I want to introduce Grace Cramer, she is a Doula that lovingly assists with the miracle of childbirth. She uses rice bags for heat therapy on her clients. She shares her experience with us using this natural pain relieving method, as well as her beautifully crafted tie-on rice packs.
It’s exciting to be living at a time when many people are turning back to natural remedies to treat our bodies’ ailments.
From essential oils to chiropractic care and nutrition, many of us are seeking ways to help our bodies heal themselves. Some of the most simple methods can have a huge impact.
Rice Bag for Heat Therapy
As a doula, I often support clients through long labors and I love to draw on simple methods to help relieve pain. One of those is heat therapy.
For many laboring women, for long stretches of labor, heat on the lower back feels incredibly comforting. Applying a warm rice pack to a client and having her sigh with relief gives me joy.
Heat can take the edge off of pain and offer comfort, relaxation, and reassurance. And we know that relaxation and comfort have a positive effect on how we perceive pain. Tension increases pain.
Heat can be a simple way to relieve sore muscles and cramps. Combining heat with other natural remedies—like essential oils (and Netflix?)—and you’ve got a great thing going.
Warm baths, heat through touch, warm blankets, and heated rice packs are simple but elegant ways to bring comfort and relieve pain.
The Story of New Mercies Birth Doula Services
My name is Grace Cramer—an Idaho girl, mom of 3 daughters, pastor’s wife, and certified doula and birth photographer frequently found hiding in my sewing room.
My favorite essential oil combo to diffuse is lavender, lime and bergamot.
In 2010, the year I turned 29, two amazing things happened to me. I learned how to sew and I became a doula. These two passions have been a source of great joy for me over the last 8+ years. But the best part came when I figured out I could combine these two passions.
Years ago, at the beginning of my doula career, I set out to make a heat therapy rice pack to keep in my doula bag. I was standing in my kitchen, getting ready to cook dinner while experiencing terrible cramps. I held the rice pack against me and thought “This needs to stay here while I cook!!!” That’s when sewing for doulas and clients began.
Many heating pads on the market are electric and have to be plugged in. There are also many rice (or corn, or flax) filled bags available but they usually have to be held in place. These are helpful but limiting.
My favorite way to offer (and experience!) heat therapy is with a tie-on rick pack.
I designed a rice pack in two pieces. A rice-filled insert with channels—keeping the rice evenly distributed—slips perfectly into a machine washable cover which includes long straps that can be tied around most sizes. This makes these rice packs incredibly versatile for all stages of pregnancy and labor (and for, you know, life).
Our whole family uses ours: my husband has used them for sore muscles, I’ve used them for hip pain, and I often use them when my kiddos have tummy aches (sometimes with a little bit of diluted peppermint EO rubbed on their belly first!).
With a warm rice pack tied on, we can continue to go about the task at hand—from labor to cooking—and benefit from heat therapy while simultaneously benefiting from physical movement and rhythm. A win all around!
Side note: when heat isn’t the appropriate remedy, rice packs can also be stored in the freezer and used for cold therapy for swelling, aches, pains, bumps, and bruises. My husband has even used them for wasp stings.
Another great option is to combine organic dried lavender with rice. Not only do you get the pain relieving benefits of the heat, but also the additional aromatherapy benefits of lavender.
I made my first tie-on rice pack almost 5 years ago. Over time, other doulas began to notice. In March 2018 I launched an Etsy shop in addition to my birth doula business.
As a doula, I am limited to serving clientele in the same geographical area. As an Etsy shop owner, I get to serve clientele all over the country and it’s been a blast.
For more information on doulas visit www.dona.org
For more information on heat therapy visit www.painscience.com/articles/heating.php
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