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How a comb can help relieve pain in labour

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comb in labour

Pain relief during labour and birth is something midwives get asked about a lot (and for a good reason).

But something many women don’t realise is that you don’t have to decide on your choice of pain relief right away – you can start at with a heat pack and work your way up to an epidural. 

Or you can try a comb. 

Tylah McConnell is a Midwife based in Sydney. In a recent Facebook Live for TMB TV, she said a comb can be a handy tool for managing pain in labour. 

“Some women develop little techniques – they’ll bring like a comb and squeeze their hands on the comb during the contraction,” she says. 

So how does this unusual comb pain relief technique work?

“It’s not for your hair”

In a Facebook post shared by Fox Valley Birth and Baby, it’s explained how a regular comb can help in labour – and it actually makes total sense. 

“Did you know a comb can be used during labour?! And no, it’s not for your hair,” they write.

“When gripped in your hands, a comb can help hit acupuncture points in your hands.

“It also plays into the gate control pain theory. This theory states that the brain can only focus on a select number of sensations. Because the nerve endings are closer on your hands, they reach your brain faster. Helping your body forget about the contractions.”

Did you know a comb can be used during labor?! And no its not for your hair.When gripped in your hands, a comb can…

Posted by Fox Valley Birth and Baby on Monday, July 15, 2019

Later, Fox Valley Birth and Baby updated commenters on how to hold the comb. 

“For those who have asked how to hold it. Having the comb hit at the base of the fingers (across the palm of your hand).”

“It totally worked with me!”

Lots of mum-to-be said they were going to try this method. Others were sceptical. 

“I can believe this for pre-labour or the beginning stages of labour but when your at 7-8cm and getting close or at the stage to push that comb would be on the floor so fast … just use the gas and breathe lol.”

But lots of commenters said it works. 

“It totally worked with me! I had my second baby completely naturally just by breathing evenly, moving and gripping a comb throughout my labour.”

Someone else added: “I also was taught to drum your fingers as the concentration to do the motion properly is distracting to the brain. Worked in early and mid labour and with things like tattoos and constipation.”

So there you go!

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