I bet when you think of a rocking chair you envision soothing a baby with it. But did you know that in the US once upon a time it was very popular to rock in a rocking chair during labor? Women still use it today; it’s just not as common with all the other, more assisted ways of pain relief. But I think we should really bring it back.

True story: I rocked three natural births with the help of my rocking chair.

So how does this work?
Rocking releases endorphins. In other words you make hormones that help you to relax when you’re doing repetitive movements.

Many people on the autism spectrum rock back and forth as a part of their coping mechanisms (stemming- we should embrace this in high intensity times such as birth but that’s for another post). Currently many treatment centers for anxiety disorders and senior citizens are prescribing rocking chairs (bonus: it also helps with blood circulation).

There was a study done on laboring women and rocking chairs. There are other studies done on rocking chairs and pain management. But this one is specific to labor. The study concluded that laboring women reported significantly less pain and more satisfaction in a rocking chair where they had total control over the movement (fast,slow,stop) as opposed to just sitting or standing. Here is the study: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20634029/ .

I am always on the hunt for things that make me proud to be an American (which is important when living abroad and are frequently confronted with all the other things…such as Super size foods, celebrity gossip, guns, the trump, etc). And the rocking chair is really a part of the ingenuitive, homespun, independent people of the country I hail from. It’s really beautiful in an ethnic sort of way.