Playing Video Games Can Help With Labor Pain. Wait, What?

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One of the worst things to look forward to during a pregnancy is labor pain. If you are currently pregnant, you may be looking for ways to help you get past labor pain. And help comes in many ways such as – TENS machines, epidurals, or breathing exercises. However, one such option that you would not find on that list is – video games!

Hear us out.

Since one of the easiest ways to reduce pain during contractions is not focusing on the pain, it is very important for you to remain distracted during labor. As mentioned earlier, breathing exercises are very effective to focus your mind away from the pain during labor. However, that too may seem like a task for many. So, why not focus on something you enjoy?

Electronic gadgets can help reduce apparent pain

It is true. Using electronic devices such as televisions, phones, or tablets are proven to reduce apparent pain. A study by Lindsey L. Cohen, Ronald L. Blount and Georgia Panopoulos was published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology. In it, it was found that children who were allowed to view cartoons on a television during their vaccination felt less stressed about the whole idea of being pricked by a syringe. [1] It is said that distracting your mind from the pain helps reduce distress. However, watching television is only considered to be a passive form of distraction.

Playing video games is considered to be an active form of distraction. This is due to the fact that the person playing the video game is actively involved in making real-time choices within the game. In a study, published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, one-half of the test subjects were asked to submerge one of their hands in an ice cold bath while they used their other hand to play a smart phone game. The other half of the people only submerged their hands in the cold water [2]. It was found that the people who were playing a video game felt lesser pain and kept their hands in the bath for a longer period of time.

Would the use of electronic gadgets during labor help reduce pain?

There have not been any scientific studies carried out to prove this. However, people have definitely given video games a shot during labor. Rebecca Pollard published an article on Life Hacker where she explained her experience with smart phone games during labor [3]. Rebecca explains that playing on her phone helped her remain distracted during labor making this an effective method to battle labor pain. She claims that the video games did not help her too much towards the end of labor. However, she also mentions that the video games helped her get through those crucial first few hours of labor. Her verdict: it works!

Although there are no scientific studies conducted to back these claims, it is definitely worth giving a shot. It is not necessary for you to purchase brand new gaming consoles that will cost you hundreds of dollars. You can simply check the app store on your smart phone for a game that you may like. There are tons of free games available to download these days. You just need to find one that you may feel interested in playing.

Maybe you already have a favorite game that you play regularly on your phone. All you need to do is make sure you have your phone around you when you go into labor. Just make sure you disable your Internet though as you play, for you definitely don’t want your phone to be blowing up frenzied texts of, “Is it a boy? Is it a girl?” Other than that, best of luck!

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