Did you know that using heat therapy is one of the most effective natural pain relief available?
One of the best ways to cope during active labour is to use heat therapy. I usually recommend my clients to have a hot shower at this stage and see if they would feel comfortable enough in the shower to last through a few intense contractions.
Another great tip would be the simple hot sock. When surges intensify, women usually speak of pain throughout the hips and buttocks area. Applying the hot sock would help give some relief.
How to make a hot sock?
- Take one piece of sock. You can use a brand new piece of sock, or an old one. 100% cotton or wool sock would be best as it heats up evenly. When using socks with nylon or other synthetic fibres, take great care after heating as it might burn you.
- Scoop in 3-5 cups of rice into the sock, depending on how soft you want it to be. I usually prefer a taut sock because the sock can stretch. Make sure to leave enough sock space at the top (to tie a knot).
- Tie a knot at the top to seal the sock.
Congratulations! You have made a hot rice sock.
How to use it?
Microwave it for 30-60 secs (depending on heat of microwave). The idea is to get a reasonably warm sock that can last at least 20-30mins of usage.
If it is not hot, simply microwave it for a longer duration. If it is too hot, you can either wait for it to cool, or wrap a towel around it before applying on skin.
- Did you know that you can request the EmmaCare midwives in NUH to heat up your hot socks? They have a microwave available somewhere in the labour ward.
- In between contractions, daddies can use the hot sock over their aching shoulders!
- Kids love it too. My daughter enjoys playing with the sock (unheated) like a squishy stress ball. If your children are old enough, they can use the hot sock to get involved with your labour and help give you some relief. It is nice when children understand that labour is not a scary episode. When they learn to use simple tools for pain relief, they will grow up to be more confident of labour and birth, InshaAllah!
Have fun with your hot sock! Just do be extra careful when handling it fresh from the microwave~