Labor Tools: Rice Sock
What it is:
A rice sock is en enclosed piece of fabric filled with dry rice that can be placed in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and will provide heat for about half an hour. Traditionally made from a tube sock and dry rice, rice socks are now available commercially in a variety of fabrics and with various fillings from buckwheat to glass beads.
How it works:
The rice in the sock absorbs the heat from the microwave and dispenses it slowly, providing a long-lasting and renewable source of warmth for the mother. The warmth can help to minimize the pain of sore muscles or relieve tension during labor.
A rice sock can also be used as a cold pack by placing the sock in the freezer for a few hours.
Depending on the size and shape of the sock, it may also provide some pressure for the mother, which can help ease a sore back.
How to do it:
Fill a new cotton tube sock with dry, uncooked rice. Seal the end by tying.
You could also sew cotton fleece into any shaped "pillow" you would like and fill it with rice.
If you prefer, your sock can be filled with glass beads, buckwheat, dry corn or other dry, uncooked grain.
Integrating it into labor:
Have the mother stretch the rice sock under her belly for relief of cervical discomfort.
The mother can "wear" the rice sock like a scarf on her shoulders to help remove some neck tension.
Roll the rice sock up and down the mothers lower back, adding pressure if necessary.