There are a number of things you can do to cope with labour, these include:

Birth ball

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The birth ball permits you to be in a gravity enhancing position while being supported and allowing you to move.  You can sway or bounce or rock on the ball and not get as tired as you would if you were standing. The gravity enhancing position helps the baby move deeper into the pelvis and likely shortens the length of labour.

People often comment that they notice a relief of pressure on their lower back when sitting on the ball. When you move on the ball, the receptors in your joints send messages about movement to your brain. These messages reach the brain before the pain message from the contractions, so many people say that they feel less pain while moving on the ball. This rhythmic movement on the ball can be very comforting during a contraction.



The toilet is an excellent place to labour. The position is gravity enhancing and it allows a person to empty their bowels or bladder. It also helps that you will have to change your position by walking to get there. Gravity, pelvic relief, and movement are a great combination for progressing labour.

If you are the support person…
Keep them moving

Movement is very important in the progress of labour. Movement can help to shorten the length of labour and keep other muscles relaxed while the uterus is working. As a support person, you can help by keeping the labouring person moving as much as possible, even if it is just a gentle sway.

If they want a change from being on the toilet, then a shower can also be very helpful. They will be in an upright position which will encourage baby to come down and the warm water will help them let go of any tension!