Pain Management Options

Self Help Strategies

The most important thing in labour is to get comfortable! Feeling in control of what is happening to you is important. Try to relax, listen to your body and keep calm.

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Complementary Therapies

Complementary therapies can be used in addition to, or as an alternative to, other forms of pain management, dependent on which therapy is used.

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Water

Women may benefit from the warm water which really helps by relaxing muscles and reducing the intensity of contractions.

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TENS

The TENS machine (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) lessens the pain for many, but not all, women. 

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Paracetamol

In the early stages of the first stage of labour you may find 1g (two tablets) helpful. 

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Entonox (Gas & Air)

Entonox is a mixture of oxygen and a gas called nitrous oxide. You breathe it in through a mask or mouthpiece that you hold yourself.

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Pethidine Injection

Another form of pain management is the injection of a pain-relieving drug, Pethidine. It takes about 20 minutes to work and one injection of Pethidine can last between two and four hours.

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Epidural Anaesthesia

An epidural provides pain management by blocking the nerves carrying pain from the womb and birth canal.

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Remifentanil

Remifentanil is a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA). It is a strong morphine-like painkiller that works very quickly and wears off equally as quickly.

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If You Have a BMI Over 40

Pregnant women with a BMI over 35 are at higher risk of complications than those with a normal BMI (20-25).

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