. With this technique, you will slowly inhale through your nose, count to 5, and then slowly exhale while counting to 8. You will do this every time you feel a contraction begin to peak. When you exhale, you are releasing all the pain, tension, and negative thoughts with the release of your breath.
  • Light accelerated breathing- This is another one you can use in early labor. You can switch to this one when slow breathing is no longer benefitting you. With this one, you are going to begin with a deep, slow breath, exhale through your mouth, and then as the contraction peaks you will start accelerating your breaths, breathing in and out through your mouth until the contraction ends.
  • Variable breathing- This technique is for the most intense part of labor, the transitional phase, when your cervix dilates from 8 to 10 cm. When you start to feel a contraction, start with a deep, slow breath in and exhale. Then, next time you breathe in, when you exhale, do it in short spurts making a “hee, hee, hee” sound. Then expel the rest of that breath out in a long “hoo” sound.
  • Expulsive breathing- Also for the second stage of labor, but this one is for when you feel the urge to push. When the urge to push becomes irresistible, take a deep breath and hold it while you bare down for 5-7 seconds. Then exhale any remaining air. You can bare down 2-4 times during each contraction. (Source)

Water Birth

Water birth is giving birth in a birthing tub full of warm water. It is an effective pain management technique for the simple fact that warm water relaxes the body and mind and lets the mother focus more on other things other than her pain.

Combined with music and/or massage, this could be a very good way to manage pain during a home birth.

The warm water also lessens the chance of tense breathing because it increases relaxation. This reduces pain because shallow, short breaths intensify contractions and make them more painful.

Water birth is also said to decrease the likely hood of perineal tears.

Bradley Method

The Bradley Method was created by Robert A. Bradley in 1947. It is referred to as “Husband-coached childbirth” because it relies heavily on training fathers to be labor coaches.

The Bradley Method is a childbirth class that teaches mothers to give birth naturally without drugs or surgery. It focuses on deep and complete relaxation, abdominal breathing as well as quiet, darkness, and solitude to relieve pain.

Mothers are encouraged to focus on exercise and diet throughout their pregnancy and to manage labor pains through deep breathing exercises.

Not only does it teach pain management, It also teaches you how to manage stress and anxiety naturally which is also a big part of pain management.

For more on Bradley Method, visit bradleybirth.com


Most massage techniques were made to relieve pain and reduce stress. No wonder this is a natural pain relieving technique for labor. It not only relieves pain but also relieves anxiety which makes childbirth easier to cope with. There are a variety of ways you can experience pain relief with massage.

Types of massage for pain relief:

Foot massage – This type of massage focuses on reflexology to relieve pain elsewhere in the body. The mother should lie down on her back with her feet slightly raised. By squeezing the second and third toe then releasing, it causes a tingling sensation to move up her legs and pelvic area after repeating the process a few times. This technique is also said to speed up a slowed labor.

Lower-back massage- We have probably all experienced a lower back massage at some point in our lives. It doesn’t only work miracles for pulled muscles or an achy back, it’s also perfect for pain relief during childbirth because the back is where we experience most of our pain.

Effleurage – In between or during contraction, light strokes down the spine, or circular strokes along the abdomen can be used to relieve pain and pressure. They also increase concentration during contractions so that you aren’t focused on the pain.

Double hip squeeze- Helps the pelvis relax and the baby to drop into position easier. It helps relieve back pain during labor, especially when the baby is facing forward (baby’s front is facing your front). When your baby descends into the pelvis, it is often excruciating pain. This massage is a lifesaver during this time as it relieves this pain. To see exactly how it’s done, here is a video on a double hip squeeze at babycenter.com.

NOTE: NEVER use deep pressure when massaging.

Watch this video to find out how to create the perfect DIY back massage.

Kate Jordan: Manual Therapy Treatment for Low Back Pain in Pregnancy Using Oakworks Equipment

Essential oils

Essential oils are miracle workers when it comes to labor and delivery for so many different things ranging from relaxation, pain relief, focus, energy, and so much more. Some of the most effective pain-relieving essential oils for labor include Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Clary Sage, and Ginger.

You can use them in a few ways to achieve the pain-relieving benefits. You can either diffuse them, make a massage oil out of them, put them on a damp and cold rag, or you can inhale them straight from the bottle.

Here is how these oils help control pain during labor and delivery:

  • Peppermint – This oil is well known as an effective natural pain-relieving essential oil. The best way to achieve this is to make a massage oil with 10-15 drops of peppermint oil in a teaspoon of carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil. From there, you will have it massaged into any part of your body that you feel pain like you back and hips, avoiding your eyes and mouth. (Only use externally.)
  • Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus Globulus is an extremely strong natural pain reliever. You can use it as a massage oil in the same way described above. It is also even better when you combine Peppermint oil and Eucalyptus oil. Not only will this combination relieve pain, but it also relieves stress and anxiety.
  • Lavender – This is the most sedating, calming essential oil available. This oil is best diffused in the air near you. Lavender puts your mind in another place, relaxes you, and makes you think happy thoughts. One study showed that when women used Lavender essential oil for pain, they reported less pain. You can also use a few drops in a sitz bath to manage pain and redness.
  • Chamomile – Both German and Roman Chamomile are known for their sedating effects on the mind and body but that’s not all they’re good for. During labor and delivery, you can use Chamomile to alleviate pain and inflammation as well as soothe muscle tension. You can do this by creating a massage oil or using a hot compress by getting a large bowl or warm water, dropping 10-15 drops of Chamomile in the water, submerge a rag in the warm water mixture, wring the rag out slightly and then using wherever you feel pain.
  • Clary Sage – This oil is known to induce contractions in pregnant women and for this reason, it is important that you avoid it until time to give birth. Breathing Clary Sage essential oil intensifies contractions and speeds up labor and delivery. You can mix 1/2 tsp of Clary Sage essential oil with 1/2 tsp of carrier oil and rub it on your belly to bring labor on and ease labor pains.
  • Ginger – This oil causes a warming sensation when rubbed into the skin which helps alleviate the pain of childbirth.

Music and Sound

It’s true that music is therapeutic. It triggers the release of natural pain relieving chemicals in the brain that can reduce the feeling of pain.

The type of music you listen to isn’t as important as how well it engages the person listening to it. As long as you are interested in music, it should work.

You can make an effective personal pain management playlist by picking out songs that you know you can get lost in. It will differ from person to person because not everyone’s taste in music is the same.

This also works for soothing sounds like the sound of rain on a tin roof, ocean sounds, and nature sounds.

Recapping these miracle pain relieving techniques

As you can see, you have many options when it comes to pain management in a home birth that doesn’t interfere with this natural process. You can combine some of these methods to make it work even better, for instance, if you combine a water birth with essential oils, soothing sounds, and breathing exercises, managing your pain will be so much easier.

Make sure to pin this post to your natural home birth board to reference closer to when the time comes.

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