4 Different Pain Relief Options to Consider When Planning the Birth of Your Baby

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Giving birth is probably one of the greatest moments in a mother's life, but there is no denying, it is also one of the most painful. Every birth is different, and every woman is different. Fortunately, there are several pain relief options available to make labor as comfortable as possible. Here are 4 different pain relief options to consider when planning the birth of your baby.


If you want a source of pain relief that will cancel out the majority of labor pain, then an epidural is for you. This is a form of anesthesia given as an injection into the spinal column. It will numb your body from the waist down, so you feel no pain, but you are still alert and aware to push when required and greet your baby when it is born. The amount of anesthetic can be adjusted accordingly during the birthing process. Having an epidural is known to extend labor by about 2 hours, so you will probably want to pack a bag of essentials so that your time in hospital is as comfortable as possible. Consult friends, family, or pregnancy-based websites for ideas of things to pack in your hospital bag.

Gas and Air

Gas and air (or to give it its proper name, Entonox), is a mixture of nitrous oxide gas and oxygen. The substance is inhaled through a mask or mouthpiece in deep breaths and helps take the edge off labor pains. Some women may feel sick or lightheaded with this gas, but the advantage of it is that no harm is done to the baby, and if the pain is still too intense to bear, a pain-killing injection can be taken alongside it. 

Pain Relief Injections

Pethidine and diamorphine are morphine-based drugs injected into the buttocks or thigh prior to or during labor and can help the woman relax and feel less pain. This is good for very nervous or panicky mothers. A downside to this form of pain relief is that it can cause drowsiness in both mother and baby.

Drug-Free Pain Relief

Many mothers like to aim for a birth that is entirely drug-free as they believe it will minimize side effects for them and their baby.

One form of natural pain relief is to use a TENS machine. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve stimulation and uses mild electrical current as pain relief. Small electrical impulses are delivered to an area of the body via pads that stick to the skin. These impulses block pain signals going to the brain and spinal column and stimulate the body's production of natural painkillers' - endorphins.

Hypnobirthing is a popular way to achieve a less painful birth naturally. This method involves the woman adopting various self-hypnosis strategies and relaxation techniques before and during labor and delivery. Breathing techniques, positive mental focus, and guided visualization play a large part in relaxing the body, mind, and soul in preparation for birth.