A Guide To Managing Labor Contractions During Pregnancy

Updated on December 1, 2021
Young pregnant woman, having painful contraction, starting labor, sitting on the couch

Okay, so let’s be real, welcoming a new baby is always a blessing, but it can also be a painful process to have to go through. There’s no denying how labor contractions can be quite difficult to manage. The stronger they are, the more painful they become. If you’re lucky, your labor contractions can be quick and over in a few minutes. But, there are also those who go through quite long and extensive labor.

This isn’t to say, however, that you will have no relief. There are so many ways to manage labor contractions, as long as you’re aware of what you should be doing. It’s like getting ready to go into battle and all that pain is worth it when your baby finally comes.

As an expecting mom who may be concerned about the possibility of challenging contractions, this article should serve as your guide. With all the info you’ll learn below, you will be able to manage your labor contractions better to keep your pregnancy as smooth as possible.

Take Prenatal Classes

Taking prenatal classes may not be the first thing that’s on your mind for you to do. But it’s actually beneficial for you to enroll in one. Those classes are there for a good reason and that’s to educate you on pregnancy and what to expect during your delivery. 

One of the topics covered in prenatal classes discusses everything you have to know about labor contractions. This includes understanding Braxton Hicks and how it differs from labor per se.

Be In A Soothing Environment

Staying in a soothing environment is an effective way to manage your labor contractions. Nothing beats being in a comfortable environment to make you feel more at ease.

This is the reason why it’s very important to be selective about where you’re going to give birth, be it in your home or the hospital. You will feel more assured with a surrounding where you can move and walk around as you please, along with staff and an environment that fosters care, understanding, and love.

It’s also a plus if you have certain devices with you that can help you endure your painful contractions. These include a soft bed, a rocking chair, or a birth ball.

Eat Well

Keeping yourself well-nourished is one of the best ways to help you have smooth and pain-free labor. With long labor also comes the high risk of constipation, one you’ll certainly want to avoid going through during your labor and after giving birth. So, instead of packing up crisps and other ‘comfort food’ you may have in mind, to the hospital, it’s worth focusing on healthy snacks instead.

Here are food options to try out:

  • Peanut butter and banana sandwich, as the healthy carbs from the bread and banana can give you energy while the protein from the peanut butter can help prevent hunger spells;
  • Spaghetti with lean meat, as spaghetti is always a no-fail comfort food. Just be sure to stick to a healthy Bolognese sauce and skip the thick, cheesy, unhealthy sauces;
  • Quinoa and avocado bread, for a light but filling and healthy snack.


Engaging in exercise doesn’t have to stop once you get pregnant. In fact, for as long as your doctor recommends certain safe exercises for you, it’s highly recommended to keep exercising. It can be anything that can get your heart rate up, even if it’s only a walk-around block. The key is to give yourself at least half an hour of regular exercise.

Even when you’re already in labor, exercising may still help you too. Doing so will keep your energy levels up so you can withstand what could possibly be a physically-exhausting delivery. Exercising is also a good, natural way to reduce stress and keep the happy mood up during your labor.

Express Your Fears

Whatever apprehensions you have about your labor contractions, it’s important to express those to your labor team. Your team can include your doula or midwife if you’re opting for a home and water birth. If you’re going for the traditional route of giving birth in the hospital, your team would include your doctor, nurses, and caregivers.

Don’t be afraid to talk openly with your medical team. The more you open up about what you’re feeling during your labor, the more they’ll be able to help you out. Also, inform your team about any birth plan or preferences you may have in mind just to be certain if what you’re receiving is the care you envisioned to be the best for you.


While it’s true that it hurts to deliver a baby, there’s a lot of things you can do to ease up those labor contraction pains. It pays to do research early on. That way, anytime labor strikes to surprise, you’re prepared for it. Do remember to always consult your doctor. All you’ve read above isn’t meant, in any way, to be a substitute for sound medical advice.

+ posts

Throughout the year, our writers feature fresh, in-depth, and relevant information for our audience of 40,000+ healthcare leaders and professionals. As a healthcare business publication, we cover and cherish our relationship with the entire health care industry including administrators, nurses, physicians, physical therapists, pharmacists, and more. We cover a broad spectrum from hospitals to medical offices to outpatient services to eye surgery centers to university settings. We focus on rehabilitation, nursing homes, home care, hospice as well as men’s health, women’s heath, and pediatrics.