Pain relief in labour

There are several ways of helping to cope with pain and these are discussed at the antenatal education sessions. During labour, individual needs for pain relief will vary and your midwife caring for you will be able to advise.

  • A supportive birthing partner is invaluable, providing emotional and physical support
  • Relaxation is important. A warm bath will ease backache and enable relaxation
  • Moving around, adopting different positions often helps
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) – This is a gentle electrical current that is passed through four contact patches applied to your back. It has no harmful effects and you can control the strength yourself
  • Entonox (gas and air) – Entonox is a gas made up of 50% oxygen and 50% nitrous oxide. It is breathed through a mask or mouthpiece that you hold yourself. It is simple and quick to act and wears off in minutes. It will not take the pain away completely but it may help
  • Diamorphine– a pain relieving injection given by a midwife which can make you drowsy and relaxed.
  • Remifentanil – This is a short acting pain relieving drug that is given into a vein and controlled by a handset which you operate
  • Epidural – An effective method of pain relief whereby a fine tube is inserted into your back, through which pain relieving drugs are given. It is recommended for long labour or particular complications of Pregnancy.