Expecting? Why you should add a comb to your hospital bag

Why you should pack a comb in your hospital bag.
Why you should pack a comb in your hospital bag. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

While your hospital bag might be stocked with maternity pads and comfy underwear, according to a team of doulas and birth photographers, there's another item we should be packing too - a comb.

In a post to their Facebook page, Fox Valley Birth and Baby write: "Did you know a comb can be used during labor?! And no it's not for your hair. When gripped in your hands, a comb can help hit acupuncture points in your hands."

The team explains that it's also related to gate control pain theory.

"This theory states that the brain can only focus on a select number of sensations," they write. " Because the nerve endings are closer on your hands they reach your brain faster, helping your body forget about the contractions."

So how exactly do you hold it? The comb needs to be across the palm of your hand, demonstrated in the photo below.

The post has since been shared over 20,000 times with many commenters saying IT WORKS!

"It totally worked with me! I had my second baby completely naturally just by breathing evenly, moving and gripping a comb through out my labor."

"I keep a new pack of combs in my bag for each birth!" 

And birth isn't the only application.

"Combs are also great for when your breast are engorged with milk. Comb towards the nipple , it feels very relieving and helps get milk out and lumps etc."

"I do this when I get a tattoo! Totally works."

Midwifery Advisor Hilary Rorison of the Australian College of Midwives (ACM) says she encourages women to arm themselves with as many "tools" as possible in their labour and birth "tool kit',

"Massage, acupressure and other pain relief methods such as TENS machines, hypnotherapy, vocalisation, water immersion, and active movement (swaying hips, swaying) can be helpful for women," Mrs Rorison says, adding that these techniques can be used in labour to help women work with their contractions.

"Whatever technique works for a particular woman, at a particular time in labour is what is right for her," she continues. "Women should talk with their care provider about what techniques they would like to try in labour and birth so that they can best support them."