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Holding an ice cube does not feel like a contraction. It may be an indication of the variability in people’s pain thresholds; it may be seen that those who hold the ice cube the longest find labour easier. This is how to do the test:


  • Hold an ice cube in your hand for one minute; keep it in the same hand the whole time.
  • Have your partner time the minute.
  • Try to hold the ice for the full minute.
  • If the ice doesn’t feel uncomfortable, try putting it on the inside of your wrist.
  • After the minute is up, put the ice down and warm your hand.
  • Talk about what you did with your partner to cope.

You can do the ice cube test a few times to try specific techniques. However, you do not need to practise for labour. You can try other methods that may work best for you in getting your mind of labour pains such as:

  1. Breathing exercises
  2. Focusing your attention works well especially when you seem distracted. A picture or object you love may help you focus.
  3. Walking and rocking may help.
  4. Some people make sounds as a coping method. If this applies to you then do it and let the people around you know it is your coping style.
  5. Some prefer their partner to be there every step of the way while some prefer their partner to remain silent and not touch them.

Please feel free in letting us know your coping style during labour.

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