While midwives have occasionally encountered cases of painless birth, most women will agree that labour and birth is painful. Just as different theories exist on the physiological reasons for pain during labour, so too there are many and varied ideas about how best to cope with it. Just as pain is individual, the strategies that work best will vary between women, and between different stages in her labour. This section of our site explores both natural and medicinal alternatives for pain relief, as well as potential side effects of the use of drugs during labour.
Articles on Pain Relief
Hypnosis to Reduce Pain During Labour and Birth
"Most women you encounter who have given birth vaginally will tell you… it hurts! However the way in which women describe labour pain varies. Some experience it as something akin to severe muscle pain like you might get if you over-exercised, for others it’s like really bad period pain." This article by Yvette Barton gives details on hypnosis during labour and birth as a way to reduce pain.
Top 12 Fears in LabourIf you were to ask a woman who is scared about giving birth why she feels that way, she’d probably tell you that she is simply worried things will go wrong and birth will be an unpleasant event. There are common fears which can weigh heavily on the minds of pregnant women. Find out more...
Ouch that hurts! Coping with the pain of labour
Giving birth is about more than just the physical act of giving birth, it involves our minds, our hearts and our bodies. Pain in labour is a very complex combination of physical and psychological factors. Labour pain comes from the uterus, cervix, pelvic joints and ligaments.
Acupressure for pain relief during labour
The intense nature of labour means most women will look for and use some form of pain relief during their childbirth. For those women who prefer to avoid or minimise the use of medical analgesia, acupressure is a safe, effective, drug-free alternative.
Pethidine for Pain Relief in Labour
Pethidine is a widely used drug for pain relief in labour. Pethidine is a similar drug to morphine and heroin.
Pain in labour: Your hormones are your helpers
All mammals seek a safe place to give birth. This “nesting” instinct may be due to an increase in levels of prolactin, which is sometimes referred to as the nesting hormone.
Nitrous Oxide for Pain Relief in Labour
Nitrous Oxide (N20) is otherwise known as laughing gas.
An epidural anaesthetic is a procedure that is performed by a specialist doctor known as an anaesthetist