There are different types of pain relief available to you during your labour. Even though you don’t know exactly how your labour will be, it’s important to know your options beforehand. This way you can make informed choices and be prepared for the different ways your labour may progress. Even if there’s a pain relief option you’d like to avoid, it’s worth reading up on it in case your midwife or doctor feels it’s become a necessary option during your labour.
Here we explain all about the TENS machine, which offers drug-free pain relief. Using the TENS machine also allows you to stay mobile during labour and leaves you in complete control. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation.
Having an epidural will numb your stomach, legs and bottom so that you can’t feel the pain of contractions. It is very effective, although there can be some side effects. There can also be the option of a mobile epidural, so that you can still move around during labour.
This form of pain relief is one to think carefully about – it can make you feel drowsy and could have an affect on your baby. You can feel less in control while using pethidine. It is an opiate similar to morphine and heroin, so finding out the different possible side effects first is a good idea.
Gas and air is one of the most well known forms of pain relief. You can administer it yourself, helping you feel in control of your labour, and it’s safe for both you and your baby. Our gas and air page will give you more info…
Some forms of pain relief can have side effects for your baby. We explain how different pain relief drugs affect your baby and which types are the safer methods for your labour.
Using pain relief while giving birth doesn’t always have to mean drugs. There are some medication-free methods. Hypnotherapy, massage, using TENS and waterbirth may all ease pain in labour.
Two mums share their opposing thoughts on pain relief – whether labour is at it’s best with or without drugs.
Your birth plan is where you should outline what kinds of pain relief you do want to try or wish to avoid (if possible) in labour. We show you how to write a birth plan, plus have a simple to fill-in birth plan you can download and print off to make it easy.
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