While midwives have occasionally encountered cases of painless birth; most women will agree that labour and birth is painful. There are many different theories on the physiological reasons for labour pain. This means that there are many varied ideas about how best to cope with it. Pain is individual. Therefore, the strategies that work best will vary between women, and between different stages in labour.
This section of our site explores both natural and medicinal alternatives for pain relief. We also explore the potential side effects of the use of drugs during labour.
Articles on Pain Relief
Ouch that hurts! Coping with the pain of labour By Hannah Dahlen “I couldn’t put in my mind what pain I would suffer. It was the worst pain I’ve ever had in my life. I can see the pain you know. Not feel it, I can see it.” (Laura) “I just feel so empowered, so strong, so amazed that my body could…well yeah, just follow its instincts so utterly, so exquisitely-to just know what I needed to do. It’s
Epidural Anaesthetic By Jane Palmer Send an e-mail to the author of this page.
Nitrous Oxide for Pain Relief in Labour By Jane Palmer Nitrous Oxide (N20) is otherwise known as laughing gas. It is an anaesthetic gas that has been used since the beginning of the last century. It is commonly used during surgery and as a pain relief method during labour. A lot of people will have come in contact with Nitrous Oxide at their dentist. Nitrous Oxide is mixed with oxygen. The concentration of Nitrous Oxide that a woman in
Pain in labour: Your hormones are your helpers By Dr Sarah Buckley First published in Australia’s Parents Pregnancy, Autumn 1999, as “Your Hormones are your Helpers” Imagine this. Your cat is pregnant, due to give birth around the same time as you are. You have your bags packed for hospital, and are awaiting the first signs of labour with excitement and a little nervousness . Meanwhile your cat has been hunting for an out-of-the way place- your socks drawer
Pethidine for Pain Relief in Labour By Jane Palmer Pethidine is a widely used drug for pain relief in labour. Pethidine is a similar drug to morphine and heroin. These three drugs are from a family of drugs known as opioids. Opioids basically are morphine-like drugs. Morphine is a natural drug that can be extracted from the opium poppy, where as pethidine is synthetically made. Pethidine was first used in Germany in 1940 to reduce pain in labour and
By Yvette Barton 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. Some women perceive the pain as productive – proof that their baby is on the way – and others as agony akin to torture. Women are designed
By Karen Pohlner The question of "Is Chinese medicine safe in pregnancy?" is one of the most commonly asked questions of TCM practitioners by pregnant women. In short, the answer is both ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. There are a number of acupuncture points and herbal ingredients that are either cautioned or contraindicated for use during pregnancy. Women can rest assured, however, that all Chinese Medicine professionals registered with the Chinese Medicine Registration Board of Victoria (CMRB*) will know how to