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~
Deja vu! It was only less than 16 months ago that I prepped the same things for Rosebud’s birth. The last time, they were packed in an IKEA box (which I still have!). This time round I decided that a bigger, translucent and less flimsy box would be better for everyone, InshaAllah.
What’s in there?
Basically there are the essentials to contain the ‘mess’ (contrary to popular belief, there’s very little mess in a home birth!) like plastic sheets, underpads, trash bags, towels, sheets and containers. Then there’s the baby stuff like diapers, clothes, socks, hats and blankets. There’s items for mummy too like disposables, sanitary napkins and soothing labour items like hot socks and massage oils. Other miscellaneous important things include my gyn/ob’s card in case of a hospital transfer, thermometer and flashlight. My midwife will be bringing her own birth kit (the medical stuff) on the birth day itself.
The things I’ve prepared above are for a land birth. For those having a home water birth, you’d need more stuff like extra plastic sheets and towels, pump and water thermometer. And of course the pool itself!
So when DH overheard all the hustle and bustle of me putting the kit together, he jokingly remarked, “You’re making me nervous!”. Lol… Well, actually I kind of am too myself 😊. But nervous is good, it makes you prepared, InshaAllah! I hope I’ve covered most things~ Allah help me, InshaAllah… Ameen~
Random pregnancy post tonight:
1) Several days ago, when I picked and chose AbangH and Rosebud’s newborn clothes to be washed for baby Honeystar, I seem to subconciously pick out more of the blue-coloured outfits and wraps! Confident ke Honeystar will be a boy?
2) Also several days ago, I told my midwife that I am “…confident Honeystar’s head is still high”, only to be met with her wide-eyed response of “…nooo!! She is just *this close* (makes small gap indication with thumb and forefinger) to the middle of the pubis” from her after palpating the belly. Similarly the next day, I confidently told Cik Nor, my pre/postnatal massage lady, that baby is “…still high!” only to be met with the same response as my midwife. “Baby is already in a ‘prostrating’ position (ie occiput anterior), ready to come out! Be sure to stay more at home ok”, she said. Allahhh…. 😅 Whenever you’re ready, baby… 💕
3) I am 37+6 weeks today, Alhamdulillah Mohon doa semua~ And I seek your forgiveness for my wrongdoings! Please keep me in your prayers ok 😘